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AD Khowaja to remain IGP Sindh until court decision, rules SC

ISLAMABAD: Supreme Court of Pakistan on Thursday approved Sindh government’s petition for hearing against Sindh High Court (SHC) orders to permit AD Khowaja to continue as the IG Police of Sindh.

The apex court, however, ruled that the IGP Khowaja would continue on his post until the court decides the government plea.

The government petition seeks the top court’s injunctions against the high court orders.

During the court proceedings today, Sindh government’s counsel Farooq H Naek contended that the provincial government has authority to make transfers and new postings in the police department as the SHC has declared the Police Act 2011 a valid law and upheld that police was exclusively a provincial subject.

He pleaded with Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Justice Mian Saqib Nisar to pass orders of Khowaja’s removal from the top police office.

Chief Justice Nisar declared the petition as maintainable for hearing but asserted that AD Khowaja would remain as IGP until a final decision announced on the government appeal.

The three-judge bench, headed by the CJP and comprising Justices Umar Ata Bandiyal and Ijazul Ahsan, also restrained the federal government from issuing a notification of transferring the provincial police chief.

The IG Police would also have complete authority to order transfers and postings in the province, the bench ruled.

Earlier, on Sept 7 last year,  the PPP-led Sindh government had suffered a blow when the SHC annulled its decision to send provincial police chief AD Khowaja packing and allowed the police chief to continue his office.

The bench, in its short order, set aside the government notification for relieving Khowaja from the IGP office, ruling that the provincial government could not remove an IGP sans any justification.

The court also made it mandatory for the government to follow the verdict in Anita Turab case under which an IGP could not be removed from his post before completion of three years of his tenure.

The provincial government then decided to challenge the high court’s decision in the Supreme Court.

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