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Tuesday Feb 25 2020

SHC orders status quo on transfer of Umerkot SP Aijaz Ahmed Shaikh

 Sindh High Court. Photo: File 

KARACHI: The Sindh High Court on Monday directed the federal and Sindh governments to maintain status quo on transferring Superintendent of Police (SP) Umerkot Aijaz Ahmed Shaikh until further orders, reported The News.

The interim order issued by SHC’s division bench headed by Justice Nadeem Akhtar came on a petition filed by Bansi Lal Malhi who moved the court against the transfer of SP Shaikh by the federal government without meaningful consultation with the Sindh government.

The petitioner's counsel Salahuddin Ahmed submitted that SP Umerkot was transferred from his post by the section officer of Establishment Division on December 9, 2019, without the consent of the provincial government in violation of the Supreme Court judgment and procedure of SPS police officers’ appointment and transfers.

SP Umerkot Aijaz Ahmed Shaikh

He submitted that the Sindh government has directed the police officer to not relinquish the charge and continue working on his post.

The petitioner submitted that it is a settled principle that both the provincial and federal governments have to decide the appointment and transfer of the police officer with mutual consent and the tenure of the police officer must be respected as protected by the Supreme Court in Anita Turab case.

He submitted that the provincial government was not taken in confidence by the federal government and the transfer of the officer and subsequent disciplinary proceedings for not obeying the order was unlawful and need to be struck down. He submitted that transfer of the police officer was also in violation of the provincial election commissioner's directive which has restrained the transfer and posting of the government officers where the by-poll has been scheduled for the provincial assembly constituency PS-52 Umerkot. 

The court was requested to set aside the transfer notification and subsequent inquiry against the police officer as the same was in violation of the law.

After the preliminary hearing, Justice Akhtar issued notices to federal and provincial law officers, IG Sindh, secretary establishment and others and sought their comments on March 12.

The court directed the federal and provincial governments to maintain the status quo till the next date of hearing.

Police chief seeks transfer of officials

IG Police Dr Kaleem Imam on February 20 had written a letter to the provincial election commissioner Sindh to remove or transfer SP Shaikh (PS-18) to ensure transparency in the by-elections in PS-52 Umerkot district and to replace him with a non-controversial police officer.

In the letter, IGP Imam had stated that SP Shaikh has been charged with “delinquency, unprofessionalism, and dereliction of duty” and his actions have been “biased and prejudices.” 

The provincial police chief had added that a case had also been registered against Shaikh in Kunri police station in the district and his office had already sent a misconduct report to the Sindh government against Shaikh.

The Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) had accused IGP Imam of acting like president PTI Sindh and said that he has exposed himself by writing a letter to the Chief Election Commissioner asking him the transfer of superintendent and deputy commissioner Umarkot.

Originally published in The News