KARACHI: Sindh government has moved the Supreme Court (SC) against the verdict of Sindh High Court, restraining the removal of Sindh police chief AD Khowaja from his post until he completes his term.
Advocate Farooq H Naek filed the appeal in the apex court which is expected to be taken up by the SC on November 7.
In April, the Sindh government had removed the IG, replacing him with an officer already posted in the province. While doing so, the Sindh government did not take the federal government on board, as it appointed another officer without waiting for the Establishment Division to appoint a new police chief.
Pakistan Institute of Labour, Education and Research head Karamat Ali and singer/activist Shahzad Roy filed petitions in the Sindh High Court (SHC) against the verdict, after which the court stayed Khawaja’s removal as IG Sindh.
The SHC, on September 7, annulled the provincial government’s order removing Khawaja and ordered that he will continue on his post until completion of his due term.
The Sindh cabinet last week, in a meeting headed by Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah, approved the removal of Khowaja once again, seeking the appointment a grade-22 officer of Police Service of Pakistan (PSP) Sardar Abdul Majeed Dasti in his place.
The services secretary proposed AD Khowaja’s replacement, suggesting that the incumbent IGP was appointed on an own pay scale (OPS) basis in 2016 and should thus not hold office in the light of the Supreme Court’s ruling against appointments on OPS basis.
AD Khowaja, a grade-21 officer, has been serving on an OPS basis on a grade-22 post of the inspector general of police. Thus, a new police chief must be appointed in line with the top court orders, the service secretary stated.
Khowaja, who was present during the meeting, stated that the SC’s ruling was in place when he had been appointed in 2016 and the centre had been aware of the matter. He went on to state that in other provinces, grade-21 officers are serving as IGP, with the exception of Punjab IGP who was recently promoted to grade-22 level.