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Centre empowered to post, transfer civil servants: SHC


The Sindh High Court ruled on Tuesday that the federal government is empowered to transfer the civil servants and Police Service of Pakistan (PSP) officers posted in any province.
Issuing a written verdict on petitions filed against the federal government’s decision to transfer Grade 20 police officers, Justice Adnanul Karim Memon stated that only affected civil servants could approach the service tribunal against any posting or transfer.
Earlier a two-member bench comprising Justice Salahuddin Panhwar and Justice Memon had rejected the petitions challenging interprovincial transfers of SSP Aijaz Ahmed Shaikh, DIG Munir Shaikh, DIG Fida Hussain Mastoi and other Grade 20 police officers, and upheld the federal government’s directives for the officers in question.
In its verdict, the court observed that the petitions were not filed by any of the affected civil servants but instead by third parties. “The law gives the federation the power to transfer civil servants, PSP officers in any province. Under the rotation policy, the federation cannot be prevented from transfer or appointment. The applications are not on merit,” ruled the court on the petitions filed by Muhammad Rashid Bhoyo, Bansi Mallah and Ghulam Mustafa.
Swift disposal of BTK cases sought
Meanwhile, the police submitted a report on 27 FIRs lodged over vandalism and rioting outside Bahria Town Karachi after changing their status to C-Class.
A two-member bench comprising Justice KK Agha and Justice Irshad Ali Shah expressed annoyance at the Malir Investigation SSP for registering multiple cases over one incident. Such behaviour by a high-ranking police officer was astonishing, remarked Justice Agha, rebuking the SSP.
The bench directed the anti-terrorism court (ATC) to expedite the cases lodged over the alleged rioting and vandalism after a protest against BTK on June 6, 2021.
The bench was informed that two more cases will be classified as C-Class. The court adjourned the hearing till October 13.
At least 105 political activists and nationalist leaders including Syed Jalal Mehmood Shah, Abdul Khaliq Junejo, Sajjad Chandio and Syed Zain Shah were nominated in the cases lodged at different police stations of Malir district.
Read More: Why JCP didn’t choose senior SHC judges
Cases were lodged under Sections 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty), 186 (obstructing public servant in discharge of public functions), 324 (attempt to murder), 435 [mischief by fire or explosive substance with intent to cause damage to the amount of one hundred rupees or (in case of agricultural produce) 10 rupees], 436 (mischief by fire or explosive substance with intent to destroy house, etc), 427 (mischief causing damage to the amount of fifty rupees) and 337-A(i) (Shajjah) of the Pakistan Penal Code read with Section 7 (punishment for acts of terrorism) of the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997.
According to the defence counsel, only five cases are pending – two before the Malir court and three before the ATC.
Encroachment on KMC building
Hearing a petition against illegal occupation of the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) building near Jamshed Quarters, a two-member bench comprising Justice Irfan Saadat Khan and Justice Muhammad Faisal Kamal Alam directed the police to book the land mafia and take action.
During the hearing, the police informed the court that they had no knowledge of a double cabin vehicle with a police number plate parked outside the building. Nor was the police involved in the illegal construction, the court was told.
The petitioner had contended that the defendants had such a vehicle parked outside the building and one of the defendants also posed as a cop.
The petitioner has argued that the land mafia is carrying out illegal construction on the adjoining nulla and ancient trees around the KMC building are being cut down.
Varsity land
Separately, the SHC summoned a Board of Revenue senior member in person over a petition against encroachment on land belonging to the University of Karachi (KU).
The petitioner contended that judicial orders were not being implemented. He argued that the relevant institutions had not been able to seize possession of the land in question from land grabbers. Seven acres of land in Malir were allotted for research by the KU vice chancellor, argued the petitioner. He maintained that the Sindh government had allotted the land to someone else but the SHC handed it back to the varsity.
The court summoned BoR senior member with a progress report.
Missing persons
Moreover, hearing petitions pertaining to missing persons, the court sought a progress report from the police. One petitioner’s counsel stated that a software engineer Waqar Ahmed had been missing for six years. Despite 12 joint-investigation teams formed for his case, he could not be recovered, said the counsel.
The brother of another missing citizen, Wazir Khan, prayed the court to order the relevant authorities to ensure his recovery.
The court directed immediate action for the recovery of missing persons and sought a report from the police.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 29th, 2021.

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