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Sindh High Court suspends order for remove of A.D. Khawaja

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KARACHI:(APS)April 3, 2017-The Sindh High Court (SHC) on Monday suspended the provincial government’s notification for the removal of Inspector General of Police (IGP) A.D. Khawaja, ordering him to immediately resume his duties as the provincial police chief.

The SHC also suspended Sardar Abdul Majeed Dasti’s ‘promotion’ as acting IGP.

Following the court’s orders, Dasti has relinquished the charge of acting IGP and vacated the office, a police spokesperson said.

“Though an official notification has not yet been issued, A.D. Khawaja has been asked to resume charge as IGP.

A divisional bench of the high court, headed by Justice Muneeb Akhtar, ordered Khawaja’s reinstatement while it heard a petition filed by the Pakistan Institute of Labour, Education and Research’s (PILER) chief, Karamat Ali.

In his petition, Ali had argued that the provincial government should be held in contempt of court as it had defied a previous high court-issued stay on Khawaja’s removal.

The provincial government had sent Khawaja packing after it appointed another Grade-21 police officer already working in the province in his place.

The Sindh government had said it was ‘surrendering’ Khawaja’s services to the federal government.

A day later, without waiting for Islamabad’s nod, it appointed Additional IG Sardar Abdul Majeed Dasti as the provincial police chief till “appointment/posting of [a] regular incumbent by the Establishment Division”.

During the hearing, the court asked the advocate general (AG) under which law Khawaja was removed from his post.

The AG said the IGP had been appointed under Clause 3 of the Police Act, and that the Sindh govt has the right to appoint an IGP of its own choosing.

However, he was silent when asked if the provincial cabinet had been taken into confidence before the notification for Khawaja’s removal was issued.

All governmental powers can only be exercised through the cabinet, the court reminded the AG.

A spokesperson for the petitioner said the hearing will resume on April 6.

The court has also ordered the provincial government not to remove Khawaja till the case has been decided, he added.

Soon after the court issued its orders, PPP leader Maula Bux Chandio announced that his party would use its constitutional right to challenge the SHC’s ruling.

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