Police can't be used for vested interest, says apex court.

ISLAMABAD -- The Supreme Court has observed police force cannot be made an instrument for the promotion of vested, elite interests.

'Integrity, independence and trustworthiness are crucial attributes of the police force for ensuring peace in and smooth functioning of the society,' noted Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Umar Ata Bandial in a three-page order he dictated on Wednesday.

A three-judge bench, headed by the CJP and comprising Justice Ayesha A. Malik and Justice Athar Minallah, issued notices to all the provincial police officers, home secretaries and the Islamabad administration to furnish relevant data of past eight years on the criteria and pattern tabulated in a set of petitions moved against the alleged political interference in the transfer and posting in Punjab police.

In their petitions, Rana Tahir Saleem and Mohammad Javaid apprised the court of the alleged violation of Police Order 2002, mentioning that nine Lahore capital city police officers (CCPOs) and eight inspector general of police (IGPs) were changed between June 7, 2018 and Aug 29, 2022.

The frequent reshuffle reflected that the CCPOs and IGPs had average tenures of 4.5 and 6.2 months only, respectively, according to the petitions.

Punjab govt is in continuous breach of Article 15 of Police Order, says SC ruling

In the order, the apex court noted that Article 15(2) of the Police Order, 2002 provides for a tenure of three years for the post of DPO and Article (15)(3) allows early transfer of a DPO only in case of inefficiency or ineffectiveness but with the concurrence of both the district government head and the District Public Service Safety Commission.

The court order stated the Punjab government failed to follow the statutory command and was in continuous breach of Article 15 of the Police Order.

Likewise, it added, the petition showed that the average tenure of an IGP in the province during the said period was 6.25 months.

Article 12 of the Police Order prescribes that the term of office of a Provincial Police Officer (IGP) and a Capital City Police Officer (CCPO) will be three years.

The Punjab authorities have also been directed to file their response to the allegations made in the petitions within two weeks, as the case will be taken up again in the week commencing on Dec 12.

Barrister Haris Azmat represented petitioner Mohammad Javaid whereas Advocate Shahzad Shaukat appeared on behalf of Mr Saleem via a video link from Lahore.

In its order, the SC said...

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