KARACHI: 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 return to the post with immediate effect.
The provincial government had sent Khawaja packing Saturday after it appointed another Grade-21 police officer already working in the province in his place.
The Sindh government 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”.
The SHC has also suspended the notification to appoint Dasti as the acting IGP.
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 issuance of the notification for removal of Khawaja from his post. All governmental powers can only be exercised through the cabinet, the court reminded the AG.
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.
Earlier, Inspector General (IG) of Sindh AD Khawaja had refused to leave his post saying the appointment is federal government’s right.
AD Khawaja was appointed as Sindh IG on March 12 last year, but gradually developed a rift with the Sindh government after he refused to appoint constables on quota system and hired them through NTS test.
In December 2016, he was sent on forced leave by Sindh government on the directives of prominent leaders after which he got restraining order on his transfer from the court.