SC questions shoulder promotions to 879 police officials

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court (SC), on Monday, questioned around 879 shoulder (honorary) promotions granted to police officials in Sindh and noted that situation in the province was not satisfactory.It decreed that its decision on the matter pronounced in March that declared shoulder promotions in Punjab illegal should be implemented. A two-member bench, comprising Justice Javed Iqbal and Justice Ghulam Rabbani, in a suo motu case, also directed the Establishment Division to provide details of senior police posts lying vacant in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan till Tuesday.Sindh IGP Wajid Ali Durrani appeared before the bench and replied that a total of 879 officials in the province were granted shoulder promotions.He said few officials among them had succeeded in obtaining stays from the Sindh High Court (SHC) against a decision of the apex court.Justice Javed Iqbal questioned, “How was it possible for them to approach the SHC against the SC’s verdict?”He said there was no concept of ad-hoc promotions in civil service rules. “How was it possible that a 368 rank holder was promoted out of turn?” he posed another question. He observed that such promotions might be detrimental to the morale of police force.He added, “Suo motu proceedings do not mean demoralizing police. Rather these are being conducted to remove disparities.”

“There must be a moral courage to defy an illegal deed,” he advised top provincial police officials. KPK IGP Fiaz Ahmed Toru informed the bench that there was a dearth of senior officials in the province. “Despite my personal requests, people are not willing to work on these posts,” he said. He said 18 posts of BPS-17 to BPS-20 had been lying vacant in the province.IGP Balochistan Rao Muhammad Amin Hashim shared the same concern by saying that the province also faced dearth of senior police officials.Punjab IGP Javed Iqbal said promotions of 47 SPs and 32 inspectors had been reversed on the apex court’s directives.

He said there was no OSD in DSP rank in the province as he had already conveyed the SC’s orders to the provincial government. Islamabad IGP Bani Amin informed that there were no shoulder promotions in the federal police, besides no official was currently serving as OSD.Further hearing was adjourned till Tuesday. In March this year, a three-member bench, headed by Justice Javed Iqbal, had directed the Punjab government to put an end to shoulder promotion policy and initiate legal procedure based on merit. The verdict was passed in response to complaints of 34 affected SPs.The affected SPs had contended that out of turn promotions to junior officers was a discrimination to eligible senior officers.The bench also directed the police department to appoint all OSDs on vacant posts, and issue new seniority list in which seniority of any officer should not be affected. – Dailytimes