SC stays police promotions in Punjab

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court (SC), on Tuesday, directed the concerned authorities in Punjab that seniority of police officials should not be disturbed, till a final decision was pronounced over a pending suo motu notice of shoulder (honourary) promotions.The court, in its order, also made it clear that suo motu proceedings had not been initiated for individual cases. A two-member bench, comprising Justice Javed Iqbal and Justice Ghulam Rabbani, observed that grave irregularities had been detected in cases of promotion.The court further directed that all pending representations before competent authorities should be decided within one week, while giving an opportunity of hearing to the officials, and the report should be submitted to the Registrar Office.It also sought relevant record regarding total vacant important posts, quota and question of promotion of women police officers under Punjab Police Rules 12.2 and 3, which were pre-requisites for arriving at a final decision.The bench directed the IGPs to proceed in such matters in accordance with the law and the apex court’s earlier verdict.The courtroom was filled to its capacity, and a large number of police inspectors, out of total 247, who had been recruited directly in Punjab Police in 1998, also occupied the rostrum, disrupting the proceedings while conveying their concerns in a vociferous manner.Saifullah and Muhammad Umar Farooq, inspectors, stated that they had been recruited after the fulfillment of required criteria.They said they deserved promotions due to their academic qualifications and performance, but under a formula of ‘84, 86, 87’ blue-eyed people were granted shoulder promotions.

“More than 550 junior inspectors were awarded antedated seniority, while 3,150 are in a queue for seniority claims,” they added.Citing an example of a serving female SP, they said she had been promoted to the rank of DSP without following the merit.Further hearing was put off for a period of two weeks.In March this year, a three-member bench, headed by Justice Javed Iqbal, had directed the Punjab government to abolish the policy of shoulder promotions and initiate legal procedure based on merit. The verdict was passed in response to the complaints of 34 affected SPs.The affected SPs had contended that out-of-turn promotions to the junior officers constituted discrimination to the eligible and deserving senior officers.The bench also directed the police department to appoint all OSDs on vacant posts, and issue a new seniority list in which seniority of any officer should not be affected. – Daailytimes