KARACHI –  Sindh High Court (SHC) on Tuesday reserved its verdict on a petition against the removal of Inspector General Police (IGP) Sindh A. D. Khwaja after hearing concluding arguments of petitioners’ lawyers and Advocate General Sindh.

The court also extended the stay order against the removal of the provincial police chief by the Sindh government.

On behalf of the petitioners, Advocate Faisal Siddiqi argued that the Supreme Court, in the Anita Turab case, had held that civil servants were not bound to obey illegal orders of their superiors as they owed their first and foremost allegiance to the law and the Constitution.

Siddiqi pointed out that the Sindh government wrongly perceives that the Anita Turab case was different from Rules of Business Ordinance.

On the other hand, Sindh Attorney General (AG) Zameer Ghumro informed the court that the authority to appoint the IG rested entirely with the Sindh government.

“No individual can challenge the Police Act as per the Constitution, which gives provinces the right to make amendments to the act,” the AG stated.

He added that if the centre was not satisfied with a law passed by the province, then the Supreme Court and not the high court should hear the case.

“Such matters should be forwarded to the Council of Common Interests,” he argued.

The court questioned the AG about the course of action to be taken if a certain person is affected by a law passed by the province.

The court reserved the judgment regarding the removal of Allah Dino Khawaja.

It bears mentioning that on May 17, Khawaja had expressed his wish in the SHC to voluntarily step down from his post alleging that he was not allowed to perform his duties.

The institutional ping-pong started when the Sindh government surrendered the services of Khawaja to the federal government in April and replaced Khawaja by appointing another grade-21 police officer Abdul Majeed as acting IG.

However, on April 3, the Sindh High Court (SHC) had suspended a notification issued by the Sindh government that replaced AD Khawaja with Sardar Abdul Majeed Dasti as the Inspector General of Police (IGP).

The police official (AD Khawaja) remained in the spotlight ever since PPP co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari decided to return home after ending self-exile in December last year.

AD Khawaja was reportedly sent on forced leave by the provincial government days before the arrival of Asif Ali Zardari.