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DPO Pakpattan case: Who is the real winner?


News Analysis |

In a rather shocking development, the Supreme Court on Monday accepted the apologies submitted by the Punjab Chief Minister and former police chief in DPO Pakpattan Rizwan Gondal transfer case. Earlier in the day, all the respondents, former IGP Punjab Kaleem Imam, CM Punjab Usman Buzdar and Ahsan Gujar had rejected the report submitted by the NACTA chairman to the SC.

The CJP was irked to see the response submitted by the CM Punjab. The court directed the respondents to submit unconditional apologies in strong words if they wanted to seek forgiveness. After a few hours of the submission of apologies, the court directed the officials not to repeat the same in the future and disposed off the case.

Inititally, the apex court directed the IGP Kaleem Imam to submit an inquiry report of the incident. The court rejected the report and the CJP was irked by the substance of the report submitted by the former IG.

The apex court also stated that if any one of the above-mentioned persons is found involved in such cases again, the case will be reopened. It is worth mentioning here that the DPO Pakpattan Mr.Rizwan Gondal was immediately transferred and made Officer on Special Duty (OSD) for allegedly stopping Khawar Maneka, ex-husband of Bushra Maneka.

On August 23, it was reported that a police team led by DPO Rizwan Omar Gondal briefly intercepted Khawar’s car after he didn’t stop when signaled by the police to do so. Khawar was also believed to have misbehaved with the officials. The officer was later directed to visit Maneka Dera, Khawar’s residence, and tender an apology to him for intercepting the vehicle.

Read more: Pakpattan Incident: SC rejects a ‘biased’ report, grills IG Kaleem Imam

According to media reports, the DPO told a meeting called by Chief Minister Usman Buzdar that the police department had only fulfilled its duties and that he won’t apologize to Khawar. Shortly afterward, the officer was transferred and asked to report to Central Police Office (CPO) in Lahore.

CJP Took Notice of DPO Rizwan Gondal’s Removal

The Chief Justice of Pakistan took the notice of “Pakpattan incident” in which DPO Rizwan Gondal was transferred and made OSD. The top judge issued notices to IGP Dr. Kaleem Imam, additional IGP, inquiry officer Abubakar Khuda Baksh, Sahiwal RPO, and DPO Gondal to appear in the Supreme Court on 31st August along with the inquiry report.

Then the CJP directed the IGP to conduct an inquiry into the matter and present a comprehensive report before the court. The top judge also apologized to Khawar Maneka who said that his daughter was allegedly manhandled by the police officers and nobody took the appropriate measures to take action against those responsible for the violation of the law.

The CJP was irked to see the response submitted by the CM Punjab. The court directed the respondents to submit unconditional apologies in strong words if they wanted to seek forgiveness.

Who has Actually Won the Case?

Initially, the apex court directed the IGP Kaleem Imam to submit an inquiry report of the incident. The court rejected the report and the CJP was irked by the substance of the report submitted by the former IG. “We reject your report,” the top judge said, adding: “IGP sahab, you have proven your own officer to be a liar in your report.” The court further asked what kind of the report is this. “What kind of report is this? You have not investigated at all. You have sided with someone,” the CJP said. “You did nothing to uphold the respect of the police in your report.

Later on, the NACTA chairman submitted his report and maintained that the CM Punjab was involved in the transfer of the DPO. This was a test case for the SC. But the court has apparently failed to set any precedent, in this case, to ensure police officers that there will be no political influence in the future regarding their transfers. Analysts in Pakistan were shocked to see the decision of the court.

Read more: Pakpattan Incident: Former IGP Punjab submits an “expected” report to the…

“We always appreciate CJP Mian Saqib Nisar, but the outcome of DPO Pakpattan case is not what it should’ve. Transferred DPO Rizwan Gondal should be reinstated as DPO Pakpattan,” said prominent analysts in a TV show.

Senator Farhat Ullah Babar raised some serious questions and said that “PM praises ‘truthfulness and honesty’ of CM Buzdar. Buzdar rejects Pakpattan probe report and urges SC to discard it. In SC, however, he instantly apologized in DPO transfer case implying an admission of guilt. Certificate of truthfulness issued by Khan University turns out bogus.”

Another social media user pointed out that “Who is the real winner in Pakpattan case ? Khawar Maneka. He got the DPO posted out from his district. kaun c maafi bhae ???”

For many political commentators in the country, the decision of apex court is not justified and could not set a precedent to stop political influence in the departmental issues of Police.