News Analysis |
The Supreme Court of Pakistan has completely rejected a report submitted by the former Inspector General Punjab Police Kaleem Imam regarding the transfer of former DPO Pakpattan Rizwan Gondal. The Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) who is heading a three-member bench grilled the IGP for allegedly submitting a fabricated report to save someone. The CJP repeatedly reminded the IGP that if the court gets another version (truth) of the matter then he (IG) will not be able to continue his job.
“If I find out that he has submitted a fabricated report he will never be able to serve in the police again,” the CJP said. The court also ordered the National Counter Terrorism Authority (NACTA) chief, Maher Khaliq Dad Lak, to conduct an inquiry into the matter and submit a report within 15 days.
The top judge also apologized to Khawar Maneka who said 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 law.
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.
The CJP who had read the report addressed the former IGP Punjab many times and told him that he did not deserve to be the IG anymore. It is important to mention here that Kaleem Imam has been transferred to Sindh where he is serving in the same rank. “IG Kaleem Imam had only disgraced police officers,” the CJP remarked.
The CJ was also apparently unable to digest the fact the transfer of the DPO was ordered at 1:00 am. “I still can’t digest the fact that the transfer took place at 1 in the night,” the CJP remarked. Dr. Kaleem Imam categorially rejected the claims that the transfer of then-DPO Rizwan Gondal was politically motivated. Dr. Imam submitted an inquiry report of Pakpattan incident to the Supreme Court on 12th September.
The court also ordered the National Counter Terrorism Authority (Nacta) chief, Maher Khaliq Dad Lak, to conduct an inquiry into the matter and submit a report within 15 days.
In the inquiry report, Mr. Imam maintained that there was no political intervention in the case. According to the inquiry report, Gondal was summoned by Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar without taking the police chief in the loop at 10 pm. The call was made by the CM Punjab not as boss but as “elders”, the report adds.
Interestingly, the report has rejected the claims of the DPO Gondal that he was being pressured to visit the Dera of Khawar Maneka and to apologize to him. The DPO himself felt so, the report says, otherwise nobody said this to the DPO.
Background of the Case
The DPO of 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. According to media reports, the DPO told a to a committee called by Chief Minister Usman Buzdar that the police department had only fulfilled its duties and that he won’t apologize to Khawar. Shortly after, 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 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 compresence report before the court. The top judge also apologized to Khawar Maneka who said 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 law.
A test-case for Police and the CJP
This case has become very important for two reasons. Firstly, the government of the PTI remained unable to distance itself from police and make the institution truly independent. The involvement of the CM Punjab raises many questions. Secondly, the CJP is seemingly determined to let the police officers know that if they work without pressure and maintain their professional decorum, the judiciary will stand by them. This is something which is giving a hope to the honest police offers who would be able to work without any political influence.