Pak SC revokes suspension of senior officials

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Islamabad, Jan 3 (UNI) Pakistan's Supreme Court has revoked the suspension order of three top officials of Islamabad administration in Election Commission case while asking the federal government to decide the issue on merit.

The three senior officers, Inspector General of Police (IGP) Islamabad Syed Moravet Ali Shah, Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Dr Naeem Khan and Deputy Commissioner (DC) Chaudhry Muhammad Ali, were placed under suspension on October 1, last year on the direction of deposed Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry.

Justice Chaudhry gave the direction during the hearing of a suo moto notice, taken on the alleged police manhandling of lawyers and journalists in front of the Election Commission (EC) of Pakistan on September 29 when the nomination papers of the presidential candidates were being scrutinised.

During the hearing, Attorney General (AG) Malik Muhammad Qayyum contended before the apex court that there were no direct charges against the suspended officials except the court ruling that is hindering their reinstatement, The Nation newspaper reported here.

Referring to the suspension order of the three, the AG further stated that neither there was any specific reason given for their suspension nor was any departmental action initiated against them on the charges of misconduct.

He also pointed out that a government official cannot be kept under suspension for more than 60 days, while the said officers have been under suspension for the last three months.

The Attorney General also submitted a concise statement, signed by Joint Secretary Viqar-un-Zeb, on behalf of the Interior Ministry according to the direction of the Supreme Court.

According to the statement, the ministry prayed for appropriate order to dispose of the applications submitted by the suspended officers regarding their suspension.

After hearing the arguments of the AG and perusing the report of the interior ministry, the bench revoked the suspension order of the three officers by the ruling that the apex court has no objection if the government wants them restored. It has also directed the authorities concerned to decide the issue on merit.

UNI XC SG PM1315

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