ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court (SC) on Monday ordered to hold an inquiry into alleged mistreatment of Khawar Fareed Maneka s daughter by Punjab police personnel and political interference in the sudden transfer of former District Police Officer (DPO) Pakpattan Rizwan Gondal.
A three-member bench of the apex court headed by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar heard the case. Khawar Maneka, Ahsan Jamil Gojjar, Punjab Inspector General Kaleem Imam, former DPO Pakpattan, Punjab Chief Minister’s (CM) Personal Staff Officer (PSO)Haider and Chief Security Officer (CSO) have appeared before the SC.
‘Police should be free of political influence’
As the proceedings initiated, the Chief Justice inquired, “Where is Khawar Maneka and that property tycoon?” He then begun a conversation with Punjab IG and remarked, “Did you have the knowledge that DPO Pakpattan was called by the CM?”
“I came to know at the time when the DPO was on his way to CM’s office. I then warned him to seek permission from me in future prior leaving for CM’s office,” he replied.
“Why you did not barred him for going to CM’s office. You should have told the PSO that he cannot summon the DPO without bringing the matter into your knowledge. Where is the order of DPO’s transfer?” asked the CJP.
“It was a verbal order,” told Punjab IG. “Where were you when the transfer was made at 1am?” questioned the CJP. “In Islamabad,” came the answer.
“I had directed the entire Inspector Generals’ including you not to depend on the politicians. I have asked you to become free of all pressures. Did you ask the DPO about his meeting with Chief Minister?”said the Chief Justice.
“I received conflicting reports related to the incident. DPO Pakpattan was transferred on the basis of facts. He concealed the truth and misled the authorities,” claimed the IG.
“Why did you issue verbal orders of his transfer? Can’t you wait until morning? Show us the file in which the transfer orders were made,” directed the CJP.
“I have decided DPO’s transfer at 8pm. It was made as per rules,” told the IG.
Who are you to give orders of transfer, CJP to Ahsan Jamil:
The Chief Justice then turned to Ahsan Jamil and said, “Who are you to give orders of transfer? How can you dictate the police? What were you doing in Chief Minister’s office and how are you related to him. You think you can disgrace the police due to your political influence?”
“I am the guardian of children and took action because of them. Bushra Maneka had been taking a walk from the past five days,” he said.
“You are the children’s uncle. Their father is still alive. Was the case so significant that calls were made from Africa? Will a case be filed for pressurizing the police?” the CJP asked from Punjab.
“A case can be registered against Gojjar for influencing the police. Action should be taken against him,” said the Punjab IG. “You have humiliated your department. Police have lowered the morale of their institution,” remarked the Chief Justice.
“Gojjar said to me that I acted against the orders issued to me so I should apologize to Maneka at his dera,” Rizwan Gondal told court.
Conversation with Khawar Maneka
The Chief Justice then held a conversation with Khawar Maneka and said, “You are still alive then whose custodian is Ahsan Jamil?”
“Ahsan and his wife are our friends since 1997. I became angry over the police as they were drunk. My daughter also told me this. Media hurled blames on us but we did not say anything. I asked the DPO to take action. My daughter solicited whether any woman can take a stroll at night or not,” said Maneka.
“We are sorry over what happened woth your daughter. The policemen who mistreated your daughter will be held responsible. Action will be taken the incident happened with you. We will take notice of the misbahviour but political influence will not be tolerated. We are concerned with the matter of Chief Minister. Why was the police officer transferred under political influence,” pronounced the CJP.
DPO, RPO invited on tea by Punjab CM
The PSO also took the stand and told court that the Chief Minister had invited the RPO and DPO on tea. I came to know in the morning that the DPO has been transferred.” “Who said that he doesn’t want to see DPO’s face until morning,” asked the CJP. “I did not utter these words,” said the PSO.
DIG Operations Haider Sultan maintained that the IG asked him at 10am about the new DPO for Pakpattan. In written, the transfer order was conferred at 1:07am. “How many orders have you given in the past at 1am?” asked Justice Umer Ata Bandial.
“An officer was suspended previously at 2pm,” said the DIG.
CJP orders two inquiries in the case
“You people can hold an inquiry from JIT. A notice will be issued to Punjab CM under article 62 (1)(f),” said the CJP and ordered two inquiries over the transfer.
“First inquiry should be conducted over the political interference in the transfer. The other one should be held over the incident with Bushra Maneka,” directed the CJP while summoning both the reports within a week.
“I am thankful to the court for the notice. All the answers will be given from my side in the inquiry. My relation with Usman Buzdar is only of a litigant,” said Gojjar.