The Supreme Court of Pakistan has suspended the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) order on the transfer of CCPO Lahore Ghulam Mehmood Dogar, restoring the pro-PTI police officer as the head of Lahore police.
The PTI has welcomed the ruling, saying it deals a major setback to the Punjab branch of a ‘fascist government.’
The court on Friday also referred to a certain ‘Mr X’, who Justice Munib Akthar indicated, was probably behind the removal of Dogar.
‘Mr X’ was first mentioned by PTI Chief Imran Khan in a speech a few months ago. Back then, Khan insinuated that Mr X and Y were senior officials who were trying to influence the outcome of byelections.
The apex court, however, took a step back on a possible election date for Punjab Assembly. A day earlier it had sought a date from the chief election commissioner (CEC), Sikandar Sultan RAja, who was summoned to the court, in an unusual mover.
The CEC heads an autonomous constitutional body, namely the Election Commission of Pakistan, and is considered equal to supreme court judges. CEC Raja did not appear before the court on Friday. He was unwell, the ECP secretary told the court.
In a statement before Friday’s hearing, the Supreme Court said that it would not discuss the elections for provincial assemblies in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and will limit itself to the transfer of CCPO.
Last day’s proceedings had seen an exchange between the judges and the chief election commissioner on why dates for polls in Punjab and KP were not being announced.
A three-member bench under Justice Ijaz ul Ahsan heard the case.
The ECP secretary told the court that the CCPO ‘s transfer had been requested by Punjab’s caretaker government ‘verbally’ on January 23 and a written request was made on 24 January. The secretary added that the transfer was made on February 6.
However, Justice Ijaz ul Ahsan said that the paperwork was done after the transfer had already been made.
Justice Muneeb Akhtar asked whether constitutional bodies could work on the basis of verbal requests alone. He also asked who had contacted the CEC for the transfer.
“You could have asked Mr. X to be patient,” Justice Akhtar said.
The court then issued orders for the suspension of the transfer of the CCPO.
PTI sees hope in SC ruling
PTI’s Fawad Chaudhry has lauded the SC ruling saying it set a precedent and will affect hundreds of other transfers.
In a tweet, he said the court ruling deals a major blow to the Punjab branch of a fascist government.
He said modern societies are the outcome of freedoms interpreted by senior judges in supreme courts.