SC orders removal of Sindh Rangers chief, IG police
By Iftikhar A. Khan
ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court ordered on Friday removal of Sindh Rangers’ Director General Maj-Gen Ejaz Chaudhry and Inspector General of Police Fayyaz Leghari over the cold-blooded killing of an unarmed youth by Rangers personnel in Karachi on Wednesday.
The court set a three-day deadline for the removal of the two officials and directed the Accountant General of Pakistan to withhold their salary if its orders were not carried out.
It was perhaps for the first time in the judicial history of the country that a serving army general appeared before a civilian court on summons and was ordered removed from an important position.
Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry, who is heading a five-judge bench which has taken up a suo motu notice of the incident, said that Rangers deployed to stop target killings were themselves involved in it. The incident, he added, was serious enough for the chiefs of Sindh Rangers and police to quit.
Sindh Chief Secretary Abdul Subhan Memon conceded failure of the civil administration and surrendered himself before the court.
Federal Interior Secretary Chaudhry Qamar Zaman informed the court that Rangers were under the administrative control of the Sindh government and the notification of their deployment was revised every three months.
The chief justice ordered submission of the notification in the court.
During the break, Attorney General Maulvi Anwarul Haq and the interior secretary went to the PM House to seek instructions from Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani and later informed the court that they could not meet him because he was in the National Assembly.
The bench directed the trial court to hear the case on a daily basis and complete the trial within a month and asked the interior ministry to carry out its orders against the DG Rangers and IG police.
The chief justice asked Karachi police and Sindh Rangers to determine if there was any criminal record of Sarfaraz Shah who was killed by the Rangers.
The court observed that there were discrepancies in investigations and pointed out that the rifle used to shoot the youth was handed over to police only on Friday morning. It expressed doubts over credibility of the investigation conducted under the IG.
The chief justice said that investigations must be carried out independently. He sought a report within three days. An investigation team headed by DIG Karachi Khwaja Sultan was asked to complete its work in seven days and submit a charge-sheet in the court which should complete the trial in 30 days.
The chief justice observed that a case had been registered against the murdered youth to conceal facts.
IG Fayyaz Leghari was snubbed by the chief justice for lying in the court when the police official said the youth had died in hospital. The chief justice said a wrong report had been presented in the court and termed it an attempt to rub salt into people’s wounds. Answering a question, DG Rangers Ejaz Chaudhry informed the court that two of the Rangers personnel nominated in the FIR by the victim’s brother had been handed over to police on Thursday and investigation was under way against the others.
The court observed that such incidents added to the hatred against security forces. The chief justice said appointment of incompetent officials led to poor administration.
Justice Javed Iqbal, a member of the bench, said the policy of deploying Rangers in Karachi should be reviewed and they should be told what their duty was.