Islamabad-The Islamabad High Court will resume hearing in a petition challenging the appointment of Salahuddin Mehsud as the new Inspector General of Police (IGP) of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa today (Tuesday).

A single bench of IHC comprising Justice Aamer Farooq will conduct hearing in the petition wherein the federal and the provincial government of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa had previously sought some time for submission of their written reply.

After both the federal and provincial governments had sought time to submit their replies in this matter, the court had deferred the hearing till May 2 (today) by accepting their plea.

Syed Akhtar Ali Shah Additional Inspector General (AIG) of KP Police who is petitioner in this matter has adopted before the court that the newly notified KP IGP was promoted through a central selection board (CSB) of 2016 whose proceedings were declared as null and void by the Supreme Court of Pakistan.

Shah added that he is a grade-21 officer of the police and remained acting IG after retirement of Nasir Khan Durrani.

During the proceedings, the petitioner was represented in the court by Barrister Masroor Shah, Mehsud by Sher Afzal Khan Advocate and an additional attorney general Afnan Karim Kundi represented the federal government.

Justice Aamer inquired from the respondents that whether the post of IGP is given on the basis of seniority. Sher Afzal informed the court that the appointment is made after consultation between the federal and provincial government. If the federal and provincial government were not on the same page then there is a situation like in Sindh, he said.

Then, federal and provincial governments sought some time to submit reply at which the counsel for the petitioner raised objection saying that both the governments are using delaying tactics.

However, the bench granted time to the respondents to submit reply and adjourned the hearing.

In the petition, the petitioner stated that he is one of the most decorated senior officers in BPS-21 of Police Service of Pakistan (PSP) with an unblemished career.

Syed Akhtar added that he led the police during Swat operation against terrorism as DIG Swat and was attacked by a suicide bomber while posted as DIG Mardan in which several of his gunmen embraced martyrdom. In recognition of his gallantry, the petitioner has been duly bestowed upon the highest award in the country for police service namely The Qauid-e-Azam Police Medal (QPM). Besides, the petitioner has also been decorated with the Pakistan Police Medal (PPM) in recognition of his meritorious services in the police service.

Syed Akhtar, AIG (Headquarters) KP Police who temporarily held the post of acting IGP of the province after retirement of Durrani has cited federation through Secretary Establishment Division, deputy secretary of Establishment Division, KP IGP Salahuddin Mehsud and government of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa through its chief secretary as respondents.

In his petition, the petitioner adopted that the appointment of the Mehsud is in violation of the recent judgment of Supreme Court regarding unlawful promotions and the provisions of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Police Ordinance, 2016.

His counsel informed the court that the newly notified IGP was promoted in controversial 2016 CSB whose proceedings were declared as null and void by the Supreme Court.

Therefore, he argued that the incumbent IGP is a BPS 20 officer who cannot be appointed as IGP as enunciated in Section 14 of the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Police Ordinance 2016.

He added that under the law, only a BPS-21 or 22 officer of the police can be appointed as provincial police officer (IGP). He continued that the new appointment of IGP is not only contrary to the law but also amounts to gross contempt of the judgments of the Supreme Court of Pakistan.

Therefore, he prayed to the court to set aside the appointment notification of IGP by declaring the same as illegal, unlawful, unconstitutional, void ab initio and contrary to the ratio decidendi enunciated by the Supreme Court of Pakistan and this high court.

He also requested the court to direct respondent No 1 to appoint Inspector General of Police/ Provincial Police Officer, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa strictly in accordance with the law and the relevant rules.