LAHORE - The provincial police department has demoted as many as 3,700 junior officers in the light of the verdict of the country’s top court, The Nation learned yesterday.

But a good number of senior police officers are still serving on key slots. The selective implementation of the court verdict has triggered uncertainty and rift among thousands of officers of the largest law enforcement agency.

The move comes after the Supreme Court of Pakistan declared “out of turn” promotions as illegal. The notifications regarding withdrawal of “out of turn” promotions are already issued by the Punjab additional inspector general of police, all the regional police officers, and the Lahore capital city police officer.

An official yesterday disclosed to The Nation that many district police officers and superintendent of police (SPs) are still working on important positions and the department has demoted only junior officers.

“So far, notifications (regarding the withdrawal of out of turn promotions) of 3700 plus lower rank officers has been issued. SPs and DPOs are being protected,” the official said. This is highly unfair and violation of the SC orders, he said.

Sources in the Punjab government revealed that the verdict of the country’s Supreme Court was “being handled in selective fashion by the Punjab province”.

They said that some officers are very influential. “Nobody can touch police officers like Rai Zameer, Faisal Gulzar, Raja Basharat, and Akhtar Laleka because they are very powerful,” an official commented while requesting anonymity.

Over two dozen senior police officers including two DIGs are among those who were given out of turn promotions. These officers (mostly SPs) could be demoted to the rank of deputy superintendent of police or even inspector if the verdict of the SC is implemented in letter and spirit.

The provincial police department has been employing delaying tactics in implementation of two similar judgments the Supreme Court had passed in 2013 and 2015.

Reportedly, the apex court in its judgment of 2013 had declared: “No police personnel or civil servant is entitled to out-of-turn promotion on account of gallantry award or otherwise.”

On January 26, the SC expressed its utter displeasure over non-compliance of the earlier orders and warned the Punjab police chief, the home secretary, and the chief secretary of contempt of court proceedings.

“The non-compliance of this judgment shall expose these officials concerned to contempt proceedings,” the judgment read.

“We must record our displeasure over the inaction on the part of the Punjab government for the directions issued by this court in 2013 and 2015. We expect that all the out of turn promotions granted either to the police personnel or gallantry award or otherwise shall be undone within four weeks from today and their seniority be re-fixed,” the Supreme Court declares in its judgment.

Among the beneficiaries of out-of-turn promotions are DIG Akhtar Omar Hayat Lalayka, Lahore CIA SP Umar Virk, SPs including Shahid Pervaiz Rana, Shahid Razaq Qureshi, Awais Malik, Faisal Gulzar Awan, Ijaz Shafi Dogar, Mansoor Naji, Raja Basharat Mahmood, Tahir Maqsood, Naeemul Hassan Khan, Syed Jamat Ali Bukhari, Karamatullah Malik and Rai Zameerul Haq. A DIG and two SPs have already retired.

Sources in the central police office told this reporter that the provincial government had asked the above-mentioned police officers to file a review petition.

Since they are going to file a review petition, the blue-eyed police officers are verbally asked by the government to continue working on the “as is where is basis”.