ISLAMABAD - Sindh provincial police officers yesterday withdrew appeal against the Sindh High Court’s order to indict them for contempt of court.

The SHC on November 18 had issued an order for framing of charges against 14 police officers including IGP Sindh Ghulam Haider Jamali and Additional IG Ghulam Qadir Thebo on November 25 after dismissing the apology.

The officers then approached the Supreme Court against the SHC’s November 18 order. Justice Asif Saeed Khan Khosa, heading a three-judge bench, said the high court had not yet passed the final verdict regarding the matter, therefore, how they could give finding at this stage.

Farooq H Naek, representing the police officers, said the SHC had rejected IGP and other officers’ unconditional apology, adding there is insufficient material to try his clients for contempt. He said the additional IGP was in Lahore at the time of incident, while other officers were also not present there as well.

He contended that under the constitution the high court does not have authority of suo moto power.

The high court CJ on May 25 had taken suo moto action against the police brutalities during the bail appearance of Zulfiqar Mirza, the former home minister, in the Anti-Terrorism Court.

Police commandos, wearing black masks, surrounded the court and several of them beat the cameramen and journalists who were covering the highly charged political event that marked Mirza’s tussle with Asif Ali Zardari, the former president.

Naek said the material before the high court in contempt case is extraneous.

Justice Khosa remarked people were beaten, property damaged and the journalists were tortured is not enough material.

The police officers counsel said Zulfiqar Mirza’s guards were carrying weapons that were without licence.

Justice Khosa said: “The trial court had not yet passed final verdict then how can we give finding at this stage.” He said there is a culture in Pakistan that instead of punishing high officials the junior officers are made scapegoats.

The apex court on request of the counsels to give observation in the order that they should be allowed to keep on repeating and pressing the apology till it is accepted disposed of the appeal.