IGP Aftab Cheema promotion case
Islamabad—Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui of the Islamabad High Court on Monday directed the Establishment Division (Central Selection Board) to complete formalities for promotion of the former Inspector General of Police (IGP) Islamabad Aftab Cheema as he has been cleared by an inquiry committee of all charges of misconduct and unprofessionalism, etc.
Justice Siddiqui issued these orders on a petition filed by the former IGP through Advocate Mustafa Ramday. On the last date of hearing (March 22, 2016) the court had directed the federal government to give dates for promotion of the former IGP. However, on Monday when the court resumed hearing of the case the Additional Attorney General (AAG) submitted that a two-member bench was already hearing the promotion case of the central superior services (CSP) officers’ case and the meeting of the Central Selection Board cannot be called for one officer’s promotion. “After a decision by the division bench such a meeting will be called,” said AAG. However the court disagreeing with his arguments directed the government to issue a proforma for promotion of the petitioner and complete all formalities within two weeks.
It may be mentioned here that on March 17, the Deputy Attorney General (DAG) had sought three-day time to get the Establishment Division’s point of view and explain why former Islamabad IGP was not promoted to next grade despite an inquiry had cleared him of charges of unprofessionalism, etc.
However on March 22, the court was informed that Aftab Cheema was not promoted to the next grade for an inquiry was conducted against him. Counsel for the petitioner, however, contested the inquiry had cleared him of all the charges. Justice Shaukat Aziz also observed a number of badge mates of the petitioner were promoted to the next grade but he was being denied the same.
Former IGP Islamabad had moved the IHC since his promotion was withheld by the government on the pretext that he was facing an inquiry. Advocate Mustafa Ramday submitted before the court that his client Aftab Cheema was exonerated from an inquiry and the government was left with no option but to promote him. He was of the view that government was using delaying tactics and denying his client his legal right of promotion to the next grade.
It may be mentioned here that last year the federal government approved promotions of some 300 officers to next grade. The officers who were moved to next grade were grade-18, 19, 20 and 21 officials. However the list did not include former IGP Islamabad Aftab Cheema, a grade-21 officer. The government left Aftab Cheema out for he was facing an inquiry for seeking three months leave during the PTI’s sit-in of 2014 and for complaining that Interior Minister Ch Nisar Ali Khan was unnecessarily interfering in his official work.
Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui made it clear that justice would be done despite all bureaucratic hurdles. However, it is yet to be seen whether the federal government complies with the court’s order and issues promotion form to the former IGP or still keeps the matter pending.