IHC restored Deputy Commissioner authority to issue 3MPO order

IHC restored Deputy Commissioner authority

IHC restored Deputy Commissioner authority to issue 3MPO order

The Islamabad High Court (IHC) has temporarily restored the authority of the Deputy Commissioner to issue a 3-MPO order. MPO refers to the Maintenance of Public Order (MPO).

Section 3 of MPO gives authority to government officials to arrest people owing to public disorder or endangerment. The recent decision of the IHC has restored the authority of the Deputy Commissioner to implement a 3-MPO order ahead of elections.

Islamabad High Court Chief Justice Aamer Farooq and Justice Tariq Mehmood Jahangiri, comprised of a two-member court announced this decision.

The decision came after the high court delayed the verdict of its single-bench court to prevent the Deputy Commissioner (DC) from issuing the MPO order. In response to the earlier court order, IHC has recently restored the DC authority.

Justice Babar Sattar headed a single bench court and declared the authority of Islamad DC illegal and “null and void” to issue MPOs. He made this decision following the case of arresting leaders Shehryar Afridi and Shandana Gulzar of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) under 3-MPO.

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Justice Babar ruled that Islamabad DC did not have the power to issue three MPOs. He considered that the authority to issue 3-MPOs should be reserved only for the federal cabinet.

The Islamabad High Court then dismissed the case of Shandana Gulzar and Shehryar Afridi. Justice Babar considered Section 18 of the 3MPO Act, 1980, invalid.

Moreover, IHC decided to indict DC Islamabad and Senior Superintendent of Police (Operations) for contempt of court. Earlier, IHC has already passed the verdict to stop the arrest of any political leader or member under MPO-3.

Following this decision, Islamabad’s deputy commissioner and home secretary filed an intra-court appeal against the single bench’s ruling of Justice Babar. However, the court has now sent notices to both parties regarding its decision.

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