By PNG Echo.
The National Court, in two separate decisions today, have stayed four government directives. Two against the banning of lawyers Egan and Lambert from entering the country and two against the dismissal of Police officers Gitua and Eluh.
I have not yet been able to ascertain the reasons given for these decisions but I am very concerned with the staying of the disciplinary action against the rogue police officers.
Are the PNG courts fully cognisant of the ramifications of effectively countermanding an internal directive and disciplinary censure of the Commissioner of Police against two of his men?
Section 27 of the Police Force Act states:
The Commissioners decision in respect to the finding of guilt and in respect to penalty for serious discipline charges is final.
And quite rightly so.
One of the primary indicators of a ‘failed state’ is when the government loses control of its disciplinary forces. They are in jeopardy of doing just that as the courts undermine the authority of the Commissioner of Police effectively splitting the force into factions.
What message does this send to the other members of the Police Force as Commissioner Baki tries to improve and control an already problematic police force as far as discipline is concerned?
When people find it necessary to complain about the treatment they received at the hands of the police – maybe they will remember this day and the part the National Courts played in instilling a sense of impunity for undisciplined and rogue behaviour within what can now just laughingly be called the ‘discipline’ forces.
What an irresponsible thing for the courts to do!