What is this MPO? MPO stands for Maintainance of Public Ordinance, it came into force in 1960 when the military dictator Ayub Khan was in power making it convenient for his regime to crack down on opposing political parties and protesters. The law comprised old and new preventive laws of the land and was made to maintain peace and law and order throughout the country.

According to the original Law, the government was authorized to arrest any person without a warrant or an FIR, whom it was sure that the person could incite violence or do anything against the public order. Now, the Deputy Commissioner of a district has been authorized to issue orders of arrest of an individual under MPO and according to the law, the duration of the detention may be between 3-6 months.

There is no way to challenge the arrest under the MPO other than the High Court of the Province, in which a writ petition may be filed by the aggrieved party saying that they were wrongfully arrested by the government and then it would be the Court’s prerogative to decide the validity of the arrest.
What is 16 and 3 MPO you ask? They are sections of the ordinance, the 3rd section or 3 MPO reads, ‘3. Power to arrest and detain suspected persons,’ and the 16th section or 16 MPO reads, ‘16. Dissemination of rumours, etc.’