The Sindh High Court (SHC) has suspended the Sindh government’s advertisement with regard to appointments in government departments, autonomous bodies and process commenced through such advertisement till further orders.
The interim order came on a lawsuit filed by the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) challenging the Sindh government’s advertisements for fresh appointments in various government, semi-government and autonomous bodies.
The plaintiff’s counsel, Farough Naseem, submitted that the tenure of the Sindh government was about to end on August 11 but the government through its secretaries, departments and autonomous bodies had unleashed a mala fide and unlawful campaign to fill thousands of vacancies without observing codal formalities by way of pre-poll rigging and were being dished out to favourites and blue-eyed ones.
He submitted that the Article 218 (3) of the Constitution provided that elections were to be organised and conducted honestly, justly and fairly in accordance with the law and such induction in government jobs by the defendants violated the paradigms of the said Article of the Constitution.
The counsel submitted that the governments jobs were required to be filled in accordance with the rules 14, 15 and 16 of the Sindh civil servants (Appointment, Promotion and Transfer) Rules 1974 and Sindh Public Service Commission Act but various departments, offices and other departments issued an advertisement in the months of July and August 2023 in a great haste in a mala fide manner to complete the process of appointment illegally and unlawfully without completing codal formalities.
He said that some advertisements asked the candidates to come to walk-in interviews aiming at adjusting blue-eyed persons of the Sindh government.
He said the SHC had earlier ordered that the Sindh government shall ensure that all recruitment in all posts from grade 1 to 15 applied by the candidates be made through competitive process on open merit with the budgetary sanction on regular basis by invoking the services rules.
He said that even the advertisements in question were illegal as the same did not mention the requisite region of service or direct requisite domicile and permanent resident certificate un violation of relevant rules.
The lawyer stated that the posts of grade 1 to 4 had been advertised unlawfully as such posts did not carry the name of the region from which persons were to be inducted, which was mandatory as per the services rules and required filing of such posts on a local basis. The counsel argued that it was not known from the said advertisement as to whether such posts shall serve to entire province or whether they were in respect of a particular region or district on a local basis. He said that the entire exercise for appointments under the advertisement in question ridiculed the common sense as the entire process was non-transparent and illegal as there had been no written tests or interviews at all which violated the administrative instructions of the Sindh government.
The high court was requested to grant injunction on such advertisements and said that if interim order was not issued there was every likelihood that the defendants shall succeed in achieving their design by violating the fair and transparent process of recruitment and depriving the eligible candidates from their legal rights.
A single bench of the SHC headed by Justice Zafar Ahmed Rajput after preliminary hearing of the lawsuit observed that points raised by the counsel required consideration and issued notices to the Sindh government, chief secretary and others for August 30.
The high court ordered that the operation of all advertisements with regard to fresh appointments and induction processes commenced by the Sindh government or any of its offices, autonomous and other bodies shall be suspended till the next date of hearing.