A committee has been formed to examine allegedly sham domiciles in Sindh, a provincial legal officer told the Sindh High Court (SHC) in a case related to sham domicile in the province.
The legal officer issued a notice regarding the constitution of a committee tasked with examining suspected fraudulent domiciles in Sindh.
MPA Muttahida Qaumi-Pakistan Movement (MQM-P) Khawaja Izharul Hasan, one of the applicants, questioned the competence of the committee, stating that its members had no knowledge of fake and genuine domicile. He said a commission should be formed to investigate the issuance of fake domiciles for non-residents of Karachi and other cities. He noted that the provincial government had failed to take action against issuing fake domiciles to non-residents of Karachi, Hyderabad and Sukkur, despite some complaints. He added that government jobs were sold out after the issuance of fake domiciles to non-residents while permanent residents of Sindh urban areas, including Karachi, Hyderabad and Sukkur, were deprived of their rights.
The chair of the SHC division chaired by Judge Mohammad Ali Mazhar after noting the comments, postponed the hearing at the request of an applicant wishing to review documents, and directed the office to fix the problem on November 2.
Hasan and other MPAs have petitioned that non-residents of the city be granted domicile by the government which would deprive Karachi residents of government jobs.
They said domicile and permanent residence certificate (PRC) should not be given to non-residents because it is the right of city residents to apply for government jobs.
The petitioners claim that non-residents have managed to secure government jobs and admission to professional universities based on sham domicile and PRC with urban quotas, which deprive Karachi citizens of government jobs and admission to professional colleges and universities.
The applicant’s lawyer said that the commissioner and deputy commissioner (DC) had been informed about the issuance of fake domicile and RRC along with evidence; however, no action was taken against the officer in charge.
The lawyer said that the commissioner and DC had guaranteed that they would be vigilant in the future but brokers and agents still facilitated the wider community in issuing fake domiciles and PRCs.
The lawyers argued that it was the government’s duty to ensure transparency and benefit in government work, and asked the SHC to direct the government to ensure that domicile should not be granted to non-residents. The high court was also asked to form a committee to examine the domicile and PRC issued from 2008 to the present.
The chief secretary previously made comments on the petition stating that a certificate of domicile was issued under Section 17 of the Pakistan Citizenship Act. He said that there is no specific number of people who describe the urban population as migrating to urban areas in search of livelihoods and education, etc. He said that if a person moves to another district, gives up his previous district domicile and proves his permanent residence in the new district to the satisfaction of the authority concerned, he will be given a new district domicile as stipulated in the regulations.
The chief secretary proposed that Section 17 of the Pakistani Citizenship Act and Rule 23 of the Pakistani Citizenship Code entitles the person applying in a prescribed manner containing specified details for the awarding of the certificate which
the relevant authority (deputy commissioner) issues the same.
He said that in accordance with the 60 percent rural and 40 percent urban quota, every citizen in the relevant area has equal rights and opportunities to compete for recruitment. He said that anyone who is harmed by the provision of a domicile certificate / RRT can choose an appeal before the authorities concerned for the cancellation of documents according to law.
The main secretary stated that the nationality regulation provides for an investigation of a person if he obtained citizenship or domicile through fraud or false representation and if the person’s information is found to be false and in that case the person will be prosecuted under Article 177 Pakistan Criminal Code. He asked the SHC to reject the petition because it was untenable given the existing rules that provide a legal forum for compensation in the issuance of domicile / RRC under Rule 8 of the PRC Rule 1971.
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