The Sindh High Court (SHC) has issued notices to local government secretaries, provincial legal officials and others about a petition prohibiting the posting and transfer of high-ranking Sindh government officials in provincial city-center local councils – Karachi, Hyderabad and Sukkur.
Muttahida Qaumi-Pakistan movement MNA Usama Qadri and others have approached the SHC for enforcement of Article 140-A of the constitution, which requires provincial governments to hand over political, administrative and financial responsibility and authority to elected representatives of local governments.
The applicants submit that the Sindh local government department has issued a notice on 8 October 2020, whereby the positions of various cadres regarding the strength of the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) are placed on the schedule for the formation of the local Sindh council in disregard of the Sindh Regional Government Law, 2013 and regulations framed in it.
The SHC was notified that the Sindh government had placed Sindh government officials or appointed officials in other districts of the province in the KMC and other Karachi civilian bodies without taking into account the fact that Karachi had been declared an urban area and therefore such exercises went against the quota system established. implemented in the province and violated the rights of employees in urban areas who had served in these areas for decades.
An advisor to the applicant stated that the act of transferring officials from various provincial departments and other councils to the local councils of Karachi, Hyderabad and Sukkur was illegal, invalid and had no legal effect, and thus the notices issued in this regard were liable to be set aside.
The lawyer alleged that the issuance of the prosecuted notices was a failed attempt on the part of the Sindh government to seize the rights of urban areas as protected by Article 140-A of the constitution as well as under the provisions of the Sindh Regional Government Law, 2013.
The lawyer argued that the powers exercised under article 121 of the Sindh Regional Government Law, 2013, by the Sindh government to place the post of the Sindh Council’s United Class Service (SCUG) on the schedule for the formation of the local Sindh council were almost impossible. carried out effectively on the premise that these councils have a different composition from councils in urban areas as defined in the 2013 Law.
He conveyed that metropolitan company employees and their positions could not be placed on the schedule of local councils by issuing the alleged notification.
He referred to various provisions in the 2013 Law and argued that the transfer and transfer of officials working in Karachi local councils to other Sindh councils cannot be carried out under the law.
The high court was asked to override the alleged notices and detain Sindh government officials from working on trade union councils in the districts of Karachi, Hyderabad and Sukkur. The applicant asked the SHC to issue a notification to the respondent and meanwhile, suspended the accused notification.
The chair of the SHC division chaired by Judge Mohammad Shafi Siddiqui observes that the court should respect whether the alleged notification from the local government was issued that contradicts the provisions of the Sindh Regional Government Law, 2013 and whether posts from the KMC can be placed on the timetable for forming local councils Sindh under the law.
The tribunal further observed that they must decide whether there are any rights of the applicant involved in the transfer and transfer of government officials.
After the preliminary hearing of the petition, the SHC issues notifications to local government secretaries and others and submits their comments within a week.