IHC upholds govt’s decision of sacking Utility Stores MD

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The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Friday upheld the federal government’s decision of sacking Utility Stores Corporation Managing Director Maj Gen (r) Farooq.

The court also ordered the Ministry of Industries secretary to assign a senior officer to look after the affairs of the Corporation until a new MD was appointed.

A single-member bench of IHC comprising Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui resumed hearing of a plea filed by General (r) Farooq against his termination.

During the hearing, Farooq’s lawyer Akram Shaikh said that his client’s contract was terminated without any prior intimation. To this, Justice Siddiqui asked Shaikh whether his client was appointed through competitive process. Shaikh responded that according to the notification of the Establishment Division, there was no requirement of competitive procedure to hire retired judges, civil servants and army officers on any post.

The judge observed that there should be no special treatment for retired judges, civil servants and army officers and all appointments should be made on merit by adopting competitive procedure.

Representing the federation, Deputy Attorney General Tariq Mahmood Jahangiri said that neither the advertisement for the post of MD Utility Store was given nor rules were followed in the appointment. He argued that the Supreme Court had also given a decision in the Hajj Corruption case that after retirement, no officer should be appointed on contract in any organisation.

After hearing the arguments, the court vacated the stay order in favour of Farooq and ordered the Industries secretary to appoint a new MD within a month through competitive procedure.