–Top court reverses IHC verdict on request of ECP to ensure ‘transparency’ in polls
ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court of Pakistan on Saturday struck down the Islamabad High Court (IHC) verdict that nullified the Election Commission of Pakistan’s (ECP) ban on recruitments in the government institutions.
The court took up the case after the ECP challenged the IHC’s order that revoked its notification through which the commission stopped new recruitment in government departments and imposed a ban on development works by the federal and provincial governments.
During the hearing, a three-member bench headed by Chief Justice Saqib Nisar reinstated the ban after an ECP official appeared before the court to plead the case.
ECP Sindh Commissioner Yousuf Khattak told the judge that the ban was placed to ensure “transparency in elections”. The watchdog had also halted disbursement of development funds and approval of new projects, he said.
At this, CJP questioned how they expected pending works to be suspended, to which Khattak replied, “New projects will be stopped as the ban is still intact. In case there is a need to recruit a doctor or else, the ECP makes specific exceptions for those.”
Reversing the verdict, the top judge said the projects that are in progress must be completed, however.
On April 11, the ECP issued a notification barring the government to launch new projects as well as recruitment of new government officials.
“All kinds of recruitment in any ministry, division, department or institution of the federal government or any department or institution of any provincial and local governments is banned forthwith, except recruitment through the federal or a provincial public service commissions,” the notification said.
All development schemes, which have been approved with effect from April 1, 2018, like installation of gas pipelines, the supply of electricity, road carpeting, water supply schemes, etc, shall not be executed by the federal, provincial, or local government authorities, it said.