The capital’s high court on Friday restrained the government from appointing the heads of 28 public sector organisations after government excluded the institutions from the purview of a federal commission formed to ensure transparency in the selection process.
The Islamabad High Court’s (IHC) Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui issued the restraining orders, in response to a petition by Barrister M Dawood Ghazanavi who had challenged a notification excluding 28 institutions from Federal Commission for Selection of Heads of Public Sector Organisations (FCSHPSO).
Ghazanavi, challenged the legality of the notifications issued by the Establishment Division on January13, 2013 and March 4.
FCSHPS, was formed after the apex court had ordered the selection of chiefs to head 58 public sector organisations. The petitioner maintained that FCSHPSO is an independent body formed in compliance with a Supreme Court order in the Khawaja Muhammad Asif case to ensure transparency in the appointments of heads of statutory bodies, autonomous and semi-autonomous bodies.
Ghazanavi, argued that the exclusion of important regulatory bodies from the purview of the commission indicated the mala fide intention of the government.
The institutions which were excluded include the National Insurance Company Limited, Trade Development Authority of Pakistan, Pakistan Horticulture Development Export Company, Pakistan International Airlines, Security Exchange and Competition Commission of Pakistan, (SECP).
The petitioner maintained that the apex court had recently observed that all positions in government-owned organisations, corporations and companies were required to be filled through a competitive, credible and transparent process. After the restraining orders, the court disposed of the case.
During the previous government, many controversial appointments were made which were later declared illegal by the IHC or the Supreme Court. Those who were removed from office include the scandal-riddled former Ogra chief Tauqir Sadiq, former Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Zaka Ashraf, former Federal Board of Revenue chairman Ali Arshad Hakeem and the former SECP chairman.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 21st, 2014.
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