CJP asks ECP to clarify reason behind banning recruitment in govt institutions

ISLAMABAD: Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Mian Saqib Nisar took suo motu notice of the Election Commission of Pakistan’s (ECP) temporary ban on hirings by public institutions.
A three-member bench headed by the chief justice and comprising justices Umar Ata Bandial and Ijaz-ul-Ahsan heard the case today.

As the hearing went under way, the chief justice inquired as to which law allowed the ECP to halt recruitments.

The ECP had issued a statement on April 11 regarding hiring freeze in appointments made by federal, provincial and local governments to ensure transparency of upcoming general elections.
However, there will be no ban on the hirings by federal and provincial public service commissions, the notice stated.
Moreover, the implementation of all the development schemes, which have been taken up after April 1, will also be put to a halt. The development schemes include those pertaining to the supply of gas and water, construction and carpeting of roads.
This step has been taken to ensure that the funds released for ongoing development projects are not used for other schemes, the statement read.
Keeping in view past practices, the commission has also banned the transfer of previously allocated development funds to other heads.
On April 2, the ECP had barred public office-holders from using public money to promote themselves ahead of the elections.
The ECP had sent to the provincial chief secretaries letters pointing out that the commission was busy with preparations for the upcoming elections and various stakeholders had reported that several public officeholders, including ministers, members of the national and provincial assemblies and party leaders, were announcing development schemes and fixing inaugural plaques under their names to woo voters ahead of the general elections.
“Understandably development schemes such as hospitals, schools, roads, tube wells, etc, are executed through public money, therefore self-projection through public exchequer is by no means acceptable,” the letter stated.