People belonging to different parts of the county made fake domiciles of Karachi and obtained government jobs on their basis, violating the rights of the citizens of Karachi.Muttahida Quami...
People belonging to different parts of the county made fake domiciles of Karachi and obtained government jobs on their basis, violating the rights of the citizens of Karachi.
Muttahida Quami Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) MPA Khawaja Izharul Hasan stated this before the Sindh High Court (SHC) on Friday.
Arguing on his and other MQM-P leaders’ petition against the issuance of domiciles to non-residents of Karachi before a division bench of the SHC, headed by Justice Mohammad Ali Mazhar, Hasan said the provincial government had failed to take action against the issuance of Karachi domiciles to non-residents of the city, despite several complaints.
He submitted that the issuance of such fake domiciles and permanent residence certificates (PRCs) was a conspiracy against the citizens of the urban Sindh, including Karachi, Hyderabad and Sukkur. He alleged that non-residents of the urban Sindh easily obtained its domiciles and PRCs, on the basis of which they got government jobs under the quota for urban areas within
He informed the high court that the Supreme Court had also taken notice of the issuance of fake domiciles and held the provincial government responsible over such irregularities. He said the dispute of domicile arises due to the urban-rural divide in Sindh.
The SHC bench partially heard the arguments of the petitioner in person and adjourned the hearing till February 11. It also directed an additional director of the National Database Registration Authority (Nadra) to assist the court on the petition, which also sought the formulation of a policy with regard to the issuance of domiciles.
Hasan and other MQM-P MPAs had submitted in the petition that non-residents of the city were being issued domiciles by the government, depriving the people of Karachi of government jobs. They said domiciles and PRCs should not be issued to non-residents as it was a right of the residents of the city to apply for government jobs under the quota for them.
They petitioners had maintained that non-residents had managed to obtain government jobs and admissions to professional universities on the basis of fake domiciles and PRCs of the urban quota and deprived the citizens of Karachi of obtaining government jobs and admissions to professional colleges and universities.
A counsel for the petitioners submitted that the commissioner and the deputy commissioners (DCs) had been informed about the issuance of domiciles and PRCs to non-residents with evidence; however, no action was taken against the responsible officers.
The lawyer submitted that the commissioner and DCs had given assurances that they would be vigilant in the future but many brokers and agents were still helping the non-residents of urban areas get fake domiciles and PRCs.
The counsel argued that it was the duty of the government to ensure transparency and merit in the government employments and asked the SHC to direct the government to ensure that domiciles of an area should not be issued to any non-resident of that area. The high court was also requested to constitute a committee for scrutinising the domiciles and PRCs issued since 2008.
The chief secretary had earlier filed comments on the petition mentioning that the certificate of domicile was issued under the Section 17 of the Pakistan Citizenship Act. He submitted that the number of people comprising the urban population was not fixed as people continued to migrate to the urban areas in search of livelihood, employment, education, etc.
He had submitted that if a person migrated to another district, surrendered the domicile of their previous district and proved their permanent abode in the new district to the satisfaction of the authority concerned, they shall be issued a domicile of the new district as provided under the rules.
The chief secretary had also submitted that the Section 17 of the Pakistan Citizenship Act and the Rule 23 of the Pakistan Citizenship Rules entitled a person making an application for such a certificate in the prescribed manner to the authority concerned (deputy commissioner) to be issued the same.
He had submitted that as per the fixed quota of 60 per cent for the rural areas of Sindh and 40 per cent for the urban areas, every citizen of the relevant area had the equal right and opportunity to compete for recruitment. He submitted that any person aggrieved by the grant of a domicile or PRC may prefer an appeal before the authority concerned for its cancellation as per the law.
The chief secretary had submitted that the citizenship rules provided investigations against a person if they obtained citizenship or domicile through fraud or false representation and if information of that person was found false, the said person shall be prosecuted under the Section 177 of the Pakistan Penal Code. He had requested the SHC to dismiss the petition as non-maintainable in view of the existing rules that provided a legal forum for the redress of any grievance regarding the issuance of domicile/PRC under the Rule 8 of the PRC rule 1971.