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January 22, 2021

SHC seeks comments on plea against quota in CSS exams

Karachi

January 22, 2021

The Sindh High Court has directed the establishment secretary, Federal Public Service Commission (FPSC) and others to file comments on a petition against the quota system in the Central Superior Services (CSS) competitive exams.

Petitioner M Tariq Masoor submitted in the petition that the period prescribed in the first proviso of the Article 27(1) of the Constitution for reserving posts for persons belonging to any class or area to secure their adequate representation in the services in Pakistan had expired long ago but the said proviso was being still applied to persons applying for the posts in the services of Pakistan.

The petitioner submitted that such restriction was discriminatory and contrary to the fundamental rights guaranteed by the constitution to the citizens of Pakistan to join the services of the country.

He submitted that the period of 40 years contained in the first proviso to the Clause (1) of the Article 27 had already been expired in 2013; however, subsequent CSS exams taken by the FPSC since 2014 till the last year were based on the earlier which was a violation of the constitution.

He submitted that the quota system was still illegally and unlawfully applicable to specific areas such as determining the share of various areas in appointments in bureaucracy through the competitive examination. He submitted that the federal government issued a notification with regard to holding of CSS competitive exams without amending the rules for open merit system throughout the country.

The high court was requested to declare that quota system as per rules in the CSS competitive exams was against the scheme and structure of the constitution, which provided equal opportunity of employment to all the citizens, and direct the federal government to amend the CSS exams rules for the forthcoming exam to base it on open merit.

A federal law officer sought time to file comments on behalf of the establishment secretary while a representative of the FPSC also requested time to file comments on behalf of the commission.

A division bench of the SHC headed by Justice Mohammad Ali Mazhar granted the requests and directed the federal law officer to file comments by the next date of hearing.