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Friday November 26, 2021

SHC issues notices on contempt petition in school principal appointments case

February 06, 2021

The Sindh High Court (SHC) has recently issued notices to the chief secretary and school education secretary on a contempt-of-court application against them for defying the court orders in a case pertaining to the appointments of headmasters and headmistresses in government schools.

In the contempt-of-court application against the Sindh chief minister, chief secretary and school education secretary, applicant Durray Shahwar Ahmed submitted that the SHC had on May 21, 2018 directed the chief secretary to scrutinise the record of illegal appointments of headmasters and headmistresses and ordered a competent authority to take action against officials concerned for such illegal appointments.

She submitted that the SHC had also found serious discrepancies and flaws in the recruitment process which was initially scrutinised by the school education secretary and in that report too, such illegalities and discrepancies were admitted.

It was submitted that the high court had on January 19 observed that the recruitment process was compromised from various aspects, including qualification, experience, age and civil servant rules, and ordered that the recruitment process be carried out in accordance with the law.

The applicant’s counsel recalled that the SHC had ordered the chief secretary to de-notify the head masters and headmistresses who were appointed on a contract basis in violation of the law. The lawyer added that instead of complying with the court orders, the alleged contemnors ordered their retention in service for a period of six months through a notification on January 29.

The counsel submitted that the conduct of alleged contemnors showed that they had no respect and regard for the orders of the court which was evident from the impugned notification of January 29 in which they retained the services of contract-based headmasters and headmistresses for further six months.

The lawyer submitted that the act of the alleged contemnors was sheer violation and defiance of the court orders issued on previous hearings and requested the high court to initiate contempt-of-court proceedings against them.

A division bench of the SHC headed by Justice Mohammad Shafi Siddiqui at the first instance issued notices to the chief secretary and school education secretary and called their comments to ascertain whether they had flouted the orders of the court or otherwise, and adjourned the hearing of the case for two weeks.

Lecturers’ promotion case

In another case pertaining to promotions of college lecturers, the college education secretary told the SHC that a total of 669 lecturers had been promoted from grade 17 to grade 18 and grade 18 to grade 19 after approval of the summaries.

The secretary filed a compliance report before the SHC during a recent hearing. The secretary said that on the next date of hearing, he would submit the names of such persons who had been promoted.

The SHC directed the secretary to submit the list of such persons who were promoted by the Sindh government so that the counsel of the petitioners could check the names of the petitioners on the list and adjourned the hearing till March 2.