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IHC declares appointment of PMC members illegal

The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Wednesday declared the appointment of all members of the Pakistan Medical Commission (PMC), including its President Dr. Arshad Taqi and Vice President Ali Raza, illegal.

The court also ordered the removal of all members from the posts and declared illegal the decisions made by the PMC members.

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The court instructed the government to notify officers of the relevant ministry to run day-to-day functions of the PMC until the appointments of new members.

The court, however, declared the policy of golden handshake for employees as well as the PMC Act lawful. It stated that the sacked employees could raise their reservations individually before the new body.

Justice Mohsin Akhter Kayani announced the verdict, which was reserved on the petitions filed by PMC employees, challenging the appointment of PMC members and the golden handshake scheme.

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The court ruled that the pension granted to employees cannot be withdrawn and added that those who did not receive the pension are not entitled to it.

The court said all the employees, including the petitioners, have no right to challenge the legislative intent of the parliament in the PMC Act, 2020 where the parliament has settled the terms and conditions of the employment of all employees.

The golden handshake scheme or voluntary severance scheme is the policy decision and legislative intent of the federal government, which has been included in the statute, after which the scheme was introduced, which is not adverse to the rights of petitioners.

It said that the PMC Act, 2020 is intra vires and is not in violation or against the fundamental rights of the petitioners in any manner.

“The very appointment of respondents No 3 to 9 through notification, dated 25.09.2020, is illegal, non-transparent, without any selection process and against the merits promoting the favouritism and nepotism, as such, the protection given to those members in terms of Rule 8 of the Appointment of Members (Council and Board) Rules, 2021 is also illegal.

“The Federal Government is directed to initiate the process of appointment of members in terms of sub-section (1) of Section 4 of PMC Act, 2020 in a transparent manner. The case of contractual employees seeking regularization after termination or expiry of their contract is a closed and past transaction.”

Separately, the Supreme Court on Wednesday directed the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) government to submit proposals regarding the restoration of the magistracy system.

A three-member SC bench comprising Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial, Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah and Justice Ayesha A Malik heard the case.

During the course of proceedings, the counsel for the petitioner said that the federal government had submitted its proposals on the matter.

Justice Mansoor said that the bench would consider the suggestions of the provinces and the federal government.

The counsel for the Balochistan government said that the magistracy system should be restored with judicial powers.

Upon this, Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial sought justification for giving judicial powers to magistrates.

Subsequently, the bench ordered the KP government to submit proposals in a month and adjourned the hearing in the case.

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