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SC directs courts not to interfere with institutional recruitment

The Supreme Court ruled on Monday that courts shouldn’t interfere with an institution’s internal governance if it rejects a candidate who is overqualified for a position that has been advertised.

Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah in a judgment stated, “We hold that the autonomy and free choice of an employing institution must be recognized and should be allowed to recruit according to the criteria announced.”

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A three-judge panel led by Justice Mansoor Ali Shah has heard Waqas Aslam’s intra-court appeal of November 21, 2019, Lahore High Court judgment (ICA).

According to Justice Shah, hiring should be done rigorously by the criteria in the advertisement and the company’s recruitment policy because any variation from the criteria would limit the entry of ineligible people and deny many potential candidates.

In response to a job posting in 2015, petitioners, including Waqas Aslam and a few other applicants, submitted applications to the Lahore Electric Supply Company Limited (Lesco) for the position of Line Superintendent (LS) Grade-I (BPS15).

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Justice Shah noted that Lesco publicly advertised several positions, including 89 LS roles, and made clear the qualifications/eligibility requirements for the positions.

The qualifying requirements chosen by the organization and properly announced in the public advertisement indicate a strategic choice made by the responder company.

The verdict stated that the employing institution is best prepared to evaluate its needs based on the purpose and type of the post while prescribing qualifications for a post and defining eligibility criteria.

The judgment stated that it is not the responsibility of the court to review the qualifications and eligibility in a hiring process because the court can only, at best, examine the legality of the hiring process and cannot delve further into the needs and design of the hiring institution or speculate on its hiring criteria and job requirements.

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