Sindh Assembly passes Sindh Civil Servants Amendment Bill amid walkout of opposition

KARACHI: Sindh Assembly here Thursday passed the Sindh Civil Servants (Amendment) Bill 2013 amid strong opposition and walkout of the opposition.

When Sindh Law Minister Muhammad Ayaz Soomro rose to introduce the Sindh Civil Servants (Amendment) Bill 2013, Arif Mustafa Jatoi of National People’s Party (NPP) raised a point of order that as the issue of the out of turn promotions was pending with the Supreme Court of Pakistan, the Sindh law minister could not introduce the Bill No 02 of 2013 – The Sindh Civil Servants (Amendment) Bill, 2013, as it would be a contempt of court.

Arif Mustafa requested the chair not to allow the bill for introduction and consideration as it would be tantamount to the contempt of the apex court. He said today the apex court would take this case and he understands the haste of the government to give legal cover to out of turn promotions given to some blue eyed boys in the police department. He said the assembly cannot take any step that is against the constitution. Other opposition members also supported him; however, Muhammad Ayaz Soomro, Murad Ali Shah, Rafique Engineer and other treasury members were of the opinion that there was no stay order in this case and the assembly could take its routine legislation business. The chair in its ruling maintained that the bill can be introduced and considered.

On this the opposition members raised slogans of ‘shame, shame’ and staged walkout. However, the treasury members passed the bill unanimously. The bill contained insertion of section 23-A: Regularization of out of turn promotions. It reads:

(1) Notwithstanding anything contained in any law, order or judgment of any court, all out of turn promotions made immediately before the commencement of the Sindh Civil Servants (Amendment) Act, 2013, under section 9-A by Government or Competent Authority or otherwise by the Police Department shall stand regularized from the dates of such promotions.

(2) All promotions regularized under sub-section (1), may file an appeal in the Sindh Service Tribunal, within 30 days of the commencement of the Sindh Civil Servants (Amendment) Act, 2013.

(3) A person aggrieved by any promotion regularized under sub-section 1 may file an appeal in the Sindh Service Tribunal, within 30 days of the commencement of the Sindh Civil Servants (Amendment) Act, 2013.

(4) The treasury members also passed another bill, Bill No 09 of 2011 –The Sindh High Density Development Board (Amendment) Bill 2011, unanimously. The statement of its objects and reasons said: with a view to provide for the participation of representatives of professional bodies and stakeholders having expertise in the planning and designing of housing schemes, for creation of effective mechanism in high-rise building, it is expedient to amend the Sindh High Density Development Board Act, 2010.

Arif Mustafa Jatoi of NPP, earlier, raised an adjournment motion to discuss a definite matter of urgent public importance namely that the current government is engaging in blatant and unprecedented political and economic victimization of the poor people of Sindh by denying them their basic rights to civic amenities like electricity, water, gas and employment as is substantiated by the official correspondence issued by the Government of Sindh cancelling approved electric schemes for the poor people of Sindh.

In this regard he attached the official correspondence work orders of approved electrification of 15 villages of district Naushehro Feroze was cancelled. He said when the NPP was in government the Sindh chief minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah had ordered to provide electricity to these villages on ‘most urgent’ basis, but when due to the anti-people policies of the sitting government the NPP decided to sit on the opposition benches these approved schemes were summarily cancelled. He termed the decision the worst example of political victimization. However, the chair in its ruling said the point of order was not admissible as it was not in order.

Earlier, the acting speaker Shehla Raza administered oath to four newly elected MPA belonging to Muttahida Qaumi Movement.

The sitting was adjourned till Friday at 10:00am.

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