ISLAMABAD  - The Islamabad High Court (IHC) has suspended a notification of federal government according to which about 25 public sector bodies were excluded from the purview of Federal Commission for Selection of Heads of Public Sector Organizations (FCSHPSO).

A single bench of IHC comprising Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui on Monday also directed the Establishment Division, FCSHPSO and other respondents to submit their reply and parawise comments within a fortnight in this connection.

Talking to The Nation here, M Dawood Ghazanavi who had moved the court in this matter told that he contended before the court that his fundamental rights have been infringed upon exclusion of some 25 public sector organizations from the purview of Federal Commission for Selection of Heads of Public Sector Organizations (FCSHPSO).

He informed that these excluded organizations included National Insurance Company Limited, Pakistan Re-insurance Corporation, House Building Finance Corporation, Pakistan Agriculture Storage & Services Corporation, National Construction Limited, Pakistan Industrial Development Corporation, Pakistan Steel Mills, National Fertilizer Corporation, State Engineering Corporation, Utility Stores Corporation of Pakistan, National Fertilizer Marketing Limited, Pakistan Television Corporation, Pakistan Software Export Board, Telephone Industries of Pakistan, Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation, Pakistan State Oil Ltd, Pak Arab Refinery Company, Sui Northern Gas Company Limited, Thar Coal Mining Company, Sui Southern Gas Company Limited and Railway Construction Pakistan Limited.

Ghazanavi informed that the notification of government dated January 13 in this regard says, “In exercise of powers conferred in terms of para 07 of the Establishment Division notification dated July 22, 2013 and with approval of the Prime Minister, on exclusion of Public Sector Companies registered with Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) under the Companies Ordinance 1984, the schedule to ED’s aforementioned notification is revised.

The lawyer told the court that FCSHPSO is a completely independent federal body made in compliance of the directions of the Supreme Court of Pakistan in the judgment of Khawaja Muhammad Asif case to ensure transparency in the appointments of heads of statutory bodies, autonomous and semi-autonomous bodies, regulatory authorities and organizations established by or under the control of federal government.

He was of the view that in recent times the appointments of blue-eyed persons in the public sector organizations have caused a huge loss to the national exchequer.

“For the prevention of such things to happen, FCSHPSO was established in the light of Supreme Court orders,” maintained the petitioner.

He argued that exclusion of these public sector bodies would affect the general public as both the institutions are directly related to the economic life of the country.

Therefore, the petitioner has prayed to the court to set aside the notification.

After issuing the above-mentioned directions, the court deferred the hearing of this matter till May 12.