ISLAMABAD - The Supreme Court ordered Attorney General for Pakistan to submit today (Wednesday) the list of public sector entities whose heads had not been appointed despite the court judgment, and those appointed through commission.

A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Nasirul Mulk on Tuesday was hearing promotion case of an ISI inspector. The bench appointed Akram Sheikh amicus curiae (court assistant) in the case.

On June 12, 2013 the court ordered for establishment of a commission to ensure appointments in statutory bodies, autonomous bodies, semi-autonomous bodies, regulatory authorities, and the government-controlled corporations, autonomous and semi-autonomous bodies etc through open merit.

During the proceeding, Attorney General Salman Butt argued that the commission would be redundant for those institutions which have their own laws for appointment of heads, like Federal Service Tribunal chairman’s appointment, as there is statute for it. He said the apex court judgment has become a hurdle in such appointments. He requested the court to review its judgment, passed on Khawaja Asif application.

The AGP informed that the Federal Tax Ombudsman Abdul Rauf Chaudhry heads the commission while Shams Lakha and Ijaz Nabi are its members. Upon that the court inquired how many appointments had been made through the commission and why seats of some departments’ heads were still lying vacant.

The attorney general told that he did not have the complete data and sought some time. The court directed him to submit the details today. The AGP contended that appointment procedure had been mentioned in article 240 of the constitution. Justice Amir Hani Muslim said the procedure is also given in article 242 of the constitution.

The court inquired from the counsel of ISI inspector about the appointment procedure in public sector entities. He said there were three kinds of institutions, first that have statute, second where the appointments were made through government resolutions, and the third type is of those organisations which do not have any law in this regard nor the appointment could be made through resolution, therefore, commission is needed for such institutions. He said the government had not implemented the court judgment.

Around 22 important public sector entities’ top posts are vacant for the last many months including the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) and chairman Federal Services Tribunal (FST), heads of Export Processing Zone Authority, Federal Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education, Karachi Port Trust, Vocational and Technical Training Commission, Services Tribunal, Chairman Employees Review Board, Implementation of Tribunal of Newspaper Employees (ITNE), Intellectual Property Rights Organization, Chairman Pakistan Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, Pakistan Council of Research and Water Resources, Earthquake and Rehabilitation Authority (ERA), National Institute of Oceanography (NOI), National Trust Population Welfare (NTPW), Council of Works and Housing Research, Science Foundation, Director General Pakistan Institute of Management, Chief Executive Pakistan National Council of Art (PNCA), Managing Director Associated Press of Pakistan, Managing Director National Trust for Disabled, Director General National Institute of Electronics.

Agencies add: As the Supreme Court’s two weeks deadline regarding the appointment of permanent Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) expired Tuesday, Leader of Opposition in National Assembly Khurshid Shah requested the Supreme Court for three-month extension for the completion of the process.

The Supreme Court on October 14 gave the federal government two weeks to appoint a permanent CEC, or else it will withdraw its judge, Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali, who is currently serving as acting CEC. Justice Jamali is the third consecutive interim chief of the ECP in less than one year. Earlier, the incumbent chief justice Nasirul Mulk and his predecessor Tassaduq Hussain Jillani had served as acting CEC. Under article 217 of the constitution, the chief justice can appoint any judge of the SC as acting CEC. Justice Jawwad S Khawaja was offered the slot in July this year but he had excused himself.

During the last hearing, Attorney General for Pakistan Salman Aslam Butt had assured the court that the appointment of a permanent CEC will be made in 30 to 35 days. The bench, however, insisted that the government fill the constitutional post within two weeks. Now the court will take up the matter on October 30.

Two senior parliamentarians and lawyers Chaudhry Aitzaz Ahsan and Mian Raza Rabbani have filed an application in the apex court on behalf of Shah. The application notes that article 213 (2A) of the constitution provides that the prime minister in consultation with the leader of opposition in the NA shall forward three names for the appointment as CEC to a parliamentary committee for hearing and confirmation of one of them, adding that those, who could be referred for confirmation, have been mentioned in article 213 (2).