Chief Justice Saqib Nisar directs for polls on time.

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ISLAMABAD: Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Mian Saqib Nisar said he had taken suo motu notice of Election Commission’s decision regarding hiring ban on government jobs in order to forestall the postponement of general elections.

The Chief Justice took suo motu notice of the ECP’s decision to restrict the government from making new appointments from April.

Other members of the bench are justices Umar Ata Bandial and Ijaz-ul-Ahsan.

On April 11, the ECP announced a freeze on appointments made by federal, provincial and local governments in order to ensure transparency in upcoming general elections, except those made through public service commissions.

Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Sindh are opposed to this ban and they have filed petitions against it in the concerned high courts, said the CJ and asked, “Does the federal government also want to file a petition in this regard?”

He directed the high courts to dispense with the cases at the earliest. He said, “It is quite possible for Supreme Court to summon all these cases.”

“Can you issue such an order just before the assemblies are dissolved? Does the election commission have the power to order a ban on government jobs?” said the CJ to secretary ECP Babar Yaqoob.

If the ECP has the authority to do so, it is essential to clarify as to where was this from, said the CJ, calling in question the commission’s jurisdiction for a ban on government hiring.

Some appointments are yet to be made on the most important positions in the run up to the general elections, said the CJ wondering, “Will the ban not affect the government work?”

The CJ asked him if the law grants the ECP the power to impose ban on recruitment in public institutions.

“It is incumbent upon the ECP to hold transparent elections under Article-218, said Yaqoob. Election Act 2017 empowers the ECP, he added.Resource Credit.

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