KARACHI, Feb 12: The Supreme Court on Feb 10 was informed by the provincial government that 98 former employees of the Karachi Development Authority, who were posted in the Malir Development Authority on deputation, were being paid their salaries through cheques which would be cashed on Feb 12 (today).
The provincial government came in action to resolve the issue of payment of KDA employees’ salaries only after a two-judge bench warned the provincial government’s chief law officer that the chief minister would have to appear in court in the case as he sought some more time for payments, which had been outstanding for the past 19 months.
The bench, headed by Justice Gulzar Ahmed, was hearing the petition of former KDA employees, who were transferred to the Malir Development Authority (MDA), but were not paid their outstanding dues.
At the outset of the hearing, the bench expressed extreme displeasure when it learnt that the employees were not paid their pending salaries despite its directives. “Should we freeze the Sindh government’s bank account?” Justice Gulzar remarked.
He went on to say that the provincial government officials should be ashamed for keeping the employees deprived of their salaries for several months.
The advocate general of Sindh said the provincial government had approved the summary in this regard and the dues would be released within two days.
The court directed the accountant general and the chief secretary to ensure payment to the former KDA employees immediately or else strict action would be taken against them. Adjourning the matter, the court sought the compliance report by Monday.
Earlier, the petitioners informed the judges that the KDA had transferred two land schemes to the MDA with 98 KDA employees, who included officers.
They said they were asked by the MDA to rejoin the KDA their parent department but the KDA was not willing to repatriate them.
They had submitted that they were living below the subsistence level because they had not been given their salaries for the past 17 months. They also complained that their children were expelled from educational institutions because of non-payment of fees.
The petitioners said several officers and others employees of the KDA and the MDA were still posted in different departments of the city government on deputation.
Meanwhile, the same bench directed the provincial government to compensate the families of eight slain lawyers within 15 days, who were murdered in targeted attacks.
The court was hearing a suo motu case regarding lawyers’ targeted killing in the province, particularly in Karachi.
The advocate general informed the judges that the families of 44 out of 52 slain lawyers had been compensated with Rs500,000 each, but eight of them were yet to be compensated.
Karachi Bar Association president Advocate Haider Imam Rizvi told the judges that the provincial government had failed to fulfil its promise of giving a plot each to the families of murdered lawyers.
Justice Maqbool Baqar remarked that the government had also promised to compensate and give plots to the families of police personnel, who got killed in a bomb blast at his convoy in 2013.
The bench directed the provincial government to form a mechanism with the KBA officials and compensate the families of remaining slain lawyers within 15 days and adjourned the matter to a date to be later pronounced by the court’s office.
Published by Daily Dawn on Feb 12, 2018