The Sindh High Court (SHC) has directed a provincial law officer to submit a report with regard to the approval of a bailout package for the clearance of the outstanding Rs4,246 million dues of the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation’s (KMC) retired employees.
The direction came on petitions filed by retired KMC employees with regard to the payment of their outstanding pension dues. The high court had on a previous hearing directed the Sindh government to consider a bailout package for the clearance of the outstanding dues.
The SHC was informed that a summary had been floated by the Sindh local government secretary with regard to a bailout package for the retired KMC employees, which was pending approval before the chief minister or the cabinet in accordance with the law.
The provincial law officer sought short adjournment and submitted that such a process would not take more than two weeks. A division bench of the high court headed by Justice Mohammad Shafi Siddiqui observed that the proposed summary shall be considered in accordance with the law and a compliance report should be filed within two weeks.
The SHC observed that when it came to pay KMC’s employees, it was expected that each and every individual who was entitled to be paid monitory benefits would be probed and then the amount would be released as at the end of the day, it was the KMC that would be held accountable for such release.
The bench took exception to the absence of the chief secretary and local government secretary despite court orders and observed that their excuse for not appearing was not reasonable.
The SHC issued notices to the chief secretary and local government secretary for their personal appearance on February 9 without fail, observing that failure to appear on the next date of hearing would compel the court to issue warrants against them.
The high court on a previous hearing of the petitions had observed that the present state of affairs at the KMC clearly indicated that its management had miserably failed to manage the accounts properly.
The bench had said that the Sindh government having supervisory control and jurisdiction in respect of the KMC was equally responsible for not taking timely action in relation to wrong decisions taken by the KMC. The court high had directed the Sindh government to consider providing a grant to bail the KMC out.