2019 PLD 133 SUPREME-COURT

Citation Name : 2019 PLD 133 SUPREME-COURT
Side Appellant : MUHAMMAD IBRAHIM SHAIKH
Side Opponent : GOVERNMENT OF PAKISTAN through Secretary Ministry of Defence
S. 11---National Database and Registration Authority (Pakistan Origin Card) Rules, 2002, R.17(1)---Foreigner's Order, 1951, S.10---Constitution of Pakistan, Arts. 244, 260(1) & Third Sched.---Pakistan Army Act (XXXIX of 1952), S.10---Pakistan Air Force Act (VI of 1953), S.12---Pakistan Navy Ordinance (XXXV of 1961), S.10---Punjab Civil Servants (Appointment and Conditions of Service) Rules, 1974, R.19(1)---Sindh Civil Servants (Appointment, Promotion and Transfer) Rules, 1974, R.13---Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Civil Servants (Appointment, Promotion and Transfer) Rules, 1989, R.11(1)---Balochistan Civil Servants (Appointment, Promotion and Transfer) Rules, 2009, R.9(4)---Persons not citizens of Pakistan but having a Pakistan origin and possessing Pakistan Origin Card ("POC")---Whether such persons could legally be employed in the service of Pakistan; employed as civil servants, employed in the Armed Forces, and employed in autonomous/semi-autonomous statutory bodies/organizations and companies etc. which were owned/controlled/governed by the Federal and/or Provincial Governments---General permission of working in Pakistan that foreigners had (subject to work permit requirements) was retained by those foreigners of Pakistan origin who held POC---Federal Government (till date) had not exercised its power under S.10(2) of the Foreigner's Order 1951 to invoke the prohibition on employment (on foreigners) in any undertaking of the Government---Accordingly, at present such concession applied to Federal and Provincial civil servants or persons who were of Pakistan origin and were employed as Federal or Provincial civil servants---While there was no prohibition in the Constitution on persons of Pakistan origin enrolling in the Pakistan Armed Forces, however, by virtue of the respective Acts governing the Pakistan Armed Forces, such persons shall not, except with the permission of the Federal Government, enroll in the Army, Air Force or Navy---Additionally, any person enrolled in the Armed Forces shall be required to take an oath as specified in Art. 244 read with the Third Sched. of the Constitution---No general prohibition existed for persons of Pakistan origin from being employed by or in autonomous/semi-autonomous statutory bodies/organizations and companies etc. which were owned/controlled/governed by the Federal and/or Provincial Governments---Restrictions may apply generally to certain kinds of employment, irrespective of legal status/ownership/ control of the employer (e.g. by virtue of S.10 of the Foreigner's Order, 1951)---Certain restrictions could exist in the specific statute, law, rule or constitutive document applicable to each body which would have to be examined on a case-to-case basis---Supreme Court directed that the relevant authorities, including the Ministry of Interior, the Directorate General of Passports and immigration , National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) and Board of Investment shall review their existing practice and procedures and facilitate the issuance of visa/work permits to all those POC holders who required the same; that as this would affect all the POC holders who were currently working in Pakistan without a visa/work permit, such persons shall apply for the same and the Ministry of Interior shall decide the applications in accordance with law within a period of two months, after which the law shall take its own course; that alternatively, the Federal Government may in conjunction with NADRA consider amending R.17(1) of the National Database and Registration Authority (Pakistan Origin Card) Rules, 2002 to reflect the correct position of the law allowing POC holders to work in Pakistan by virtue of their POC divesting them of any requirement to separately apply for a work visa/permit as foreigners of non-Pakistani origin were required to, and that the Federal Government was to take a final decision in such regard within one month from the issuance of present order---Matter was disposed of accordingly.

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