SHC directs commissioner, DCs to reply to plea against fake domiciles

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The Sindh High Court (SHC) on Wednesday directed the Karachi commissioner and the deputy commissioners (DCs) to file comments on a petition of the Muttahida Quami Movement-Pakistan’s (MQM-P) lawmakers against the issuance of domiciles to non-residents of Karachi.The petition also sought the formulation of a policy with regard to the issuance of domiciles.MQM-P leader Khawaja Izharul Hasan and other MPAs submitted in the petition that non-residents of the city were being issued domiciles by the government which would deprive the Karachiites of government employments. They said domiciles and permanent residence certificates (PRCs) should not be issued to non-residents as it was the right of the residents of the city to apply for government jobs.They petitioners maintained that non-residents managed to obtain government jobs and admissions to professional universities on the basis of fake domiciles and PRCs of urban quota and deprived the citizen of Karachi of obtaining government jobs and admissions to professional colleges and universities.A counsel for the petitioners submitted that the commissioner and the DCs had been informed about the issuance of fake domiciles and PRCs along with evidence; however, no action was taken against the responsible officers.The lawyer submitted that the commissioner and DCs had given assurances that they would be vigilant in the future but brokers and agents were still facilitating the public at large in the issuance of fake domiciles and PRCs.The counsel argued that it was the duty of the government to ensure transparency and merit in the government employment, and asked the SHC to direct the government to ensure that domiciles should not be issued to any non-residents. The court was also requested to constitute a committee for scrutinising the domiciles and PRCs issued since 2008 till date.The representatives of the District Municipal Corporations and the commissioner sought time to file comments on the petition. The SHC directed the provincial law officer and other counsels to file comments on behalf of the commissioner, DCs and other respondents by July 5.