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KARACHI: The Sindh High Court (SHC) on Wednesday ordered the Karachi Development Authority (KDA) to release salaries of all employees by withdrawing the restriction imposed on salaries of officers of Grade 17 and above under an earlier order.

A division bench of the SHC issued these orders while hearing the petition of the KDA Officers Association for suspension/recalling of the order dated 17.12.2020.

The court in its earlier order had stated, “For the time being the salary of the officers in Grade 17 and above shall be stopped with effect from 01.01.2021, if the post-retirement benefits of retired employees are not settled by 31.12.2020. No posting or transfer of any officer/employee shall be made by KDA/competent authority without permission of this Court”.

The counsel for the petitioner argued that though order modification was made to stop the salary only of the employees in Grade 17, but this was a grave injustice to deprive this set of employees from the lawful wages.

It was further contended that this order was passed without providing any opportunity of hearing to the officers, and in the case of the nonpayment of benefits to retired employees by the KDA, these employees should not be blamed.

The court observed that according to the progress report submitted in the court, it was clear that 64 percent of the liability had already been discharged, and the matter was only related to the remaining 36 percent for which efforts were being made, and a proposal forwarded to the Sindh government, and efforts were also being made to auction plots to comply with the court’s order.

The court modified the order dated 17.12.2020 and asked the KDA to release the salaries of all employees according to their wage bill by withdrawing the restriction imposed by the order dated 17.12.2020 forthwith with the strict caution that compliance for the remaining amount should be made and for submitting further progress report.

The court adjourning this case to February 18 observed that KDA was also at liberty to make transfers and postings according to their exigency and administrative requirement in accordance with the law by discharging the restraining order passed by the division bench earlier.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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