Retired ophthalmology institute director's reappointment declared illegal.

HYDERABAD -- A division bench of Sindh High Court's Hyderabad circuit has termed the age relaxation or intended reappointment of Dr Khalid Talpur, the retired executive director of Sindh Institute of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences (SIOVS), illegal. Dr Talpur was removed from the post under an earlier court order.

The bench comprising Justice Mohammad Iqbal Kalhoro and Justice Adnanul Karim Memon signed the detailed order (which was reserved by another bench) on Monday.

Dr Arshad Lodhi had, through Advocate Sarmad Hani, filed a petition questioning government's alleged intention to reappoint Dr Talpur, who was represented by Advocate Malik Naeem Iqbal in the case.

The petitioner had prayed court to declare the May 10 advertisement regarding appointment of SIOVS executive director 'person-specific' and violative of the relevant 2013 Act, Rules 2021 and Terms and Conditions Rules 2021. He submitted in court that the age bracket for the post could not exceed 60 years as provided under the Terms and Conditions Rules 2021. He pleaded for declaring that only a 'serving' professor could hold the office.

He also urged the court to declare the minutes of the April 27, 2022 meeting of SIOVS board of directors unlawful.

The petitioner's counsel alleged that the age relaxation in the ad was offered just to accommodate respondent Dr Talpur who, he said, had reached the age of superannuation on Nov 3, 2020. He recalled that the reappointment of the respondent vide Nov 26, 2020 notification was questioned by the petitioner and court had allowed his petition on Dec 24, 2021. The court had directed the competent authority to de-notify the reappointment.

He claimed that the purpose of enhancing the age bracket from 60 to 65 years was a conscious attempt to enable the respondent to participate in the process of appointment.

Additional Advocate General (AAG) Allah Bachayo Soomro informed the bench about the status of the matter saying that recommendation had been finalised and only the result was to be announced. He added that Dr Talpur was shortlisted for the post and that an appointment on the post was subject to order of this court.

The respondent doctor's counsel, Malik Naeem lqbal, refuted stance of the petitioner, arguing that the May 10 ad was placed in terms of court's December 14 order. He submitted that the ad was not 'person-specific' to accommodate Dr Talpur but was aimed at providing an opportunity to experienced and senior professionals in the...

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