Court Orders CSS Exam To Be In Urdu
LAHORE: The Lahore High Court has directed the Federal Public Service Commission (FPSC) to henceforth conduct the coveted Central Superior Service examination in Urdu language. The decision was taken in view of the Supreme Court’s judgment regarding the enforcement of Urdu as the official national language in 2015 and is to be implemented from next year (2018).
The order was passed by Justice Atir Mahmood following a petition filed by Advocate Saifur Rehman, who was a registered candidate for the 2017 CSS exam. He claimed that the FPSC advertisement that announced the examination was misleading in regards to which language the exam would be conducted in. The petitioner extended his argument to the fact that every year the exam was held in English but this specific advertisement was silent about which language the exam would be held in despite the SC having ordered the implementation of Urdu. He requested the court to order the Commission to conduct the CSS examination in Urdu language as directed by the Supreme Court in 2015.
In retrospect, the 2015 judgment involved the Supreme Court directing the federal and provincial governments to exercise their constitutional obligation and implement Urdu as the official language of the country. The verdict was passed by a three-member bench headed by Chief Justice Jawwad S Khawaja. The judgment was binding on statutory and regulatory bodies of the federal as well as provincial governments. The court ordered copies of the judgment to be circulated amongst Federal and Provincial Secretaries, who were to take immediate steps regarding the implementation of this decision and enforcement of Article 251 of the Constitution.
Article 251 of the Constitution states:
(1) The national language of Pakistan is Urdu, and arrangements shall be made for it being used for official and other purposes within fifteen years from the commencing day.
(2) Subject to clause (1), the English language may be used for official purposes until arrangements are made for its replacement by Urdu.
Drawing on this, the court held the decision to conduct the exam in Urdu come 2018.
However, the petitioner’s plea for the court to take action in accordance with the Supreme Court’s ruling, this year, was disregarded given the scarcity of time.
The judge held there was no denial of the fact that the judgment of the apex court was required to be implemented in letter and spirit. However, since the practice of conducting the examination in English has long been in place by the FPSC, it needs adequate time to make proper arrangements and shift from one language to the other. The matter has already been taken up by the FPSC with the Higher Education Commission (HEC).
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