ISLAMABAD The Supreme Court on Friday directed the Attorney General for Pakistan to inform the court what measures the Government had taken for the appointment of new Chairman of Central Zakat Council. The court also asked for the regularisation of employees working in the Zakat and Usher Ministry for the last six months. A two-member bench headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry was hearing a suo moto case for the regularisation of Zakat Councils employees. The CJ observed that almost one year had passed and the Government had not yet appointed the Councils chairman. Joint Secretary Ministry of Religious Affairs and Zakat and Usher, Aftab Mehmood, informed the court that Councils Chairman Justice (Retd) Javed Butter had resigned on 8th October 2009 and the Ministry forwarded his resignation to the PM on 2nd November 2009 for approval. The Chief Justice asked Attorney General Maulvi Anwar-ul-Haq to pursue the matter, as the council could not function effectively in the absence of the chairman. The CJ observed that employees who had been working in Zakat Council for the last six years had not been regularised. The Attorney General said that the issue could not be resolved without consulting the Provincial Governments because according to the 18th Amendment Zakat and Usher subject will be transferred to the provinces after June 2011. The Chief Justice remarked, When Zakat department is permanent, then there should be no discrimination, adding this is a clear case of discrimination. The Joint Secretary said there were a total of 4,537 employees in the Ministry of Zakat and Usher. He informed that employees who were called 'amaleen were being paid from zakat funds because the Zakat Department was not getting funds from national exchequer or the consolidate funds from the Federal Government. The Joint Secretary informed that the Government increased salaries of Zakat Departments employees by 40 percent and, therefore, the maximum salary was Rs 13, 000 while the minimum stood at Rs 7,000. He further informed that zakat-paid employees were neither employees of the Federal Government nor they were provincial employees. Justice Khalil-ur-Rehman Ramday remarked that they were performing the same work like other employees of the Federal and Provincial Governments. He asked the Attorney General, Some Ulema have issued decree that zakat money can be spent on its departments employees. This is a right thing and it should be applied. The court directed the Federal Secretary of Zakat and Usher and the Chief Secretaries of the provinces to submit para-wise reply on the issue and adjourned the hearing till September 17.