Why did parliament give benefit to specific group by legislation, says SC

Dunya News

Why did parliament give benefit to specific group by legislation, says SC

ISLAMABAD (Dunya News) – Supreme Court of Pakistan (SC) on Monday said that why did parliament give benefit to specific group by legislation. It mentioned that if SC excludes people, no legislation could exempt them from the implementation.

The hearing of 16,000 government employees’ cases took place in Supreme Court. Meanwhile Aitzaz Ahsan and Waseem Sajjad also appeared before the court.

Supreme Court of Pakistan resumed hearing of the review petitions of the federal government and the sacked employees against its judgment to declare Sacked Employees (Reinstatement) Act, 2010 ultra vires of the Constitution and the Civil Servants Act 1973.

A five-member larger bench of the apex court headed by Justice Umar Ata Bandial was conduct hearing of the review petitions wherein it had previously turned down pleas to suspend its judgment due to that over 16,000 employees of various government and the semi-governments departments were rendered jobless.

Almost all counsels representing the sacked employees had prayed that till the final order of the court on the review petitions the judgment be suspended. 

The bench also dismissed the plea to give medical allowance to the sacked employees

On the last hearing, Raza Rabbani, who represented the sacked employees, said that his clients are facing miserable condition due to the judgment, therefore requested the court to suspend its own judgment.

Justice Bandial said that the court is aware of their problems, but they have to fulfil the constitutional and the legal requirements.

“We also want the employees are reinstated,” he added. He said that on Monday (December 6), they would examine the aspect of restoring the sacked employees.

Shah Khawar, also counsel for sacked employees, said that 30 of his clients have passed away aftermath of the judgment. He also prayed the court to suspend the judgment and said the arguments on the legal aspects of the matter would continue.

Justice Bandial directed all the counsels representing the employees to focus on the legal points of the case and added that the judgment has declared the Act void. “We need assistance on the legal points,” he maintained.

Aitzaz Ahsan, another employees’ lawyer, said the judge who had to announce the judgment was removed. When he was restored then the decision on ex-CJP Iftikhar Chaurdhry case was announced.

Justice Mansoor Ali noted that the employees were inducted in violation of the law, and when the employees were reinstated, they were provided financial protection through the legislation. He questioned whether the law has room for it?

Justice Bandial said that when people are recruited against the law then human rights are violated. He said that even if the court accepts that people were recruited on political basis but they were also removed on political basis. He said that it also came to their knowledge that many employees’ contracts had ended. The Parliament after restoring such employees provided financial cover.

Justice Mansoor said that employees whose contracts had ended were regularised in 2002. It affected seniority of those employees recruited in 2006 and 2007, observed Justice Sajjad Ali Shah.

Waseem Sajjad contended that it was not only an issue of seniority. He said that the judgment said the Act had affected the fundamental rights of the employees, therefore the Act is declared null and void.

Advocate Iftikhar Gilani, who also represented the sacked employees, informed that his 173 clients were reinstated under the Ordinance and not the Act, and the apex court had set aside the Act and not the Ordinance.

Justice Sajjad said that the incumbent federal government has approached the court against the SC judgment. He said that if the employees were sacked wrongly then it should restore them. He noted that many departments have not sacked the employees on the expiry of their contracts.

The Secretary Establishment Division in September 2021 had filed the review petition under Article 188 of Constitution and cited 93 individuals, who were affected by the judgment, as respondents. It prayed to suspend the operation of the impugned judgment till the final disposal of the review petition.

Justice Mushir Alam, before his retirement (August 17, 2021), delivered the judgment declaring the Act ultra vires and said the effect of such a declaration is that any/all the benefits accrued to be beneficiaries are to be ceased with immediate effect. “The beneficiaries of the Act, 2010, who are still in service, will go back to their previous positions, i.e. to date when the operation of the Act 2010 has taken effect,” the judgment said.

The review petition contended that the impugned judgment was reserved on 16-12-2019, and was announced on 17-08-2021 i.e. after 20 months, which is against the set principles of due process.

The submissions/arguments of the parties have not been recorded in the judgment, which indicates that due to passage of long period of time, important points that may have been raised by the parties during arguments escaped notice of the bench, which passed the judgment.