Top Stories

SC adjourns hearing of review petitions in sacked employees case

Written by The Frontier Post

ISLAMABAD (APP): The Supreme Court on Tuesday adjourned hearing of the review petitions filed by the federal government and the sacked employees against judgment declaring Sacked Employees (Reinstatement) Act, 2010 ultra vires of the Constitution till Wednesday.
A five-member larger bench of the apex court headed by Justice Umar Ata Bandial, Justice Syed MAnsoor Ali Shah, Justice Sajjad Ali Shah, Justice Qazi Muhammad Amin and Justice Amin-Ud-Din Khan heard review petitions filed by the government and sacked workers against the judgment, which struck down the Sacked Employees (Reinstatement) Ordinance Act, 2010.
During the course of proceedings, Advocate Waseem Sajjad counsel for two sacked employees of Sui Northern Gas Pipeline Company Ltd (SNGPL) appeared before the bench and stated that he wanted to reply two queries asked by Justice Mansoor Ali Shah.
He said that senior government employee’s superannuation age was 60 while the retirement age for a junior civil servant was 58 years. He said if a senior government employee served for ten years, he was entitled to a pension. If a junior government employee served for 15 years, he was entitled to a pension, he added.
Advocate Aitzaz Ahsan counsel for the Intelligence Bureau (IB) sacked employees said that President Farooq Leghari dissolved the National Assembly and overthrew Benazir Bhutto’s government in 1996. The caretaker government then fired IB employees one day before the end of their term without issuing any show cause notices, he said and added that then Nawaz Sharif came to power with a two-third majority in the National Assembly.
Justice Bandial said that the court had already decided the matter regarding termination of employees by the caretaker government. The court could not review this matter in the review petitions, he added.
He asked Aitzaz to argue about ordinance and act.
Justice Mansoor said that the Supreme Court had ruled in a decision that the process of firing employees was correct.
Aitzaz Ahsan said that the Supreme Court had ruled in two decisions that the caretaker government did not have the power to appoint and terminate employees. “There was no need for ordinance or act in my case,” he added.
Upon this, Justice Amin addressing Aitzaz said that according to his arguments there was no need to file a review petition in his case.
Aitzaz said that the IB employees worked for ten years even after the ordinance was issued.
Justice Mansoor asked Aitzaz suppose if the court declared appointment of a person illegal, would he be entitled to benefits after ten years of service? Aitzaz responded that there was a decision of the Supreme Court in this regard.
He said that the IB employees were fired without hearing. No one had ever challenged the recruitment of IB employees, he added. He said that legislation regarding Sacked Employees Reinstatement Act was to benefit employees.
Then an important question raised, Justice Mansoor said and asked why legislation was made only for 1993 and 1996 employees? Was there a war at that time or was the country in the grip of an epidemic? In the past, thousands of employees had been fired, either correctly or incorrectly, he said and added that the process for recruitment and termination of employees was continued since 1947. He asked what was so special that legislation was made to restore sacked employees of 1993 to 1996?
Aitzaz Ahsan said that the caretaker government maliciously fired the emp-loyees. A 17-member full court bench of the Supreme Court recognized the supremacy of Parliament.
Justice Mansoor asked could the Supreme Court annul the Act of Parliament?
Aitzaz replied that the Supreme Court had the power to annul the Act but should try to secure the Act. If the Act of Parliament was in conflict with fundamental rights, it could be declared null and void, he added.
He said that the annulment of a law applied to the future and if the Act of Parliament was repealed, it could not be applied from the past.
He said that revoking the law did not affect past recruitment. The formation of the Islamabad High Court was challenged in the Supreme Court and the Supreme Court had declared the formation of the Islamabad High Court unconstitutional, he added.
He said that the Supreme Court in its decision did not terminate the employees recruited in the Islamabad High Court and provided protection to them.
The Supreme Court has decided that the government should include the recruited employees in the surplus pool, he added.
He said that the apex court had also granted protection in the judges’ pension case.
Advocate Latif Khosa counsel for sacked employees of SNGPL and State Life Insurance said that these employees were recruited between 1993 and 1996 while the interim government fired all employees through the executive order in 1997. When the sacked employees approached the Supreme Court, some of them got reinstated, he added.

About the author

The Frontier Post

Leave a Reply