The Supreme Court (SC) on Saturday declared the decision of the Peshawar High Court (PHC) to reinstate 73 sacked Local Council Board employees as null and void.
The division bench of the SC Peshawar Branch Registry, comprising Justices Mian Saqib Nisar and Sheikh Azmat Saeed, endorsed the decision of the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa government to sack the employees while hearing an appeal against the PHC decision.
The attorney of the Local Council Board, Malik Haroon Iqbal, told the bench that the previous provincial government appointed candidates as sub engineers and administration officers based on political affiliation rather than merit.
Iqbal stated that when the present government assumed power, it terminated 73 employees from service because they were not appointed through the proper procedure.
“Once removed, the employees approached the PHC, which subsequently suspended the provincial government’s order and reinstated them. The decision of the high court was not based on facts and many legal points were not considered,” the counsel argued.
The division bench upheld the decision of the K-P government and declared the verdict of PHC to reinstate the employees as null and void.
On July 4, the PHC bench of Justices Yahya Afridi and Musarrat Hilali set aside the provincial government’s decision of not issuing posting orders for employees of the Local Council Board. The decision was declared illegal and the government was directed to issue posting orders.
The petition of the sacked employees stated that authorities had advertised for positions of accountants, sub engineers and administration officers on March 11, 2013. It added that the candidates were selected for employment after being tested and all legal formalities being completed.
“The petitioners are neither being given jobs on their appointment letters nor are they being sent for training. They fear that duties are not being assigned due to ulterior motives and mala fide intentions,” it read.
“The whole exercise of testing and interviewing was conducted and eligible candidates were issued appointment letters afterwards. However, the refusal of the respondents to issue posting orders and release the salaries of the petitioners is against the fundamental rights guaranteed by the Constitution,” the counsel of the employees had stated.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 19th, 2014.