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ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Thursday declared the reinstatement of 69 employees of the Pakistan Agriculture and Research Council (PARC) on the orders of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) – the top parliamentary watchdog – as illegal.

The court order said that the PAC or the National Assembly (NA) could not use the executive power to restore employees without legislation in the house. Earlier, Shahkhawar, the counsel for the petitioner had requested the bench to send the matter to relevant board for a decision as no negative message should be gone from the court.

Chief Justice Athar Minallah said this was not court of mercy instead this was court of law, adding that there was no need to send it to the board. Subsequently, the court declared restoration of 69 employees as null and void.

The employees were restored on August 25 on the instructions of the PAC. The PARC administration on July 24, 2021 had laid off 69 employees, appointed over a decade ago in alleged violation of rules and regulations. These 69 employees included officers from grade-17 to grade-19 and they were part of a group of 269 employees that the administration had decided to lay off in phases.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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