ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court remanded the case of regularisation of the services of Sui Southern Gas Company Limited workers to the Sindh High Court (SHC) and directed its chief justice to constitute a larger bench to ponder the question of the legal entitlement of purported employees of the SSGCL.
A five-judge bench, headed by Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial, and comprising Justice Ijazul Ahsan, Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar, Justice Ayesha A Malik, and Justice Athar Minallah, on Thursday, heard the petitions of the SSGCL contract employees.
The bench gave the order to CJ SHC for the constitution of the larger bench as the High Court’s two-division bench rendered contradictory verdicts on the petitions of the SSGCL workers. Two sets of petitions were filed before the apex court.
One set of petitions was filed by the alleged employers, while the other by the ‘purported workers against the two separate judgments of the SHC. In one set, the employees have challenged the SHC 2021 judgment, wherein, regularisation of their service was held by the high court maintainable and the matter was sent to the company for ascertaining of actual dispute where the claimant employees were considered for regularisation.
A division bench of the SHC on 07-04-2020 in CP Nos D-5850 and D-5851 of 2020 had allowed the petition of employees of the SSGCL and ordered their regularisation in service.
The other set of petitions were against the high court judgment, wherein, the petitions for the regularisation were held not maintainable. Another division bench of the SHC on 26.08.2022 held that a contract employee cannot seek enforcement of a contract in writ jurisdiction; nor even otherwise, a writ by a contract employee is competent against a Company duly incorporated under the Companies Act, 2017.
During the proceeding, the counsel of the contract employees submitted that they (workers) were appointed in different grades to vacant posts on wages from 1992 to 2012 and they were eligible to be regularised under the office memorandum of August 29, 2008, issued by the Establishment Division.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2022