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ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court held that employees of the National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) are not “government servants” or “civil servants” as defined in the Civil Servants Act, 1973.

The judgment authored by Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah said that the NBP, as per Section 3(2) of the National Bank of Pakistan Ordinance, 1949, is a body corporate, and its employees are employees of a statutory corporation, not of the federal government.

“We are cognizant of the legal position that the NBP, being a statutory corporation, is amenable to the writ jurisdiction of the High Courts under Article 199 of the Constitution and its employees when are governed or proceeded against under the statutory rules can also avail the recourse to the writ jurisdiction for the redressal of their grievances in respect of their service matters.”

However, this legal position does not merge the NBP, a separate juristic person, into the federal government, nor in any manner blur the distinction between NBP a Statutory Corporation and the federal government, a constitutional body or in any manner turn the employees of the NBP into the employees of the federal government, said SC judgment.

Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah and Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar passed the verdict against the judgment of Peshawar High Court (PHC) dated 01.10.2019.

The petitioner, Muhammad Naeem, an employee of the NBP, had challenged the said notification of the Finance Division dated 30-12-2015 and the circular of Head Office of the NBP dated 15-01-2016 in the PHC through a writ petition, asserting that the employees of the NBP are government servants/ officers as they fall within the scope of the definition of “public servant” provided in clause ninth of Section 21 and Explanation of Section 161 of the PPC.

The PHC dismissed the writ petition on 01.10.2019, by holding that the NBP is a statutory body and its employees are not civil servants or government servants.

The petitioner approached the apex court against the PHC verdict.

The Court clarified that the terms “civil servant” and “government servant”, having almost the same meaning and scope, are commonly used interchangeably in the civil service laws of Pakistan.

The term “public servant” as defined in Section 21 of the PPC for the purpose of application of that law is; however, of wide import and scope than those terms. It cannot; therefore, be referred to or used as an equivalent or synonym of them, in the context of a person’s civil status, capacity or position.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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Zafar Dec 19, 2022 08:45am
Dear SC, NBP will still work like a govt deptt.
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K Khan Dec 21, 2022 01:17pm
Waste of SC time. It can be more selective in accepting appeals for sure
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gnay.aly Dec 23, 2022 03:21am
As many employees of NBP were projecting themselves as equivalent to civil servants Grade 17-22 which now forever settled after ruling of Supreme Court of Pakistan.
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Waseem Jul 05, 2023 11:54pm
Labyrinth of law and interpretation... A non Muslim said, welfare of people is supreme law.
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