ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) barred all the ministries and departments from implementing the recommendations of the National Assembly’s Special Committee on Affected Employees for the regularisation of contract and daily wage employees.

A single bench of Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani announced the verdict in different petitions challenging the recommendations of the National Assembly’s Special Committee on Affected Employees, under the chairmanship of Qadir Khan Mandokhel.

The petitioners had challenged the directions and recommendations conveyed by the Ministry of Federal Education and Professional Training, whereby, the Special Committee on Affected Employees, under the chairmanship of Qadir Khan Mandokhel, extended recommendations for regularisation and reinstatement of employees of daily wages and contract employees.

Contract employee cannot claim extension of service deal as a right: LHC

Justice Kayani wrote in his written order that said committee under Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the National Assembly 2007, cannot go beyond its terms of reference as provided in the circular dated 12.10.2022.

He added, “It is settled proposition of law that what cannot be done “per directum is not permissible to be done per obliquum” meaning thereby, whatever is prohibited by law to be done, cannot legally be affected by an indirect and circuitous contrivance on the principle of “quandoalquid prohibetur, prohibetur et omneperquoddevineturadillud”.

In addition, the AAG representative of the federal government also does not support the recommendations given by the Special Committee, even National Assembly has already exhausted its term.

“The recommendations have no legal effect and all the recommendations are void, therefore, all the ministries, departments, including but not limited to Employees Old-Age Benefits Institution (EOBI), Capital Development Authority (CDA), Oversees Pakistan Foundation (OPF) and Pakistan Steel Mills as well as FIA are directed not to impose those recommendations as the same are illegal, however, any such direction if implemented forcibly by the said committee is also declared void and departments are bound to undo such orders.

In case any action has been initiated against officials on the recommendations of the said committee for non-compliance of recommendations all those actions are also declared illegal having no legal effect,“ declared the IHC bench.

The counsel for the petitioners by and large challenged the recommendations and directions given by the Special Committee of National Assembly headed by Qadir Khan Mandokhel MNA, who had given multiple directions with reference to the daily wagers, contract and project employees for their regularization in violation of settled principles of law; that the special committee gave directions to the senior officials of the institution of EOBI, Ministry of Education, Federal Directorate of Education, secretary OPF, to go by the recommendations, failing which further actions were recommended with direction to DG FIA for initiation of enquiry and departmental actions for removal of those officials; that the mandate of special committee is limited and its nature is advisory according to rules; that the committee has no authority to implement recommendations by forcing executives to implement contrary to the legal position as well as decisions made by the High Courts and Supreme Court of Pakistan.

The IHC’s verdict mentioned that conversely, the counsel for National Assembly Secretariat contended that this Court has no jurisdiction to proceed against the Special Committee of the National Assembly in terms of Article-69 of the Constitution, nor internal proceedings can be called in question in the constitutional jurisdiction, therefore, all these writ petitions are not maintainable.

The AAG appearing on behalf of the federal government and different ministries contended that the federal government will not support the recommendations given by the National Assembly Special Committee headed by Qadir Khan Mandokhel as all those directions and recommendations are against the law, even all those recommendations have not been placed before the competent forum for their approval for further placement before the house to make enactments on those recommendations if required so.

The court observed that perusal of record in all these cases reveals that a common question on the working of the Special Committee of National Assembly is involved that has given recommendations and directions on the issue of regularisation of contract, daily wages and project employees.

The recommendations given are concerning to reinstatement of terminated employees, seniority of officials, and direction for initiation of action against chairman EOBI, secretary Ministry of OPF as well as officials of the Federal Directorate of Education in the Ministry of Education for non-compliance of directions.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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