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LAHORE: The Lahore High Court held that enrolment through daily wages, without any prescribed criteria, standards, and transparent procedure, cannot be a route to becoming a civil servant or regular employee in the public sector.

The court said a civil servant can only be appointed against a permanent post in the manner provided under the relevant law and after following the mandatory requirements prescribed under the Civil Servant Act, 1973, and the Civil Servants (Appointment, Promotion and Transfer), rules.

The court passed this order in a petition of Hasnain Afzal and other employees of the Punjab Local Government Board.

KP caretaker cabinet approves minimum wage for laborers to Rs32,000

The petitioners were appointed purely on a temporary/ daily wage basis in the Punjab Local Government Board in the years 2011-2012 and since then they have been performing their duties.

They challenged the order whereby the petitioners’ representation to treat them as regular employees instead of permanent workmen had been declined.

The court observed that the daily wager can only be treated as a permanent employee/ workman under the Ordinance of 1968.

The court referred a case law and said the Supreme Court has held that the services of a daily wage employee shall be governed by the Industrial and Commercial Employment (Standing Orders) Ordinance, 1968 and he shall be considered a permanent workman if he is performing his duties continuously for more than 9 months.

In such cases, where the labour courts have passed such direction to regularise the services of the daily wage/work charge employees, they may be declared as permanent workmen’ only, in light of Punjab Industrial & Commercial Employment Standing (Orders) Ordinance 1968, the apex court held.

The court said the impugned appointment orders of the petitioners as permanent workmen subject to appeal are not only in line with the relevant law but also the aforesaid policy. However, the aforesaid policy is not under challenge in this writ petition, the court added.

The court said no rules/ regulations, criteria, or standards for the appointment of daily wagers were prescribed at the relevant time by the Board. The petitioners were not enrolled after advertising the posts through competition on open merit.

The court observed that no provision in any relevant previous law of the Local Government or Policy of the Board has been referred to, under which daily wagers who were not enrolled through open merit competition, shall be treated as regular employees of the Board.

The court held there is no force in the argument that since other similarly placed persons have been regularised; therefore, the petitioners are also entitled to the same relief.

The court said the initial appointments of the petitioners on a daily wage basis were made in violation of the principles of transparency and thus void, the court held.

It is settled law that illegality cannot be made a ground for discrimination nor would give rise to rights being accrued in favour of the petitioners, the court added.

The court; therefore, dismissed the petition and observed no illegality or infirmity was found in the impugned order, whereby their representation was declined by the respondent.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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Mazhar Hayat Nov 14, 2023 02:08am
I think discrimination might be the derivative of illegal act but designed discrimination is an artificial discrimination but not discrimination.
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