Court ruling: K-P mines dept ordered to process licences

Bench suspends order to terminate services of nine officers of OGDCL

Our Correspondent August 25, 2016
Bench suspends order to terminate services of nine officers of OGDCL. PHOTO: PPI

PESHAWAR: A division bench of the Peshawar High Court ordered the mineral development department to process applications filed to obtain prospective licences.

Justice Qaiser Rasheed and Justice Ibrahim Khan heard a petition on Thursday. The petition was filed by Qazi Badrul Wahab and others through their counsel Naveed Akhtar.

Akhtar said hundreds of people have applied for the licences for a survey regarding mining. However, the department has banned the issuance of the licences.

He said the ban was lifted after a long time and the department sought fresh applications for the licences, which was illegal. He argued the department should give preference to the applications filed earlier by the petitioners. On the contrary, the department was trying to ignore them. The counsel said previous applications were deleted due to technical faults in the computers.

Rasheed said the applicants are not to blame and it is the department’s responsibility to keep records safe. The bench ordered the department to decide previous applications on merit.

Order suspended

In other proceedings, the bench also suspended an order issued by the federal government for the sacking of nine officers of Oil and Gas Development Authority (OGDCL) and ordered the government to submit its reply.

The bench was hearing a petition filed by Taj Muhammad along with grade-17 officers through their counsel Khalid Anwar. It was informed that the petitioners were appointed in OGDCL in 1996 but were terminated from their services after a year.

The officers reasoned that their appointments were made on political grounds. Anwar said when the Pakistan Peoples Party came to power it passed a law to reinstate the government servants whose services had been terminated.

He argued that around 372 employees, including the petitioners, were reinstated and their services regularised. However, the federal government has once again started subjecting them to political victimisation.

According to the counsel, the federal government sent them along with 320 others to the surplus pool where they were likely to be terminated from their services as recently 22 new recruitments have been made.

He argued employees hailing from Sindh have obtained a stay order against federal government’s decision.

The bench, after hearing the arguments, suspended the order.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 26th, 2016.


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