1,200 KPT workers deny being appointed on political grounds

Port authority had terminated services of employees hired between June 9, 2012 and Nov 12, 2013


Our Correspondent November 14, 2016

KARACHI: The appointment of 1,200 workers in different departments of the Karachi Port Trust (KPT) between June 2012 and November 2013 were not made on political grounds, the employees' lawyers informed the Sindh High Court (SHC) on Monday.

Therefore, the judges directed the lawyers representing the employees as well as the KPT to file their written arguments by December 23, including orders passed by the Supreme Court in this regard.

In March, the court had suspended the operation of the show-cause notices served by the KPT management terminating the services of those employees who had been appointed between June 9, 2012, and November 21, 2013.

A number of employees, who claimed to have been appointed in various departments of the port trust and regularised upon fulfillment of the required formalities, had challenged the show-cause notices issued by the KPT.

The petitioner said port authorities issued show-cause notices to them, alleging that their appointments were made on the basis of nepotism, cronyism and in sheer disregard of the free, transparent process of regularisation. The notice stated that the prime minister had not issued any directives to regularise the employees nor were their appointments legal or made through a public advertisement.

The employees' lawyer, Advocate Owais Ali Shah, argued that the show-cause notices had been issued and an inquiry was conducted regarding the violation of the KPT's rules. He further argued that the respondents had not followed the laid down legal course for termination of any worker's services.

Shah denied the allegations that the appointments and regularisations of the petitioners' services were made as a political favour or that the same violated service rules. During Monday's proceedings, the petitioners' lawyers completed their arguments. Therefore, the court asked the lawyers representing the petitioners, the KPT and the federal government to submit their written arguments by December 23.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 15th, 2016.

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