PHC CJ’s decision in WWB case defended

SC told Justice Seth’s order in line with top court judgment


Hasnaat Mailk April 15, 2020
Peshawar High Court. PHOTO: PPI/FILE

ISLAMABAD:  

The Peshawar High Court registrar on Tuesday submitted a concise statement to the Supreme Court, defending PHC Chief Justice Waqar Ahmad Seth's proceedings in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Workers Welfare Board (WWB) employees case.

Last week, the apex court had directed the PHC CJ not to hear the case relating to terms and conditions of services of contract employees in the WWB and summoned the PHC registrar for an explanation.

The lawyer for the WWB had informed the top court that the PHC CJ was not following the precedent set by the SC and rejected his request for the formation of a larger bench to hear the case pertaining to the regularisation or reinstatement of a teacher in Swabi.

PHC Registrar Khawaja Wajihuddin submitted a three-page concise statement wherein it was stated that in view of Article 189 of the Constitution, the PHC was following the SC's latest judgment on the matter and the high court had no cavil if the apex court ordered fixing another bench of the high court or a larger bench to hear the matter.

“The apex court in its 2016 judgment held that the rules of board are statutory in nature therefore writ petitions under Article 199 are maintainable,” the statement read.

“After this judgment, there is not even a single judgment wherein this judgment has been overruled. Indeed there are 2/3 judgments of the apex court wherein without discussing this aspect of case, had held that contractual employees of statutory body even cannot ask for regularisation or reinstatement after the termination of contractual obligations.”

The statement further read that SC had ruled that the right to regularisation of the services of employees was held maintainable before the high court.

“Larger benches are constituted when there is difference of opinion on any question of law between two benches of that court. The latest SC judgment on same subject is binding in view of Article 189 of the Constitution.”

The PHC registrar contended that the counsel for the petitioner had misguided the SC that there were different judgments on the point of regularisation and termination of contractual obligations of WWB employees, adding that the case was entirely different in nature.

Regarding the claim that there had been consistent violation of Article 189 of the Constitution especially by PHC bench No 1 headed by the high court’s chief justice, the registrar submitted that Justice Seth in his February 17 order had made it very clear that the decision to turn down the request to form a larger bench was made in view of the latest SC judgment.

“However, the main judgment in the matter before PHC is yet to be delivered in view of Article 189 of the Constitution,” the statement read.

“Having laid down our earnest submissions, this court will stop at nothing to honor and implement every judgment and order of the apex court and have no cojals and cavil, if the apex court fixes the matter for decision before any other bench of the Peshawar High Court or for that matter even before the larger bench.”

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