Top court says ‘leave refusal’ order does not set precedent

Observation given in a written order wherein proceedings of PHC are suspended in KP WWB employees’ case

Hasnaat Malik April 24, 2020

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court (SC) has declared that a “leave refusal” order does not set any precedent.

“It is an established law that where a petition is dismissed and leave refused, such order of this court (SC) apparently is not an order falling under Article 189 of the Constitution as it does not lay down any law rather maintain what is said by high court and cannot be cited as precedent," the apex court said.

The observation has been given in a five-page written order wherein the proceedings of Peshawar High Court (PHC) are suspended in a case relating to terms and conditions of service of contract employees in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Workers Welfare Board (WWB) case until the final decision of the apex court.

Earlier, PHC registrar had submitted a concise statement in the SC defending PHC Chief Justice Waqar Ahmad Seth’s proceedings in the case.

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The three judge-bench led by Chief Justice of Pakistan Gulzar Ahmed in its written order noted that the question about maintainability of writ under Article 199 came under consideration before the high court which declared that writ was maintainable against KP WWB.

However the apex court on February 1, 2019 set aside the PHC order.

The order also noted that PHC decided 12 writ petitions on a single day on November 21, 2019.

"The main feature of these judgments is that they altogether ignored several apex court’s verdicts.”

However, Attorney General for Pakistan Khalid Javed Khan stated that appeal against same high court November 21, 2019 judgment was still pending in the apex court.

Keeping in view the circumstances, the court ordered registrar office to fix all WWB petitions against PHC November 21, 2019 judgment before the court.

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In the meanwhile, proceedings before high court shall remain suspended.

Earlier, PHC Registrar Khawaja Wajihuddin had submitted a three-page concise statement wherein it was stated that in view of Article 189 of the Constitution, the PHC was following the top court’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.