KARACHI: A previous court order to reinstate 94 of the 294 sacked Karachi Electric Supply Company (KESC) officers was suspended by the Sindh High Court (SHC) during an appeal on Friday. However, another 45 officers who were re-employed in a separate petition were allowed to go back to work.
Justices Gulzar Ahmed and Muhammad Tasnim directed for a stay on the ruling of a single judge who ordered the reinstatement of 94 officers who had been fired by KESC on April 19, 2010.
Earlier on, when the SHC had suspended the sacking orders for 45 officers, another 94 officers were encouraged to also file suit, which went in their favour. This suit had cited the KESC, the water and power secretary and the privatisation commission as respondents.
The officers’ lawyers stated that there was no specific allegation against them. They were not served show-cause notices either before they were told to leave. And because KESC had said that “corrupt and unsuitable” employees were being sacked, this made it difficult for them to get new jobs elsewhere.
Abdul Sattar Pirzada advocate who had represented the defendant KESC in the initial case was removed after he lost. He failed to win the judges over when he argued that KESC could sack people any time if their performance was not satisfactory as it was a private organisation in which the relation between the employer and employee was that of a “master and servant”.
KESC’s new lawyer Barrister Khalid Javed Khan began the appeal by questioning the decree in the suit for declaration and damages.
Barrister Salahuddin Ahmed and Gohar Iqbal advocate represented the officers and claimed that the sacking of the employees was illegal as they fell within the category of essential maintenance staff.
They submitted that KESC amended the Rules of Service in 2002 and sacked the plaintiffs.
The judgment directed KESC to pay all arrears of their salaries and other perks within 15 days.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 6th, 2011.