Federal govt challenges SC judgement on Sacked Employees Act

Additional Attorney General Sajid Ilyas files the review petition


Hasnaat Malik September 28, 2021
Supreme Court of Pakistan. PHOTO: REUTERS/FILE

ISLAMABAD:

The federal government on Tuesday challenged the Supreme Court's judgment regarding the removal of thousands of employees by striking down the Sacked Employees (Reinstatement) Ordinance Act, 2010.

Additional Attorney General Sajid Ilyas filed a review petition against SC’s August 16 judgment.

The review petition stated that the court passed the judgment without issuing formal notice under order XXVIIA, CPC and hearing the attorney general of Pakistan particularly with reference to the constitutionality of the Act.

Likewise, the employees who had been conferred benefits under the Act and number in thousands, were neither heard nor provided an opportunity of hearing before the adverse action was taken against them, says the review petition.

The petition further stated that the judgment under review was passed ignoring the principle of natural justice and is liable to be reviewed and recalled on this ground alone and that the impugned judgment was reserved on 16.12.2019 but was not announced until 17.08.2021 i-e after a lapse of 20 months which is against the set principles of due process.

Read More: Govt to challenge SC order on sacked employees law

“Though there is a clear finding in the impugned judgment that the Act is ultra vires the provisions of Articles 240 and 242, it is submitted that there was no inconsistency between these provisions and the Act. The Parliament was competent to legislate in respect of employees in the service of federal corporations, bodies or organization to which the Act was applied,” the review petition added.

"It is submitted that legitimate rights and interests of the existing employees including their seniority positions and promotion prospects could have been protected without declaring the entire Act as ultra vires the Constitution."

"The issue of seniority under the Act had to be resolved on a case-to-case basis and the Act could not be struck down on this ground. The Act could have been read down or if there was any offending provision, it could have been severed," the review petition prayed further.

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