LAHORE - The LHC on Tuesday adjourned proceedings till April 21 in a petition by Punjab Civil Services Welfare Association (PCSWA) president and others challenging the show-cause notice issued to them and subsequent suspension orders. LHC Chief Justice Ijaz Ahmad Chaudhry deferred the hearing on a request from the petitioners/ suspended officers as their counsel lawyer Hamid Khan could not appear in court owing to some other engagements.
The petition was filed by the PCSWA President Manzoor Hussain and eight other officers through their counsel Hamid Khan submitting that the PCSWA had been collectively striving for their rights in all provinces which had been usurped by the District Management Group (DMG) officers of the federation. They submitted that the DMG group had a strong lobby both at the federal and provincial level; therefore Punjab Civil Services (PCS) officers were not favoured particularly in case of promotions and postings.
Referring to the remedial measures suggested by the provincial selection board and the Punjab Assembly to address the issue, the petitioners claimed they were never implemented. They said that the Punjab chief minister constituted a committee to resolve the issue that made various recommendations which would be implemented by July 31, 2011. However, Punjab's chief and additional chief secretaries resorted to their old delaying tactics, they said.
The officers submitted that under the said circumstances, the association had planned to call for a strike on March 21. However, on March 18, when some association members were handing out pamphlets and the respondent used the opportunity to create an unfortunate incident whereby secretariat police was ordered to arrest those distributing pamphlets. The PCS Officers' Association's office bearers arrived and dispersed for the juma prayers after a peaceful demonstration. However, around a hundred PCS officers were illegally taken into custody and an FIR was registered against 73 officers including the petitioners.
The petitioners added that they were released the next day and a request for cancellation of the FIR was pending before the LHC. They said that the said respondents, in order to humiliate petitioners and others, issued show-cause notices dated March 18, to 29 officers (out of total 73) and levelled baseless allegations against the petitioners. They contended that the respondents dispensed with the requirement of holding an inquiry and under malafide intentions opted for a shorter procedure aimed at removing the petitioners from service. They said that the respondents suspended them from service vide a suspension order dated March 18.