ISLAMABAD - Senior counsel for All Pakistan Newspapers Society (APNS) Abdul Hafeez Pirzada told the Supreme Court on Wednesday that newspaper owners were ready to give annual increments to their employees.
Arguing before a three-member Supreme Court bench comprising Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, Justice Tariq Parvez and Justice Ghulam Rabbani that had taken up appeals of a number of newspaper employers against the May 31, 2011, Sindh High Court (SHC) verdict which had upheld the seventh Wage Board Award, a petitioner challenged the Newspaper Employees (Condition of Service) Act 1973 under which the wage awards were constituted.
Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) President Pervez Shaukat, All Pakistan Newspapers Employees Confederation (APNEC) President Shafiuddin Ashraf and a large number of media personnel were present inside the courtroom when the case was taken up. “The government does have the courage to announce another Wage Board Award,” Pirzada said.
He said he was personally in favour of implementing the Wage Board Award. Senior counsel for PFUJ (Dastoor Group) Muhammad Akram Sheikh submitted that since the Supreme Court was hearing appeals against the Sindh High Court’s judgment, thus constitutionality of the Wage Board and the bias factor could not be agitated at this stage.
Three petitions were moved against the SHC judgment by APNS, Messieurs Independent Newspapers Corporation (Pvt) Limited, Pakistan Heralds Publications, Nadai Millat (Private) Limited, Kawish Publications (Pvt) Limited, News Publication (Pvt) Limited, J and S Enterprises (Pvt) Limited, The Nation Publications (Pvt) Ltd, Ibrat (Pvt) Ltd, Emmay Zed’ Publications (Pvt) Ltd, Zamana Group of Publications, Pir Sufaid Shah Hamdard, Aghaz Publications (Pvt) Ltd and Marvi Publications Pakistan.