- National television becomes ground for infighting between producers, admin & personnel department
ISLAMABAD: In a surprise and unprecedented move, Pakistan Television Corporation (PTVC) has moved to frustrate the judgment of Supreme Court (SC) in order to benefit a few blue-eyed officers and producers and deny the rightful officers their service, it was learnt reliably.
According to details, PTVC is trying to illegally deprive some of its News and Current Affairs Department producers of their four years and ten months of service, in violation of merit. Ironically, these are the only producers inducted into the department of PTVC after passing a stringent and lengthy process, following advertisement in major newspapers.
The candidates, at the time of induction, passed a comprehensive test, after which those who managed to pass were interviewed by a five-member panel headed by renowned broadcast professional, late Aslam Azhar.
Afterwards, the candidates selected were offered employment initially on a two-year probation period. These producers were provided with extensive training as well. On the completion of probation, PTVC did not issue them the letter of permanent employment.
As a result, some employees even approached the Supreme Court under Article 184/ (3). Meanwhile, PTVC appointed a few other employees through a dubious and shadowy process and on the basis of nepotism on different dates.
The SC accepted the petition of probationary employees in the constitutional petition number 48.
The Supreme Court in its judgment observed that the petitioners were regularly appointed on probation for a period of two years, from February 20, 2006, thereafter their probation period had not been extended and the letters of permanent employment had not been issued in their favour.
It added that as per rules, non-issuance of such letter on expiry of probation clearly indicated that they [employees] had completed the probation period without any stain on their performance, and now they were in the employment of PTV.
“Be that as it may if it is the stand of the corporation, they are directed to issue the letters of permanent employees to those employees who have successfully completed their probationary period. As such this petition is disposed of accordingly,” the SC order read.
Contrary to the above though, three other petitions of contractual employees, mostly appointed dubiously during different times without following the prescribed procedure, the court sent the matter to the PTV management to consider them for regularisation, or “otherwise in view of the observations made hereinbefore”.
The management of the corporation instead of implementing the order of the court sought fresh joining. The probationer employees approached the Islamabad High Court (IHC) for the implementation of the SC’s judgment in letter and spirit.
The IHC allowed the petition of probationers, and directed PTV’s management to implement the order of the top court in letter and spirit, “without an embargo of any probation period or fresh joining report”.
The PTV management filed an intra-court appeal against the said order of the high court and the same was dismissed with a direction of the implementation of the order within a period of one week.
The management of PTV again did not implement the orders and resultantly petitioners filed a contempt petition in the IHC. During the contempt proceedings, the PTV management produced a letter before the court regularising the services of employees in group-5 from the initial date of joining on the basis of successful completion of two-year probation period.
Subsequently, in February 2015, the PTV management promoted these employees in group-6 with retrospective effect.
In June 2015, apparently on the pressure of blue-eyed employees of PTVC, the management, on the basis of the judgment of the Balochistan High Court, filed a civil review petition.
A three-member bench headed by the chief justice of Pakistan, after hearing the PTV counsel referred the matter to a five-member bench to see whether the order dated petition number 48 was per-incurium.
The larger bench of the Supreme Court headed by chief justice dismissed the review petition of PTV and upheld its earlier order in the petition. The larger bench also set aside the judgment of the Balochistan High Court declaring that the persons appointed on probation were alone entitled to be treated as regular employees.
The SC again drew a distinction between contractual employees and those who were regularly appointed on probation.
After the dismissal of the review petition, the order attained finality.
The fact of the matter is that PTVC has already implemented the orders of the Supreme Court but a few individuals are misinterpreting and misguiding the managing director of the corporation for personal benefits and for gains of blue-eyed employees. These individuals in administration and personnel department are trying to revert back the decisions of IHC and SC on their own will, which tantamounts to contempt of court.
The PTVC is seeking the advice of the same law firm which pleaded the review petition in SC, which was dismissed by a larger bench upholding the decision of the original petition.
The decision reflects the value PTVC gives to merit in its policy of induction and promotions.
The affectees have requested PTV managing director and Information Secretary Sardar Ahmed Nawaz Sukhera to look into the matter and take appropriate action against culprits.