ISLAMABAD: Islamabad High Court has issued a stay order in response to plea challenging legality of the National Assembly Special Committee on Sacked Employees (SCSE) interference in human resource affairs of National Fertilizer Marketing Limited (NFML) for regularization of past and present employees.
Pending the next date of hearing, no coercive action shall be taken by the respondents or by any other agency under their administrative control against the petitioner company, its board of directors, its CEO, and its management, on account of any directions or instructions issued by the Parliamentary Committee on Sacked Employees
Barrister Umar Riaz and Umer Ijaz Gilani invoked the jurisdiction of Islamabad High Court (IHC) on behalf of the Managing Director of the NFML. Petitioner made Federation of Pakistan, through Secretary, Ministry of Industries and Production, Special Committee on Affected Employees, through its Secretary, National Assembly Secretariat, Establishment Division, through its Secretary, Pakistan Secretariat, and Ministry of Law and Justice, through its Secretary, Pakistan Secretariat, Islamabad as respondents in the matter.
After hearing preliminary arguments, the Court restrained the Establishment Division and other federal government bodies from taking any adverse action against the Board, CEO and management of NFML on account of the Special Committee directions.
Appearing before the single-member bench of the IHC comprising Justice Sardar Ejaz Ishaq Khan in the matter, petitioner’s counsels apprised the Committee headed by MNA Qadir Mandokhail had directed NFML to regularize the services of a large number of past and present employee. They also informed the court that the Committee had also threatened the MD of the company that his services would be terminated if he failed to comply.
Umer Ijaz Gilani argued that neither the Constitution nor the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the National Assembly, 2007 grant any powers on parliamentary committee to issue directions of an executive nature to any state entity including the petitioner. Umer Ijaz Gilani referred specially to Article 66 and Rules 214 to 244, and contended that a “holistic review of the entire Rules shows that nowhere do they make any mention of the power of committee to issue “directives” to state officials regarding executive matters.” Counsel further argued that the directors and the officers of the company owe a fiduciary duty to the principal shareholder, the Government of Pakistan. It was against the interest of the government to pack state-owned corporations with redundant employees. Courageous civil servants who put up a stand on account of fiduciary duties should not be penalized for resisting the political pressure of a parliamentary committee.
According to a 2-page order of the IHC, copy of which available with TLTP, Justice Sardar Ejaz Ishaq Khan said, “Pending the next date of hearing, no coercive action shall be taken by the respondents or by any other agency under their administrative control against the petitioner company, its board of directors, its CEO, and its management, on account of any directions or instructions issued by the Parliamentary Committee on Sacked Employees”.
After hearing preliminary arguments of counsel of the petitioner, the Court issued notices to the respondents and restrained them from taking any adverse action against the Directors, CEO and management of the petitioner Company. The matter was adjourned till April 27.