SC orders large-scale layoffs in 76,000-strong Railways workforce
As a two-member bench heard different petitions seeking permanent status for employees, the chief justice told the railways secretary that he should consider himself dismissed as he was unable to run the department. “The entire railways department is so corrupt that you cannot imagine,” he remarked.
During the hearing, the secretary informed the court that there were 2,712 workers on TLA (Temporary Labour Appointment) paid by the local government in Pakistan Railways.
The response angered the chief justice who observed that go and check in the field how many accidents had occurred and how much loss suffered during the past six months.
At that point, Justice Ijaz-ul-Ahsan, the other member of the bench, remarked that appointments were made on a political basis.
Chief Justice Gulzar remarked that the department currently employed 76,000 workers when only 10,000 were enough to run the system. “What these workers are doing when all of your factories and work have come to a halt,” questioned the chief justice.
When the secretary further told the court that they did not have a computerised data of the 76,000 employees, the chief justice remarked that he should not deliver sermons before the bench.
“We know what is happening in the railways,” he said and added that the government was regularly giving Rs50 million as a grant to the department.
The chief justice also observed that Pakistan Railways either took human lives or caused losses to the tune of millions of rupees to the exchequer.
The apex court ordered the secretary to start reforms process in Pakistan Railways and sought a detailed report in a month.