PEF MD, education secretary summoned in contempt plea
A divisional bench of the Lahore High Court on Monday summoned the schools education secretary and the Punjab Education Foundation (PEF) managing director in a contempt petition for not complying with court’s order to regularise former employees of the foundation.
The bench consisting of Justice Masood Abid Naqvi and Justice Muzamal Akhtar Shabbir passed these directions in a contempt petition filed by ex-employees of the PEF through Ch Shoaib Saleem advocate.
The court rejected the compliance report submitted by the schools education department and the Punjab Education Foundation. It observed that the order passed by the court has not been acted upon in letter and spirit and a typical bureaucratic attitude is very much evident in this whole process. The law officer, when presented the report to the court, was reprimanded with the warning that the court “knows how to get its orders implemented”.
Addressing AG, Justice Naqvi said: “We are not satisfied and impressed by your arguments.” The court also ordered the committee headed by the secretary schools education to decide whether or not the PEF is a statutory body. “Where it written in the report,” the court asked the law officer which he was unable to refer to. “This is how the departments should be pass orders on court’s direction,” the judge remarked. Moreover, the court was also not satisfied on the point that when the PEF has not reinstated the petitioners, how come their regularisation could be considered by the Foundation.
Ch Shoaib Saleem advocate said that the petitioners were terminated from service without assigning any reason and they have become a rolling stone while pursuing their cases for the last six years. Despite passing of orders by this court, their reinstatement is still pending for more than a year, he added. The committee was misguided by some officials of PEF and resultantly it acted beyond their jurisdiction and dismissed the petitioners’ case of regularisation, he further argued.
The court summoned the education secretary and the PEF managing director in person to explain their positions and adjourned the case for February 25.