LAHORE - Justice Sajid Mahmood Sethi of Lahore High Court Friday set aside the notification earlier issued by the government to de-regularise a dozen patwaris and directed the deputy commissioner to decide the matter after hearing them.

Petitioners, Muhammad Amin and others, through their counsel Saad Rasool argued that they had been working as regular employees for last 11 years but the government instantly changed their status as contract employees without issuing them any prior notice or hearing their point of view.

The counsel argued before the court that the law did not allow changing nature of the employment of regular employees. He said the deputy commissioner Lahore issued a vague notification and declared the petitioners as contractual employees.

Deputy Commissioner Saleh Saeed appeared before the court and stated that senior member board of revenue had held regularisation of the petitioners illegal on certain grounds. She said the petitioners had been regularized at different points of times.

However, the court asked the deputy commissioner as to what law provided the government to condemn anyone unheard. The judge observed that the impugned order of the government had been passed without meeting the fundamental rights of the petitioners enshrined in the constitution.

The judge set aside the impugned notification and directed the deputy commissioner to decide the matter of the petitioners strictly in accordance with law and after affording opportunity of personal hearing to them.