LAHORE - The litigants, especially the industrial workers, have to face irreparable loss both in terms of time and money at the hands of National Industrial Relations Commission because of the delays in deciding the cases.

As there is no timeline for decision of cases, workers have to fight the cases for years and yet get nothing at the end of the day.

The NIRC was established on November 1, 1972 in every province of Pakistan, which was subsequently made part of the 1973 Constitution. After the 18th Amendment it came under Ministry of Human Resource Development.

The PPP-led government set up NIRC chapters even in Sukkur and Multan due to large number of workers in these cities; however, the move failed to change the situation.

Sources at the Commission conditioning anonymity told this scribe that over 2,500 cases are pending with the NIRC Lahore office. A senior officer of the commission said that the 239 were disposed of while and 119 were instituted during the previous month. But another senior officer who wished not be named said that the cases of even 1990 and 2000 were still pending.

He confirmed that since 2008, interim orders in various cases caused huge problems for the aggrieved persons and organisations.

A number of people against whom inquiries were initiated by their organisations over corruption charges filed applications in NIRC and successfully got stay orders. The stay orders brought the investigations and inquiries to a halt.

Some sources claim that the growing number of pending cases is due to the shortage of judges/members, staff, infrastructure and offices of the commission.

The commission’s office in Lahore entertains cases from entire Punjab. As a result, all litigants suffer, especially those who come from far flung areas like Multan, Bahawalpur and Dera Ghazi Khan and other areas of Southern Punjab.

The NIRC members, it has been observed, adjourn the cases for indefinite period, as a result of which the miseries of the aggrieved parties continue endlessly.

Some people say that the NIRC is not complete in its composition, which is also one of the reasons responsible for the delay in the decision of cases.

At present, the NIRC has six members of the NIRC in the country and according to the ordinance there should be 10 members.

The absence of judges prolonged the wait of thousands of justice seekers. Delay in the appointment of judges shows a lack of responsibility on part of the federal government.

The sources said that a summary has been sent to the prime minister for the appointment of more members to complete the composition of the Commission.  It is being hoped that the prime minister will order the appointments in the near future.