ISLAMABAD - The Islamabad High Court directed the government for regularisation of services of employees working in various government/semi-government departments as well as statutory bodies through the Cabinet sub-committee.

A dual bench of IHC comprising Justice Aamir Farooq and Justice Mohsin Kiyani issued a 72-pages verdict in this matter.

In this judgment, the bench held that the federal government shall not issue any new regularisation policy in future from now onwards as there must be an end to any illegal action. “We should take first step to stop such kind of temporary arrangements which are not protected by law,” said the verdict.

It said that no one is permitted to hire any person on daily wages, contract basis, in any project, organisation, office, ministries, divisions, etc., except in accordance with law.

The judgment added that all persons have to be appointed on permanent posts only and appointment on Ad-hoc basis could not be considered for regularisation and no individual could claim legal right for regularisation under any consideration while appointed on Ad-hoc basis.

It continued that all project employees who are appointed in BPS-16 and above on project could not claim regularisation of their services unless their projects have been converted from development to non-development phase by the Government of Pakistan. In such eventuality, all those employees who are working on those projects shall continue to work and if their initial appointments in the project have been made through a transparent manner i.e. advertisement, test, and interview, then their cases be sent to FPSC in terms of Section 11(b) of the Civil Servants Act, 1973 read with the powers referred in Rule 4 & 5 of the FPSC (Functions) Rules, 1978. Their posts and their appointments shall be considered regularised subject to decision of the FPSC on the question of their eligibility, qualification and fitness merely on the basis of opinion of FPSC or conducting test and interview within a period of six Months.

The bench maintained that all project employees of BPS-1 to BPS-15 working in projects, which have been converted from development to non-development, shall be considered for the purpose of their regularisation of services by their competent authorities while considering their qualification, eligibility, and fitness on case to case basis within the period of six (06) months (as one time exercise), subject to the condition that their initial selection was made through transparent manner i.e. advertisement, test and interview.

It stated that all persons, appellants/petitioners who have been appointed on the posts of BPS-16 and above for temporary and ad-hoc basis may also be given similar treatment and their cases be sent to FPSC in terms of Section 11(b) of the Civil Servants Act, 1973 read with the powers referred in Rule 4 & 5 of the FPSC (Functions) Rules, 1978 and it is the prerogative of the commission to decide their fitness and eligibility on the basis of their qualification after obtaining fresh test/interview or directly by giving opinion on the fitness and eligibility of appellants/petitioners, the federal government shall issue approval of those employees as regularised subject to the decision of the FPSC, however till the completion of the entire process their services shall not be terminated (if they are still working against those posts). It is made clear that this is one time dispensation on the basis of exceptional and hardship cases and not to be considered as an alternate mode of appointment in future. The process must be completed within six months.

The court also said that all employees, who have been regularised by the Government of Pakistan/competent authority through Cabinet Committee, who have not been given joining due to the restriction imposed by the Government and they are only waiting for their posting orders, the concerned Ministries and Divisions are directed to issue their posting orders within a period of 90 days subject to fulfilment of other codal formalities, however, their appointments will be considered permanent from the issuance of notification/joining orders.

It further added that employees who are already working in different Ministries, Divisions, etc. whose their services have been regularised; they should not be disturbed as their cases fall within the ambit of past and closed transaction, subject to conditions that they were appointed in accordance with law in a transparent manner.

The verdict continued that in cases of employees of Ministry of Climate Change, under the Pakistan Climate Change Act, 2017, the Minister in-charge shall make regulations with the approval of the Federal Government for the purpose of appointments of officer, advisors, experts, consultant, and employees with reference to Section 19(2)(e) and powers confirmed under Section 17 of the Pakistan Climate Change Act, 2017. However, if relevant rules and regulations are not promulgated/notified the officers who have been hired are not to be considered validly appointed. In other case, the services of all those employees have to be dealt in accordance with regulations and rules notified by the Federal Government referred in the Act.