The Supreme Court on Tuesday declared the Employees (Reinstatement) Act 2010 as null and void, in a detailed verdict over petitions, regarding reinstatement of employees removed by the PML-N government in 1997 and reinstated by the PPP government in 2008.
A three-member SC bench, comprising Justice Mushir Alam, Justice Qazi Muhammad Amin Ahmed and Justice Amin-Ud-Khan, had reserved the decision on different petitions filed by the employees of 72 departments including Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA), Intelligence Bureau and Trading Corporation of Pakistan.
A 42-page judgement, authored by Justice Mushir Alam, stated that ‘the beneficiaries of the Act of 2010, who are still in service, will go back to their previous positions, i.e. to the date when the operation of the Act of 2010 has taken effect.
However, it would be inequitable to reverse any monetary benefits, received by them under the Act of 2010 for the period they have served and those shall remain intact as they were granted against service. However, the lump sum received by such ‘sacked employees’ upon reinstatement shall be reversed.’
‘Therefore, the Act of 2010 is hereby declared to be ultra vires of the Constitution. The effect of such a declaration is that any/all the benefits accrued to the beneficiaries are to be ceased with immediate effect,’ the judgment read.
It further stated that it was the duty of the court to safeguard the rights and interests of the citizens and such application could not be maintained as the constitutional rights of employees who have invested decades of their lifetime into the service of the country, were out rightly violated.
The order further read that the only cavil to such a proposition was if a vested right was created, however, that could only be generated through a valid enactment.
Furthermore, neither were the benefits accrued under the Act of 2010, neither a past and closed transaction as the rights created were through a ‘non est legislation’ from its inception.
Therefore, given the nature of the Act of 2010, and its blatant unconstitutional mechanism, a vested right could not have been created, let alone the vested right be protected under the doctrine of a past and closed transaction.—APP