ISLAMABAD - The Supreme Court of Pakistan Tuesday turned down a petition challenging the composition of 10-member bench which is hearing petitions against presidential reference against Justice Qazi Faez Isa.

In November this year, Advocate Inam-ul Rahiem had moved a constitutional petition against the composition of 10-member larger bench. He adopted that he had filed references against Justice Umar Atta Bandial, Justice Manzoor Ahmed Malik, Justice Ijaz-ul-Ahsan, Justice Mansoor Ali Shah and Justice Azmat Saeed Sheikh. Justice Ijaz has already dissociated from the bench, while Justice Azmat retired after attaining the age of superannuation.

Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Gulzar Ahmed heard Col Inam-ul Rahiem’s appeal against the Registrar Office objection in his chamber. Advocate Tariq Asad informed the Chief Justice that Col (retd) Inam has been missing for the last two weeks as some unknown persons abducted him from his house. “However, the chief justice dismissed the petition for non-appearance of the petitioner (Inam),” Tariq Asad told the media.

The registrar office on 01-11-2019 had returned the petition saying it is not entertainable by raising objections/observations that the judges of superior judiciary have been impleaded as respondents, whereas they cannot be so impleaded.

The appellant has not pointed out as to what question of public importance in the instant case is involved with reference to enforcement of any of the fundamental rights guaranteed under the constitution, so as to directly invoke jurisdiction of  the Supreme Court under Article 184(3) of the Constitution. The applicant instead of availing proper remedy available under the law filed the constitutional petition before the apex court.

Inam prayed that Justice Umar Atta Bandial, Justice Manzoor Malik and Justice Mansoor Shah be excluded from larger bench and references against those judges might be fixed and heard in open Court for the interest of justice.

SC DIRECTS PIA TO VERIFY DEGREES

APP adds: The Supreme Court Tuesday directed the Pakistan International Airline (PIA) to conduct degrees’ verifications of its employees and submit report to the top court.

The bench also summoned Chairman Higher Education Commission (HEC), Managing Director (MD) PIA and Attorney General of Pakistan and directed them to appear before the court in person on next hearing.

A division bench of the top court headed by Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed conducted hearing on a petition filed by a citizen Mudasir Hussain seeking verification of degrees of PIA employees.

During course of proceeding, the bench remarked that Al-Khair University Azad Jammu and Kashmir was a so-called educational institution. The degrees had been sold out without educational process by the university.

The bench noted that apparently the degrees had been received illegally while the PIA management had accepted them. The court directed the PIA to ensure that its employees’ degrees should be from the authentic institutions.

Earlier, the petitioner stated that several employees of PIA had received their degrees from a local university of AJK. He stated that these employees never went to the university to attend classes while the PIA management had promoted them on basis of these alleged fake degrees.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court Tuesday accepted an appeal of former employees of Punjab Food Authority (PFA) for hearing, challenging the decision of service tribunal against them in a case pertaining to negligence in performance of official duty.

Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed remarked that the public exchequer had faced  a loss of millions of rupees due to wheat theft from a store of Punjab Food Authority and who was held responsible for that.

Addressing the petitioners employees, the CJP said they did not even know how to perform duties in their department. Had you given the contract to anyone else to guard the wheat, the Chief Justice asked.

The petitioner’s counsel pleaded that his client former food inspector had deployed guards at the store, adding the officer had completed his official task by making the necessary arrangements.

The lawyer contended that the service tribunal had not conducted the inquiry of the incident into right directions and also did not view all facts of the case.

After listening arguments, the two-member bench headed by CJP accepted the petition for hearing and suspended the decision of service tribunal against the employees of PFA.

Also, the Supreme Court turned down a decision of federal service tribunal (FST) and directed to recover six-year salary from former stenotypist cabinet.

Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed remarked that the employee didn’t deserve salary if he had not been present in office according to the law.

The SC’s two-member bench conducted hearing on an appeal of federation against the decision of FST.

During the course of proceeding, sacked employee Muhammad Afzal’s counsel pleaded before the bench that his client had been directed for not to attend the office during his suspension from service.

The Chief Justice remarked that the employee had been absent from his office for six years. Did he still deserve for salary as he had been absent, he asked.

The court turned down the decision of FST and accepted the appeal of the Federation.