LAHORE - The Lahore High Court yesterday directed the Punjab Environmental Protection Department to regularise 39 employees recruited on contract basis relying on a SC judgment which ruled that after transfer of any project to non-development side , employees who gained experience and duly qualified have right to be regularized.

Shazia Pervaiz and others had filed the petitions challenging their likely termination and seeking regularization with Punjab Environment Protection Department.

The petitioners through their counsels argued that PEPD hired them on contract for a project “Regulatory Control on environment Degradation” through capacity building of environment protection agency , Punjab. They submitted that the period of project was initially till June 06, 2013 but later it was extended up to December 12, 2013. However the project was transferred to non-development side along with 39 employees on January 1, 2014. The petitioner submitted that the chief minister had also ordered to transfer 39 employees to non-development side but the department was not considering their request.

The counsel of the department concerned told the court that project was started for a specific purpose and time and after expiry of the project, neither any post exist nor any financial allocation of funds are available. He pointed out that project has not been transferred to no-development side.

At this, the court observed that there is is no doubt that after approval of chief minister the project was transferred to non-development side along with 39 posts including petitioners.

The court directed the department to regularize the employees.