ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Monday observed that the Constitution does not allow legislation for particular persons and questioned as to why an Act was passed for special employees.
A three-member bench of the apex court, headed by Justice Umar Ata Bandial, admitted for regular hearing the review petitions filed by the government and sacked employees against the court judgment striking down the Sacked Employees (Reinstatement) Ordinance Act, 2010.
Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah questioned as to why a particular law was enacted for the special employees, adding that the Constitution does not permit legislation for particular people. Waseem Sajjad, counsel for SNGPL, told the court that his clients were restored through an ordinance of October 30, 2009 while the Sacked Employees (Reinstatement) Ordinance Act, 2010 came later on. He submitted that the court had struck down the Sacked Employees (Reinstatement) Ordinance Act, 2010 while his clients were not restored under this Act, adding that sacking them after 12 years was not right.
Justice Sajjad Ali Shah told the counsel that he was talking about the facts but right now talking about facts was irrelevant. “Tell us what was unconstitutional in the judgment which was struck down,” Justice Sajjad Ali Shah asked the counsel.
Syed Iftikhar Hussain Gillani, counsel for schoolteachers and other employees, questioned as to whether the court was competent to examine the proceedings of Parliament at which Justice Mansoor Ali Shah remarked that Article 25 of the Constitution prohibits partial treatment.
A law which is repugnant to basic human rights or made for particular people can be struck down, the judge observed Iftikhar Gillani contended that the wisdom of Parliament cannot be challenged. The counsel recalled that when the Supreme Court restored the local government system in Punjab, the government the other day abolished the Local Bodies Act and when the provincial government challenged it in the apex court, the court, while dismissing the petition, held that the legislature was independent in making and amending the laws. If the court is to uphold its decision, then the case which he cited should be re-examined, Iftikhar Gillani pleaded.
Barrister Aitizaz Ahsen, counsel for employees of Intelligence Bureau (IB), submitted before the court that the Act was enacted for the restoration of employees who were sacked by the caretaker government.
The caretaker government was not empowered to make legislation but it has to run the affairs of the state for an interim period, Aitizaz Ahsen said, adding that the employees were reinstated through an Act of Parliament, hence decisions be also reversed. Justice Umer Ata Bandial observed that decisions issued could not be reopened but its consequences could be removed. Meanwhile, the court adjourned the matter for today (Tuesday).