Room # 3, Falaknuma Bldg.
39 Abdullah Haroon Rd.
Circular Number: C-176
JUDGMENT DATED 08-12-2017 S.C. (PAKISTAN STATE OIL CO. LTD. V/S BAKHT SIDDIQUE AND OTHERS ON CONTRACT/OUTSOURCED LABOURS
Supreme Court of Pakistan by order dated 08-12-2017 dismissed the appeals (CP No. 409-K to 414-K of 2017) filed by the Pakistan State Oil Co. Ltd. against the High Court Order.
Brief history of the cases is in six Constitutional Petitions filed by 209 employees challenged their contract status in the High Court which was disposed of by Sindh High Court by order dated 1-6-2017 and directed the Chief Executive Officer of the Pakistan State Oil Co. Ltd. to consider the cases of regularization of the employees who were employed through contractors/outsource from years 1984 to 2013.
However in appeals, three members’ bench of the Supreme Court headed by the Chief Justice allowed the appeals but directed to regularize these employees from the date when they approached the High Court, also held that they are entitled for pension/long terms benefits from joining date. Controversy may arise as to the date of regularization for all or only the contract employees of this Co. (P.S.O.)
The Order of the Supreme Court is based on fundamental right given by Articles 9 and 25 of the Constitution of Pakistan. The order allowed direct writ petitions in the High Court even when such type of cases mainly go to lower court and require evidence.
Earlier in 1993, Supreme Court of Pakistan in the case of Fauji Fertilizer Co. Ltd. V/s NIRC & others in the Constitutional Petitions Nos. D – 739 & D – 754 of 1996 passed judgment dated 16-05-2013 (reported at 2014 PLC 10) and reinstated several workers who were in contractor’s service.
Naturally the contract system is two edged weapon. It may improve conditions of the workers taken on pay roll of the principal Co. but their number may be as low as possible to reduce cost which would reduce employment of workers. The wages of workers may be reduced to the minimum wages fixed by the law.
Since the matter is very important arising several connected issues which have far reaching effects, we advice our clients to consult us immediately about the implications of the Supreme Court decision.
For M/s S. M. Yaqoob