Justice Delayed is Justice Denied (I)

By Syed Shamsuddin

Apropos ‘Grotesque Injustice’ published in Pamirtimes dated 9 October, 2018, it is quite surprising that the cri de coeur referred to therein failed to evoke a sympathetic action by the relevant authorities. In utter despondency then, both the appellants Dostan Ali and Shamsher Ali say, they resorted to an appeal dated 10.12.2018 direct to the Federal Minister, Human Rights, Islamabad seeking justice but alas, this supplication too, went altogether unresponded with no action whatsoever, taken by the relevant quarters. The entreaty from Dostan Ali and Shamsher Ali – both hailing from Upper Hunza – obviously an outcome of utter desperation was as follows: ‘Being immensely emboldened on learning recently that a Commission remains in place and functions under the auspices of the Federal Ministry of Human Rights, Islamabad and is entrusted with the noble task of addressing grievances of such segments of the society who, though aggrieved and suffering from gross human rights violation across the country, are not able to meet the expenses to arise out of engaging a counsel in seeking redress from the courts of law obviously because of sheer destitution. Falling in the category of this fortunate class, the petitioners in the instant case, beg leave to file this appeal before your kind honour with the entreaty for bringing an end to the dilemma facing them to foster justice and righting the wrongs done by the Respondents as the petitioners cannot access the court of competent jurisdiction for justice simply for these stated constraints though being fully convinced to succeed there for the enforcement of their fundamental human/fundamental rights. They therefore, beseech your kind honor to have pity on the petitioners’ sad plight and get their case thoroughly investigated by the Commission within the Human Rights Ministry for the undoing of the long discriminatory dispensation in consideration of under mentioned facts/grounds:

Facts of the Case:

That petitioner Dostan Ali, who has now attained 32 years uninterrupted service was preliminarily appointed as Farash (Basic Pay Scale No.1) paid out of contingencies vide order C.No.Estt: Apptt: Class-iv(6)/86/20007 dated 26.08.1986(Annex-A) and was posted to the then Customs Northern Areas (now upgraded to full-fledged Collectorate). He was kept paying for about one year from the regular budget but ironically, this dispensation was abruptly stopped and rendered irregular which continues till today. It is worthwhile to state that the Respondent No.04 while considering the petitioner’s assiduous and energetic working, assured from day one, that the matter of his adjustment against the regular of post of Chowkidar B.1 or that of Sepoy then in B.02 would be soon taken up with the Respondent No.02 subject to availability of vacancies but a procrastination in the context was witnessed time and again, during the course albeit the said Respondent sent recommendatory letters to the Respondent No.02 for the placement on regular footing.

That evidently, the Respondent No.04 addressed a detailed recommendatory communication to the Respondent No.02 in favor of the petitioner vide C.No.V.Cus.Estt.CDG-5(26)/90/273-74 dated 09.05.1997 (Annex-B) seeking a resolution to the problems of the petitioner No.01 by absorbing him against the regular position of Chowkidar (B.01) or Sepoy  then in B.02. It is worthwhile to state that the post of Sepoy placed in B.02 then was ordinarily filled in by appointment thereto of persons with middle as educational qualification. But the landscape now has now changed altogether with the same having been firstly upgraded to B.05 and then to B.07 requiring Secondary School Certificate (SSC) qualification for their direct recruitment. As the dithering persisted, the petitioner No.01 submitted another application for appointment to the post of Sepoy (B.02) which was referred by the Respondent no.04 to the Respondent No.02 duly recommended vide C.No.V.Cus.Estt.CDG-5(28)/90/1791 dated 11.04.1998.

That then again in the year 2003, the Respondent No.04 vide letter C.No.V.Cus-acctts-2(2)/99/315-316  dated 01.08.2003, took the matter of adjustment of the petitioner No.01 against a compatible regular vacancy quite stressfully to resolve the problems encountered perennially by him. It is therein that the said Respondent highlighted the excellent performance during service of the petitioner but sadly, it evoked no positive response during the course obviously due to a lackadaisical approach of the Respondent No.02 who during the entire period, filled vacancies in B.1 and 2 whimsically and autocratically by directly recruiting persons from outside the department instead of adjusting the petitioner against one of them. An Incumbency Report pertaining to late eighties, nineties and onwards if provided by the Respondent No.02 will bear testimony to this to help make things crystal clear.

That again in 2010, a reminder was submitted by the Respondent No.04 to the Respondent No.02 vide C.No.V.Cus-Acctts-2(2)/99-Part/838 dated 08.12.2010 in continuation of letter C.No.V.Cus/CDG/Account/04/2009/721 dated 05.10.2010 but all this correspondence evoked no sympathetic action save only one response vide letter C.No. Estt.P.F(Farash)130/90/4112 dated 13.06.2000 whereby the Respondent No.02 replied: “Due to ban on recruitment, the request of Dostan Ali cannot be acceded to. He can, however, apply afresh for the same as and when recruitment resumes, in case on recruitment is lifted by the Government. The applicant may be informed accordingly.”

That it is worthwhile to state that no information as to lifting of the ban was ever received afterwards and it was learnt that pot falling vacant subsequently in the aftermath of it were filled arbitrarily to the detriment of the petitioner.

That one Sultan Wali, an 8th class pass was appointed to the post of Sepoy B.02 preceded by recruitment of Hussain Ali equally a middle pass in 1985 by the Respondent No.02. This is in addition to a number of ex-soldiers belonging to Gilgit-Baltistan who were illiterate, were offered the posts.

That the unequivocal assurance time and again, for the appointment of the petitioner as evidenced by numerous letters of recommendations sent to Respondent No.02 as referred to in the above naturally enkindled hope that the petitioner would be meted out an equitable dispensation by appointing him either to the regular post of Chowkidar or Sepoy as he too, happened to be an 8th class pass like others and was eligible for the same besides being an experienced hand. He was quite oblivious to the fact that he would be given a lollipop as long as he became over-aged as has been the case now.

That it is pertinent to make a mention to the effect that a post against the contingencies budget as the term connotes, is created only for a brief obviously to meet a contingency or exigency. If a work devolving on such an incumbent continues indefinitely as is the case with the petitioner who has now attained 32 years continues service without a single day’s break, justice demands that such a post should automatically be treated and made pensionable in accordance with the underlying principles of natural justice and human rights. Contrary to this, the petitioner remains a daily wage-earner for good regardless of his entitlement as referred to in the above.

That feeling aggrieved by the arbitrary dispensation, and not being able to bear the expenses of going to any Court of law and engage a counsel, the petitioner got published his appeal in The EXPRESS TRIBUNE dated 17.11.2010 but this too was not taken cognizance of by the Respondents but Respondents took no cognizance of it.

Then Again on 09.10.2018 the petitioner desperately approached the Pamir Times (an Online paper) which published the woe-tale of petitioner No.01 and 02 in detail but ironically, this too altogether went unnoticed.

That as regards petitioner No.02, he too is an 8th class pass and was appointed in the like manner in 2004. He has by now attained 14 years long service as ‘Contingent-Paid-Staff’ and as such his case has a complete bearing on that of the former.

That the matter of regularization of services of a large number of contract and contingent-paid employees of various departments, organizations, federal ministries/divisions and autonomous bodies, was considered by the Sub-Committee of the Cabinet on 31.05.2012 under the chairmanship of the then Federal Minister for Religious Affairs, at Committee Room of the Establishment Division as notified vide Cabinet Secretariat, Establishment Division, Islamabad’s office memorandum No.3/5/2011-Admn-I dated 05.11.2012 (Annex-L) thereby circulating the minutes of the meeting concerning the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) Islamabad for information and necessary action.

That the decisions taken by taken vide minutes under reference envisaged inter alia, that the contract/daily wage employees who have completed one year of contractual service or 3-spells of 89 days as daily wages respectively up till 30.06.2012 will be considered for regularization during this meeting and onwards. It was also decided that the services of any of the contractual/daily wages employees in the Ministries/Divisions/Attached Departments/Autonomous Bodies/Organizations etc. who has completed more than one year of his/her of employment will not be terminated/discharged without bringing his case before the Cabinet Sub-Committee and the contractual services of all such contract/daily wages employee should be extended till final decision by the Cabinet Sub-Committee later.

That pursuant to the above, the representative of the Respondent No.1 (HQ) instantly presented a list of 14 such employees working under the Respondent No.1 for more than one year. Approval was granted to their regularization who consisted of  03 contract and 11 contingent-paid employees subject however, to availability of posts and fulfillment of criteria.

That the above was followed by the Cabinet Secretariat, Establishment Division’s communication No.3/5/2011-Admn.I dated 08.11.2012 addressed to the Respondent No.1 requiring the latter to submit a list of all such employees needing regularization of their services.

That the services of 20 incumbents of Farash and 13 Naib Qasids were regularized on the recommendations of the Departmental Selection Committee-II vide No.3/2/2011-Admn.II dated 14.06.2011 (Annex-P) followed by another batch of 76 vide Finance Division (HR.III Section) Islamabad’s No.F.3-1/1996-HR.III dated 20.09.2011 on the basis of the recommendations of the Departmental Selection Committee.

That despite the petitioner No.1 having rendered 32 years long service literally constituting the whole of his entire life, and the petitioner No.2 having likewise put in 14 years continuous service and above all, disregarding countless recommendations highlighting the excellence of their services made time and again by the Respondent No.4 to the Respondent No.2 for their adjustment horizontally against the compatible posts of Chowkidars in B.1 or that of Sepoys then in B.2 as referred to and narrated at paras.1,2,3 and 4 above.

That what has been stated in the preceding paras required an unhindered processing the cases of both the petitioners long ago as both then fulfilled the terms and conditions for recruitment to B.1 post of Chowkidar and B.2 posts of Sepoys respective. Both were 8th class pass and energetic and experienced youth deserved their adjustment against these posts decades ago but their cases were backburnered out a sheer apathy.’

To be continued……

The writer is a Gilgit-based freelance contributor, blogger. He can be reached at Email: shamskazmi.syed@gmail.com

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