ISLAMABAD: As many as 1,000 teachers, whose appointments were declared illegal by the Islamabad High Court (IHC) on May 29, on Monday received telephone calls that they had been sacked.
Moreover, they were asked by some of their colleagues to arrange Rs10,000 each so that a lawyer could be hired to seek a stay order from the court. However, Joint Secretary Capital Administration and Development Division (CADD) Rafiq Tahir said there was no plan to terminate any teacher from service.
Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui of the IHC gave the remarks about the teachers’ permanent appointment on a petition filed by them seeking direction for the creation of new posts for their accommodation.
The judge ruled that employees whose services were regularised by a committee headed by Syed Khursheed Shah (now leader of the opposition in the National Assembly) during the tenure of the previous government had no legal standing as they were appointed without following the due process. After the court decision, rumours spread that the teachers were being sacked.
In the meantime, some teachers, including Ehsanullah and Faizul Hasan Alvi, started contacting the teachers that they wanted to hold a meeting to adopt a strategy to resolve the issue.
Callers inform teachers that they have been sacked but CADD official denies the rumour
On Monday, Ehsanullah, a lecturer of mathematics at the Islamabad College for Boys G-6/3, informed the teachers that they had been sacked.
A female teacher requesting anonymity said Mr Ehsan told her to come to an academy at G-10 Markaz and also bring Rs10,000.
“He also informed me that termination letters had been issued to the teachers.” The panicked teachers decided to pay the amount to save their jobs, she said.
A male teacher of the Islamabad Model College for Boys I-8 added: “We were already panicked so some teachers are trying to collect a huge amount from us. We were regularised during the tenure of the PPP government and if we contact the lawyers of the PPP, they will fight our case for a nominal,” he said.
When contacted, Ehsanullah confirmed that he had asked the teachers to arrange Rs10,000 each.
“We were regularised on the directions of former Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry. In 2011, after the apex court orders, it was decided that the Federal Public Service Commission (FPSC) would interview the teachers. However, the then government decided to regularise the teachers through a committee,” he said.
“Now we have decided to hire retired Justice Tariq Mehmood to defend our case and for that at least Rs10,000 would be collected from each teacher,” he said.
Faizul Hasan Alvi said he and other teachers had been trying to save the jobs of the teachers and for that funds were required.
When contacted, Joint Secretary CADD Rafique Tahir told Dawn that they had not received the court order yet, so the question of issuing termination letters to the teachers did not arise. “It is the right of the secretary CADD to issue the termination letters but he has never been in favour of sacking any employee.”
He said after receiving the detailed judgment of the court, CADD would seek a legal opinion from the Ministry of Law. Moreover, the government will also be contacted regarding the issue because schools cannot be run if over one 1,000 teachers are sent home.
“I believe that some teachers have spread rumours about the termination letters to mint money from the teachers. CADD will make efforts to resolve the issue and will not sack a single teacher,” he said.
Justice retired Tariq Mehmood while talking to Dawn said he had refused to defend the teachers.
“I have told them that the decision of the single bench will be challenged in the IHC in an inter-court appeal and I don’t go to the IHC. There is a perception that prominent lawyers can get the decision in their favour and that is why people pay huge fees to them,” he said.
Published in Dawn, June 3rd, 2014