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PESHAWAR: A Peshawar High Court bench on Wednesday ordered the regularisation of the services of around 3,000 contractual employees of the Workers Welfare Board, mostly teachers.

Justice Waqar Ahmad Seth and Justice Mussarat Hilali pronounced a short order in this respect by accepting petitions filed by the WWB All Contract Employees Association through its president Younas Marwat, All Employees Confederation through its chairman Shah Zulqarnain, and employees seeking permanent jobs for the board’s employees.

These employees were mostly appointed by the WWB during the previous government, which, the WWB claims, were appointed on contractual basis due to political consideration.

A panel of lawyers, including Pir Hameedullah Shah, Ijaz Khan Sabi, Zartaj Anwar and others, appeared for the petitioners and contended that the employees were appointed on contractual basis from 2011 to 2012.

They argued that from time to time, the government had extended their clients’ contracts but didn’t regularise their services.

The lawyers said their clients had mostly been serving in the Working Folks Grammar School run by the WWB and their salaries were paid by the WWF.

They said the petitioners and contractual employees had been staging protests in support of their demands for the last many years.

The lawyers added that those employees were recruited after the fulfillment of all codal formalities and were appointed on merit. They said the government had framed a rationalisation policy to get rid of those employees but the WWF put forward the excuse of the unavailability of budget for them.

The lawyers referred to the judgments of the superior courts in support of their contention and said their clients could not be kept in service on contractual basis for an indefinite period.

The counsel for the WWB argued that the board’s contractual employees were appointed in an illegal manner without sanctioned posts.

They pointed out that Khyber Pakhtunkhwa had 48 WWB schools and only 21 of them were approved, while the rest were set up without proper approval.

The lawyers also said the records of contractual appointments were not available as a fire had destroyed them.

Published in Dawn, November 23rd, 2017