LAHORE: The Lahore High Court on Wednesday reserved its verdict on a petition by general manager (law) of Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) challenging his removal allegedly made on the illegal direction of the ministry of petroleum.

Petitioner Adil Nisar Khan, who had been working as GM law since 2017, got a restraining order against a letter issued by the ministry on April 7, 2020 wherein the board of the SNGPL was directed to terminate him from service.

However, the letter was later withdrawn by the ministry.

Petitioner’s counsel Hafiz Tariq Nasim argued that the letter had been withdrawn with mala fide intention as the joint secretary (petroleum) was still influencing the board as he in a last meeting clearly showed his intention to remove the petitioner.

He argued that the ministry could not dictate the SNGPL or intervene in its affairs relating to employees.

Deputy Attorney General Ambreen Moen on behalf of the ministry argued that after the withdrawal of the impugned letter the petition stood infructuous.

On behalf of the SNGPL, Advocate Anwaar Hussain also questioned maintainability of the petition saying the relationship of employees with the company was one of master and servant.

Referring to reported judgments of the high court and the supreme court, he said it was a settled principle of law that writ by employees of the SNGPL in relation to their appointment and termination was not maintainable.

However, he said the SNGPL board had authority to revisit any of its matters pertaining to the appointments of its employees.

After hearing the parties, Justice Ayesha A Malik reserved the verdict on the petition.

Published in Dawn, November 5th, 2020

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