LHC allows appeal against restoration of 452 SCOs

LAHORE: A Lahore High Court (LHC) division bench on Friday allowed an Intra-Court Appeal Challenging LHC single bench orders for restoration of 452 Service Centre Officials (SCOs) of the Punjab Land Record Authority (PLRA).

The division bench, headed by Justice Ayesha A Malik, heard the appeal, filed by the PLRA and set aside the single bench orders for restoration of the SCOs. The court had reserved the verdict after hearing arguments of the parties on Sept 28 and announced it on Friday.

Earlier, the appellant’s counsel, arguing before the bench, submitted that the SCOs were recruited on contract basis in violation of the merit and they also failed in an evaluation test, held by the PLRA. He submitted that the PLRA terminated the services of the SCOs after fulfilling legal requirements, but the LHC single bench allowed the petitions, filed by the terminated SCOs and ordered for their restoration.

He submitted that the single bench did not give due consideration to the stance of the appellant. He pleaded with the court to set aside the single bench orders.

However, respondents’ counsel submitted that the SCOs were terminated through a notification by the authority without affording them an opportunity of personal hearing. He submitted that the petitioners were appointed after they qualified the test for the purpose. But instead of regularising their services, the authority forced them to undergo an evaluation.

Neither the previously recruited officials nor almost 11 service centre in-charges (SCIs) appointed along with petitioners under the same advertisement by the same management, had been terminated from service, he added. He pleaded with the court to dismiss the ICA.

On Aug 30, 2017, Justice Ali Baqar Najafi set aside the dismissal of 452 SCOs and ordered for their restoration.