Chief Justice Bandyal’s last request to the Prime Minister before his retirement

In Islamabad, Pakistan, just days before his retirement, Chief Justice of Pakistan, Umar Ata Bandial, expressed his wish to the government to regularize employees working on daily wages in the Public Works Department (PWD) of the Supreme Court’s Rest Houses, Lodges, and Registry. Government documents indicate that on August 22, 2023, the Registrar of the Supreme Court informed the government that the Chief Justice had requested that these employees be regularized, with a focus on easing rules and regulations and promoting regularizations, instead of hiring new staff.

It was revealed during an official meeting held on September 11 that the Ministry of Housing and Works sent an “Immediate Summary for the Prime Minister” in which they requested permission to relax the eligibility criteria, age limit, and “selected lot” condition in the establishment division’s surplus pool from the Establishment Division. The summary mentioned that the Establishment Division and Finance Division have created 103 positions in PWD from the surplus pool, and after completing all formalities, expenses for PWD would be allocated from the financial year 2023-2024 budget.

During the meeting held on March 10 under the chairmanship of the Supreme Court’s Registrar, decisions were taken regarding the regularization of employees. Afterward, the Inter-Divisional Consultation (IDC) considered and approved the regularization of 103 positions in PWD and Finance Division. The Establishment Division and Finance Division have already decided to transfer funds to PWD from their financial year 2023-2024 budgets to complete all formalities.

The government documents further clarify that the regularization of employees does not fall under the jurisdiction of any ministry/division/department. The Civil Servants Act, 1973, and rules made thereunder do not deal with daily wage employees working on a daily wage rate in a regularized manner. The Establishment Division of the Government has expressed its readiness to regularize these employees as per the Chief Justice’s desire and has proposed that these employees be regularized only once under the PWD rules and regulations, with priority given to these employees over new recruitments.

Chief Justice Bandial has recommended that the employees working in the Supreme Court’s Rest Houses, Lodges, and Registry on a daily wage basis be regularized. The regularization process would involve easing the rules and regulations within the PWD, rather than hiring new staff. This move aims to provide job security to the existing employees and aligns with previous decisions regarding regularization in the establishment division.