Zar Alam Khan
ISLAMABAD: Islamabad High Court Chief Justice Athar Minallah on Monday came down hard on Federal Directorate of Education (FDE) for its double standard in regard to the services of teachers working in the capital under the wedlock policy.
The court directed the FDE to submit the criteria under which it had absorbed teachers working in the capital under the wedlock policy and deprived the petitioners of the same treatment.
The order was issued during hearing of petitions filed by over 250 teachers, mostly females, who have been repatriated to their parent departments in provinces.
The counsel for the petitioners told the court that they had been working in Islamabad under the wedlock policy for over 10 to 20 years. They had also submitted permanent no-objection certificates (NOCs) from their parent departments on the direction of the FDE in the year 2013. However, the FDE lingered on their absorption for years and on Jan 8 ordered their repatriation and relieved them of their duties declaring them ineligible for the posts.
In the meanwhile, however, the FDE absorbed the services of scores of blue-eyed teachers working in Islamabad under the same wedlock policy through the backdoor. The petitioners also submitted in court the names of the teachers who were absorbed by the FDE clandestinely.
Justice Minallah asked the legal adviser of the FDE to explain the criteria under which some teachers were absorbed and the remaining were relieved of their duties all of a sudden. The teachers also told the court that the FDE had placed an advertisement to recruit new teachers in their places.
The court noted that “the impugned orders clearly show that the wedlock policy was not considered. The impugned orders further show that in each individual case the facts and circumstances were not taken into consideration. The deputy attorney general has sought time to assist the court.”
The judge remarked that the petitioners had been working in the capital for years and had the experience of over 20 years but one fine morning the FDE woke up and sent them back and decided to appoint new teachers in their places.
The court directed the FDE to submit details of teachers who were absorbed and the criteria which they met and the petitioners could not. The court adjourned further hearing in the matter till Feb 17.
“It is not the case of the Federal Government that performance of the petitioners was unsatisfactory,” Justice Minallah observed, adding the teachers were repatriated apparently in contradiction to the wedlock policy.