While taking cognizance of nepotism in recruiting management trainee officers (MTOs) at the state-owned National Bank of Pakistan, the top court on Friday asked the bank’s president to take strict action against people at the helm of affair without favor and fear.
National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) has challenged the Peshawar High Court (PHC) verdict that had directed the top brass of the bank to pay equal perks and benefits to MTO and non-MTO employees across the board.
Resuming the hearing in the matter, a two-judge bench of the Supreme Court (SC) comprising Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed and Justice Ijazul Ahsan asked the bank’s counsel as to why MTOs were being paid special pay scale which was greater in amount to the salary of old employees known as non-MTOs.
Expressing dismay over the situation, Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmad addressing the NBP counsel observed, “Viability of the NBP is in question – you (bank) are recklessly working as its officers deem assets of the bank to be their personal property”. The Chief Justice asked the Bank to treat MTOs and non-MTOs employees equally.
The counsel for the bank submitted that across the board payment of special pay scale will create a burden of Rs16 billion to the bank to which Justice Ijazul Ahsan plainly remarked, “The Board of Directors of the Bank should have thought about financial burden before making discrimination in recruiting MTOs on special pay scale”.
Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmad observed, “ Equal pay – equal work,” whereas Justice Ijazul Ahsan said while addressing the bank’s counsel over non-implementation of the PHC order in the matter, “ Can you think of disobeying the order of this court. Look at the way you are dealing with public money”.
The bank counsel sought more time to settle the issue but the Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed issued directives to the bank president to take action against the responsible officers who recruited their blue-eyed MTOs, dismissing the bank’s appeal and upheld the PHC verdict in the matter.