The Islamabad High Court Tuesday sought reply from chief executive officer of the national flag carrier in response to a plea of trainee engineers who urged the court to issue directives for eliminating discrimination in their promotion which has been due since 2009.
Filing petition on behalf of 14 trainee engineers of the Pakistan International Airlines Corporation Limited (PIACL), Advocates High Court Umer Gilani and Abdul Rafay Siddiqui made chief executive officer of the PIALC, federation of Pakistan through secretary, ministry of aviation and Pakistan Engineering Council through its registrar as respondents in the matter.
Appearing before a single-member bench of the Justice Aamer Farooq on Tuesday in the matter, Advocate Gilani contended that all the 14 petitioners were delivering as trainee engineers in the Engineering Department of the PIALC since 2009.
Responding to court query he apprised the bench that his clients’ appointment letters were issued with written assurance that they would be permanently absorbed/promoted as Aircraft Engineers upon obtaining “first license/approval from C.A.A Pakistan and Chief Engineer Quality Assurance, PIALC.
Advocate Gilani further argued while highlighting the factual position of the matter saying, “It is an uncontroverted fact that the petitioners have obtained this license/approval many years ago – Yet, almost 12 years after their appointment, they are still ‘trainees’”.
He apprised the bench that petitioners have neither been permanently absorbed nor promoted claiming that it was the result for totally mala fide reasons. Gilani further contended that the Apprentice Mechanics and the Management Trainees who were appointed in response to an advertisement of June 2008 on similar terms and conditions, were permanently absorbed a year ago and have since been granted multiple promotions.
Advocate Gilani informed the bench saying, “Despite having successfully met the requirement of obtaining first license/approval, the petitioners have not been promoted for reasons which are patently mala fide. He argued that the denial of promotion has nothing to do with the petitioners qualifications or their performance saying it is on account of their being ‘engineers’. “My clients being engineers, as a class of employees, are being illegally discriminated against by the respondents”, Gilani submitted.
He prayed the bench to issue directives to the CEO PIALC to treat all the 14 trainee engineers’ promotion to post of Aircraft Engineers in a fair manner without discrimination and victimization after providing them due opportunity of hearing in the matter.
After a brief hearing, Justice Aamer Farooq issued notices to all the three respondents with directives to submit response in the matter and adjourned the hearing for two weeks.
The writer heads a leading news wire service ‘The Law Today Pakistan’ commonly known as TLTP. He has a special focus on news relating to superior courts adjudication, access to right of information, civil, political, social and economic rights under the approach that existing cyber regime realization ensures procedural fairness in administrative law. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org