ISLAMABAD Feb. 15 (APP): Finally, after the lapse of 32 years, Pakistan Television Corporation will take up the issue of payment of compensation of Rs. 800,000 each to 54 trade union leaders, who were jailed while responding the strike call by the Pakistan Peoples Party on February 16, 1978.
In this regard, the PTV management
sought two months time during an hearing of writ petition no: 2527/09
in the Lahore High Court Rawalpindi bench earlier this month, APP
Correspondent Ilyas Bhatti learnt here on Monday.
Pakistan Television Employees
Union leaders were jailed and fired later, 32 years ago when they went
on strike at the call of the then Chairperson PPP Begum Nusrat Bhutto.
The ‘Struggle day’ call was given by the PPP against the dictator
General Zia-ul-Haq on that day.
As many as 28 trade union leaders
of the PTV Unions were arrested from Lahore, Quetta, Peshawar and
Rawalpindi-Islamabad Centers. They were tried by various martial law
courts under martial law regulation No.10 which envisaging death
sentence. The services of the remaining trade union workers, who were
not arrested, were fired.
The Supreme Court of Pakistan accepted Agha Shahid Rashid, Ex-Television Engineer of the PTV Lahore appeal in 2008. Agha was among the 28 employees of four PTV centers who were terminated without any notice or charge sheet on February
23, 1978. Pakistan Television has paid Rs. 800,000 to Agha as directed
by the Supreme Court of Pakistan.
The termination orders were declared illegal by a Review Board set up by Shaheed Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto in 1989. The Review Board, in its judgment in favor of 28 PTV employees had declared “we hold the impugned order void abinitio and recommend to the federal government (Ministry of Information and Broadcasting) to direct the Pakistan Television Corporation to re-employ the petitioner at the post with the same seniority which the petitioner would have enjoyed had his services not been terminated”
According to a list presented in
the National Assembly on September 24, 1989 by the then Minister of
Information the employees belonging to four television centers include
Inayat Hussein, Asif Sheikh, Zaheer Javed, Shahid Mahmud Nadeem, Raja Muhammad Hussein, Aurangzeb, Muhammad Abass, Amjad Bukhari, Ghulam Ahmed Sheikh, Salahuddin Mengal, S. Taufeeq Shah, Atiq Ahmed Siddiqui, Azhar Masood,
Agha Shahid Rashid, Muhammad Ilyas Bhatti, Abdul Mateen Malik, Ejaz
Ahmed Niazi, Abdul Jalil Shakir, Sinar Gul Chinari, Habib Gul, Shaukat
Hayat, Muhammad Bashir, Hafeezur Rehman, Muhammad Khaliq Ghazi, Usman
Ghani, Mubarak Shah, Muhammad Alam and Muhammad Aslam.
The present PPP government owes
fulfillment of the reinstatement of such employees in letter and spirit
on their posts, which was ordered by Shaheed Benazir Bhutto in 1989.
They were awaked 15 lashes and one year rigorous imprisonment after
summary trial. They were charged with taking over four PTV centers on
February 16, 1978.
The then Secretary Law and Justice
Mr. Justice Sheikh Riaz Hussein in his legal opinion in 1995 said that
the PTV can give seniority to its sacked employees in line with the
Review Board judgment.
Besides. A number of PTV employees
went to various courts including the High court, Federal Service
Tribunal. Finally the Supreme Court in its judgment in Civil Appeal No.
851-857, accepted workers plea.
A number of employees who joined
PTV at the junior posts and later resigned after not being promoted are
still being denied which is a negation of the principle of natural
justice. PTV was still adamant to abide by the Review Boaord. Federal
Service Tribunal and Supreme Court judgment. A number of such cases
were still pending in various courts.
The affected employees have pinned
hopes with the Federal Minister for Information for the redressed of
their grievance and the fulfillment of the wishes of the slain leader
of the PPP Benazir Bhutto before they reach the age of superannuation.