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October 6, 2019

Lab assistants service structure case: PHC DI Khan bench summons officials

Peshawar

October 6, 2019

DERA ISMAIL KHAN: The Peshawar High Court (PHC), Dera Ismail Khan bench, has directed the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government to submit replies in a petition, challenging non-existent service structure policy for laboratory assistants of the Higher Education Department.

The PHC divisional bench comprising Justice Ateeq Shah and Justice Shakeel Ahmad gave two weeks to secretary Establishment and secretary Finance of the provincial government to submit replies in the case of 737 laboratory assistants.

The petition was filed under Article 199 of the Constitution by one Syed Shuja Haider, divisional president of the Laboratory Assistants Association.

Muhammad Anwar Awan, the lawyer for Shuja Haider, filed the petition. The petitioner pleaded that neither the Higher Education Department nor the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government took into account the service structure policy for laboratory assistants of higher education cadre, which had already been approved by the Finance Department in 2014.

The lawyer stated that after Educational Testing and Evaluation Agency tests results in 2016, the Directorate of Higher Education appointed several laboratory assistants in BPS-7.

As the department lacked the posts in BPS-7, the newly recruited officials were adjusted against the vacant posts in BP-9, BPS-14 and BPS-16 lying vacant at different colleges of the province, which was a violation of service rules, the counsel for the petitioner said.

The petition claimed in 2018, the representative of higher education misled a joint committee comprising senior officials of the Establishment and the Higher Education departments that the laboratory assistants of the college’s cadre had already been awarded scale upgrading in 2016.

The petition, however, said that neither it was upgrading of the scale nor the revival of service structure, but a promotion to next grade given to the officials on seniority basis in 2016.

Hundreds of the laboratory assistants across the province are faced with the issues of upgrading and service structure.

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