PESHAWAR, Dec 5: The Peshawar High Court (PHC) has issued contempt of court notice to secretary and director Elementary and Secondary Education Department Khyber Pakhtunkhwa for taking continuously 24 hours duty from watchmen of government schools in the province.
A division bench comprising Justice Waqar Ahmad Seth and Justice Younas Thaheem directed the respondent officials to appear and why contempt proceedings should not be started against them for failing to comply with court order to stop 24 hours continuous duty from the watchmen of the government schools.
The bench issued notice to the respondent officials in contempt of court petition filed by watchmen and members of All Pakistan Class-IV Association KP Chapter including Mumraiz Khan from Girls Higher Secondary School Azakhel district Nowshera, Rahimullah from Government Primary School No 3 Azakhel Bala district Nowshera and Muhammad Nawab Khan from Government Primary School Shahi Koto, Lower Dir.
Fakhre Alam, Secretary Elementary and Secondary Education Department, Muhammad Rafiq Khattak, Director, Elementary and Secondary Education Department, Muhammad Fayyaz, District Education Officer Nowshera, Sadiq Jan, SDEO Sub-Division Blamabat Lower Dir district, Bushra Begum, head mistress Government Girls High School Azakhel Bala and Ghulam Ali, head master Government Primary School No3 Azakhel Bala were made contemnors in the petition.
During hearing, the petitioners’ lawyer, Muhammad Arif Jan, submitted that the high court on November 23, last year had passed a decision in favour of the petitioners. It had directed the respondent officials to exercise their powers in accordance with law and no one shall be compelled into obeying illegal orders in future.
Initially, he said director Elementary and Secondary Education Department Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in compliance with the order circulated the same directions on the subject matter in the district education officers of the province, but despite these facts the respondents were compelling the petitioners for the continuous duty of 24 hours.
The lawyer argued that the petitioners were issued further orders on March 11 and October 19, this year in respect of performing their duties as security guards for 24 hours by the respondent officials.
He submitted that prior to the present petition other contempt of court petitions were also filed against the respondents, which were allowed on September 7 and 12, this year, but despite all these facts, the respondents intentionally misusing their powers by compelling the petitioners for obeying an illegal and unlawful order, which is against the law, rules and regulations governing the subject matter.
The lawyer said despite of the orders respondents were compelling the petitioners either to perform duty of 24 hours or resign otherwise they will be dismissed from service. He said the petitioners were not availing any scheduled holidays. Moreover, he said, the petitioners were not having any accommodation inside the schools to perform their duties round the clock.
He pointed out that respondents had undermined the authority of high court and had not moved even an inch for implementation of the orders. It said that respondent officials had violated the manifest order of this court, which was bound to lower the authority of this court in the eyes of the general public for which the respondents were needed to be booked under the Contempt of Court Act, 2004.
Published by Daily The News on Dec 5, 2017