LEGAL ADVICE

At Josh and Mak International, we understand the frequent legal queries that arise regarding services matters for WAPDA employees. To assist our clients, we have compiled summaries of recent cases pertaining to this topic. These summaries aim to provide helpful information, but we always recommend seeking a proper legal consultation for personalized advice. For any inquiries or to schedule a consultation, please contact us at aemen@joshandmak.com.

1. Aurangzeb vs. Water and Power Development Authority (1988 PLC(CS) 53 Federal Service Tribunal)

  • Issue: Termination of WAPDA employees during probation as per appointment terms.
  • Key Takeaway: The case highlights that for WAPDA employees, there is no statutory provision for a departmental appeal against an order terminating services during probation. The Service Tribunal dismissed the appeal, emphasizing that the terms of the appointment were clear and adhered to.
  • Implication: WAPDA employees must be acutely aware of their terms of employment, especially regarding probation. If the terms explicitly allow for termination during probation without a departmental appeal, these conditions are likely to be upheld.

2. Muhammad Ashraf Naeem vs. Executive Engineer, Cantt. Division (E), WAPDA, Lahore (1985 PLC(CS) 390 Federal Service Tribunal)

  • Issue: Legality of termination conditions in the appointment letter.
  • Key Takeaway: The Tribunal found that certain conditions in the appointment letter, such as termination without notice before the expiry of the probation period, were invalid as they contradicted the Standing Orders. The appellant was deemed permanent after three months of service and could not be removed without following due procedure.
  • Implication: This case sets a precedent that appointment conditions contradictory to legal statutes (like the Standing Orders) are not enforceable. WAPDA employees on probation might gain permanent status earlier than specified in their appointment letters if such conditions contradict established labor laws.

3. Muhammad Yaqub vs. Executive Engineer, Fort Division (Electricity) WAPDA, Lahore (1985 PLC(CS) 382 Federal Service Tribunal)

  • Issue: Termination of service during the probationary period.
  • Key Takeaway: Similar to the Muhammad Ashraf Naeem case, this ruling also emphasized that WAPDA employees become permanent after three months under the Standing Orders Ordinance, 1968. Any contrary condition in the appointment letter is ineffective.
  • Implication: WAPDA employees should be aware that statutory rights accruing under labor laws can override conditions stipulated in their appointment letters, especially concerning probation and termination.

4. National Industrial Relations Commission (1984 PLC 1579)

  • Issue: Regularization of work-charged employees after probation.
  • Key Takeaway: The Commission directed that WAPDA employees on deputation who completed a probationary period of three months should be regularized and entitled to pension and other benefits, following the principles laid down in an Industrial Court Award.
  • Implication: This decision suggests that WAPDA employees on work-charged establishment can attain permanent status post-probation and become eligible for associated benefits, emphasizing the need to adhere to awards and rules governing employment terms.

5. Mrs. Jehan Ara Tabassum vs. WAPDA (1981 PLC 257 National Industrial Relations Commission)

  • Issue: Termination of a lecturer in WAPDA Inter College.
  • Key Takeaway: The Commission held that WAPDA is deemed an essential service, and the termination of its employees, including probationers, must have a reasonable excuse under the Essential Services (Maintenance) Act, 1952.
  • Implication: This case stresses that even probationary employees in essential services like WAPDA are afforded certain protections against arbitrary termination, requiring a justifiable cause for such action.

Conclusion

These cases collectively provide crucial guidance for WAPDA employees, particularly those on probation. They highlight the importance of understanding the legal framework governing probationary periods, the enforceability of appointment terms, the interplay between individual contract terms and statutory labor laws, and the protections available even during probation. WAPDA employees, therefore, should be well-informed about their rights and the legal precedents that might impact their employment status.

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Other summaries from Pakistan Law site

WATER AND POWER DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY (WAPDA) Vs. Brig. (R.) MUHAMMAD ARIF 2007 PLC(CS) 650   SUPREME-COURT 

Preamble—Constitution of Pakistan (1973), Art.185(3)—Respondent was initially appointed on probation as Engineer in Wapda and on account of state of war between Pakistan and India, he was commissioned in Pakistan Army on 13-12-1965 by way of conscription in terms of Compulsory Service (Armed Forces) Ordinance, 1965; respondent got his normal promotions in the Army and retired from service in the rank of Brigadier with effect from 14-12-1995; he approached wapda for his re-employment which showed its inability to adjust him—High Court accepted appeal of the respondent for his re­employment—Validity—Held, for all practical purposes respondent could no longer be considered to be governed by Compulsory Service (Armed Forces) Ordinance, 1965 as he had been permanently inducted into Pakistan Army from where he retired as Brigadier and question of his repatriation to wapda would not arise at all—Judgment of High Court was not sustainable at law—Principles.

AURANGZEB vs. WATER AND POWER DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY (WAPDA) 1988 PLC(CS) 53     FEDERAL-SERVICE-TRIBUNAL

Service Tribunals Act 1973 –S.4(a)–Appeal before Tribunal–Departmental remedy exhausted before filing of appeal–wapda employees seeking relief against order terminating services during probation in accordance with terms of appointment—No statutory provision providing for departmental appeal against such order–Appeal dismissed in circumstances.

 NASIR SAEED vs.  CHAIRMAN WAPDA 1986 PLC(CS) 394     FEDERAL-SERVICE-TRIBUNAL

Civil Services — Termination of service during probation –-wapda employee on probation and according to appointment order liable to termination without notice during probation in case work and conduct not found satisfactory-Termination on account of unsatisfactory work and conduct, in circumstances, held, quite valid and not open to challenge–Plea that mention in termination order that conduct was unsatisfactory caused stigma and no order causing stigma could be passed without proper inquiry and opportunity of being heard–Repelled.

 MUHAMMAD ASHRAF NAEEM  Vs. EXECUTIVE ENGINEER, CANTT. DIVISION (E),WAPDA, LAHORE 1985 PLC(CS) 390   FEDERAL-SERVICE-TRIBUNAL

Service Tribunals Act 1973 —S. 4–West Pakistan Water and Power Development Authority Act (XXXI of 1958), S. 17(1-B)–West Pakistan Industrial and Commercial Employment (Standing Orders) Ordinance (VI of 1968), Ss. 1(4), 2(i), S.O. 1(b) 12 & 15–Payment of Wages Act (IV of 1936), S. 2(ii)(5)-wapda employees–Status–Civil servants only for purposes of Service Tribunals Act, 1973 and not for all purposes–Labour Laws whether applicable to wapda employees–wapda covered by definition of “industrial establishment” under Payment of Wages Act, 1936 and definition of “Commercial Establishment” under West Pakistan Industrial and Commercial Employment (Standing Orders) Ordinance, 1968–Meter Reader doing clerical work--A “workman”–To be governed by provisions of West Pakistan Industrial and Commercial Employment (Standing Orders) Ordinance, 1968–Rules of wapda or terms and conditions of appointment contrary to Ordinance, 1968–Inoperative and invalid–Appointment made on conditions that appointee will be on probation for one year and liable to termination without notice before expiry of probation period-Such conditions contrary to Standing Order 1(b)–Not valid–Appointee, held, became permanent after service of 3 months and could not be removed without following procedure of Standing Orders 12 & 15 in circumstances–impugned termination order on account of unsatisfactory work passed purportedly in terms of appointment conditions, held, not sustainable and set aside by Service Tribunal and appellant directed to be re-instated from date of removal.

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 1985 PLC(CS) 382     FEDERAL-SERVICE-TRIBUNAL

Civil Services —–Termination of service–wapda employee (Meter Clerk) appointed subject to termination if work and conduct found unsatisfactory during probation ary period of one year–Termination ordered within probation period–Order, in circumstances, held, to be based on adequate material to establish that work or conduct was unsatisfactory–No material available–Impugned order, in circumstances, held, unjustified hence set aside by Service Tribunal–Service Tribunals Act (LXX of 1973), S.4.

 MUHAMMAD YAQUB vs. EXECUTIVE ENGINEER, FORT DIVISION (ELECTRICITY) WAPDA, LAHORE and another 1985 PLC(CS) 382     FEDERAL-SERVICE-TRIBUNAL

West Pakistan Water and Power Development Authority Act 1958 —S. 17(1-B)–West Pakistan Industrial and Commercial Employment (Standing Orders) Ordinance (VI of 1968), S.O. 1(b)–Service Tribunals Act (LXX of 1973), S. 4–wapda employees–Civil servants for purposes of Service Tribunals Act, 1974–Within jurisdiction of Service Tribunal and not Labour Court–wapda employee (Meter Clerk)–A worker–West Pakistan Industrial and Commercial Employment (Standing Orders) Ordinance, 1968 applicable to such employee–Becomes permanent under S.O. 1(b) of Ordinance, 1968 after service of three months–Condition in appointment letter contemplating liability to removal from service before expiry of probation ary period of one year, held, could not take away statutory right accruing under S.O. 1(b)of Ordinance, 1968 hence could not be invoked for termination of service after satisfactory completion of probation ary period of three months provided under S.O. 1(b) of Ordinance, 1968–Termination order passed purportedly in terms of appointment letter, in circumstances, set aside by Service Tribunal.

1984 PLC(CS) 1579     NATIONAL-INDUSTRIAL-RELATIONS-COMMISSION

Industrial Relations Ordinance 1969 –S. 34–Word “Award”-Does not necessarily mean award given under Industrial Relations Ordinance, 1969-Award given by Industrial Court under Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 neither modified nor revoked, held, could be enforced by application under S. 34-Such Award laying down certain principles for converting work-charged establishment of wapda into permanent after completing probation ary period of 3 months-Plea that such employees not being regular were not entitled to pension-Rejected-Directions issued by National Industrial Relations Commission that employees or wapda on deputation to Mechanised Construction of Pakistan Limited having opted to remain employees of wapda should be regularised in terms of Award of Industrial Court and be paid pension and other benefits under rules-Water and Power Development Authority Pension Rules, 1977, rr. 3 (i) (ii) and (iii) & 4 (v) and (vi).

 MUHAMMAD AYUB vs. WAPDA 1982 PLC(CS) 108     LABOUR-APPELLATE-TRIBUNAL-PUNJAB

West Pakistan Industrial and Commercial Employment (Standing Orders) Ordinance 1968 –S. 1 (4), proviso and S. Os. 1 (b) & (c) & 15(4)—WAP15A–A separate statutory body and separate legal entity–Not state carried on by or under authority of Government provisions of Ordinance applicable to wapda –wapda employee (Assistant Lineman) employed on probation -Nature of work for which employed likely to last for more than nine months-A permanent workman after completion of probationary period of 3 months-Charged of absence exceeding 10 days-Charge-sheeting for such misconduct and inquiry, held, necessary-Termination order passed without such proceedings, in circumstances, set aside-Re-instatement awarded on technical grounds hence back benefits not allowed.

MRS. JEHAN ARA TABASSUM Vs.  WAPDA 1981 PLC(CS) 257     NATIONAL-INDUSTRIAL-RELATIONS-COMMISSION

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West Pakistan Water and Power Development Authority Act 1958 — S. 17-A read with Pakistan Essential Services (Maintenance) Act (LIII of 1952), S. 7-A-wapda declared as essential service Matter concerning termination of service of Lecturer in wapda Inter College-Within jurisdiction of Specified Authority under Essential Services (Maintenance) Act, 1952-Contention that wapda employees fall within exclusive jurisdiction of Service Tribunal rejected-No distinction between various categories of employees–Pakistan Essential Services Maintenance Act, 1952, held, applicable to any person engaged in any employment or class of employment to which Act made applicable-Termination of service – Reasonable excuse Essential even in case of a probationer-Pakistan Essential Services (Maintenance) Act (LIII of 1.952), S. 5(1).

These recent case summaries provide an overview of legal issues surrounding services matters for WAPDA employees. It is crucial to consult with legal professionals for a comprehensive analysis of individual cases. At Josh and Mak International, we are committed to providing the best legal assistance to our clients. For personalized advice or further inquiries, please contact us at aemen@joshandmak.com.

The key takeaways from these cases involving WAPDA (Water and Power Development Authority) employees, particularly in matters of probation, provide crucial insights for litigants facing similar situations. Here are the main points to consider:

1. Understanding and Adhering to Employment Terms

Case: Aurangzeb vs. Water and Power Development Authority

  • Takeaway: The terms of employment, especially those related to probation, are strictly adhered to. If the employment contract does not provide for a departmental appeal against termination during probation, such an appeal is unlikely to succeed.
  • Implication for Litigants: Review and understand your employment contract thoroughly. Be aware that if your contract stipulates termination during probation without the possibility of a departmental appeal, this condition is likely to be upheld in court.

2. Precedence of Labor Laws Over Contractual Terms

Case: Muhammad Ashraf Naeem vs. Executive Engineer, Cantt. Division (E), WAPDA, Lahore

  • Takeaway: Conditions in an appointment letter that contradict established labor laws (such as the Standing Orders) may be deemed invalid.
  • Implication for Litigants: If your employment conditions, particularly regarding probation and termination, contradict labor laws or standing orders, these laws will typically take precedence. It’s crucial to understand how statutory rights under labor laws interact with your employment contract.

3. Statutory Rights in Probation Period

Case: Muhammad Yaqub vs. Executive Engineer, Fort Division (Electricity) WAPDA, Lahore

  • Takeaway: Statutory rights accruing under labor laws can override conditions stipulated in an employment contract, especially concerning probation and termination.
  • Implication for Litigants: You might gain permanent status earlier than specified in your appointment letter if such conditions contradict established labor laws.

4. Regularization and Benefits Post-Probation

Case: National Industrial Relations Commission (1984)

  • Takeaway: WAPDA employees who complete their probationary period are eligible for regularization and subsequent benefits, as per the principles laid down in relevant awards and rules.
  • Implication for Litigants: Understand your rights regarding regularization and benefits after completing your probationary period. Legal precedents favor the regularization of employees post-probation.

5. Protections Against Arbitrary Termination

Case: Mrs. Jehan Ara Tabassum vs. WAPDA

  • Takeaway: Even probationary employees in essential services like WAPDA are afforded protections against arbitrary termination, requiring a justifiable cause for such action.
  • Implication for Litigants: Be aware of the protections against arbitrary termination, even during the probationary period, especially in essential services.

By The Josh and Mak Team

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