The Supreme Court ordered complete overhauling and retrenchment of employees in the railways and also sought a detailed report on the railway employees and operations within a month.
The Supreme Court heard various petitions filed regarding the tenure of railway employees. A two-member bench headed by Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed heard the petitions.
During the hearing, the Chief Justice asked the Secretary Railways, how many employees were temporarily recruited under Temporary Labour Appointment (TLA), to which the Secretary said that TLA has 2,712 employees.
Secretary Railways said that the salaries of TL employees are paid by the local government, to which the Chief Justice asked how these employees became railway employees.
The Chief Justice inquired about the total number of employees in the Railways, on which the Secretary Railways said that there are 76,000 employees, 142 passenger trains and 120 freight trains are running but at present, only 43 passenger trains are operational due to Coronavirus.
Justice Gulzar Ahmed inquired that you have 76,000 employees, 10,000 is enough to run the railway system, all your factories and work is closed, so what are these employees doing.
Justice Ijaz-ul-Ahsan remarked that the computers of the railways were covered with dust while the media was reporting that the Prime Minister was making some reforms in the railways.
Secretary Railways said that reforms are being made on 6 points while computerized data of 76,000 employees are not available.
Expressing dissatisfaction over the statement of the Secretary Railways, the court ordered complete overhauling and retrenchment of 76,000 employees in the Railways.
The court said that the railways should immediately start its reform process and lay off unnecessary and incompetent employees. The court also sought a detailed report on the railway employees and the operation within a month.
It may be recalled that in September 2019, a new recruitment process was introduced in the railways through lucky draw.
845 persons were recruited through the lucky draw but the Pakistan Railways Employees (Prem) Union had approached the Supreme Court on this.
Later in October, a Rawalpindi bench of the Lahore High Court suspended the deployment of 845 persons in Pakistan Railways through the lucky draw and sought reply from the parties named in the petition.