Constitution 1997 PLC(C.S.) 666 – Salary of Government Employees not stoppage on any reason
1997 PLC (C.S.) 666
[Lahore High Court]
Before Muhammad AO .flea. I
Mst. GHOSIA NAZ
DEPUTY EDUCATION OFFICER
Writ Petition No. 5528 of 1997, heard on 7th March. 1997. (a) Punjab Civil-Servants Art (VIII of 1974)—
16–Constitution of Pakistan (1973), Arts. 2A, 3, 9 & 14—Non-payment of salary to civil servant—Effect—Non-payment of salary to employee who was performing or had performed duties would amount to violation of Constitutional commands—Non-payment of salary is violation of Arts. 2A, 3, 9 & 14 of the Constitution—Functionaries of State who were negligent in performing-such Constitutional obligations could not be deemed to be performing their duties-efficiently for which they were liable to be proceeded against in disciplinary proceedings—Authorities were directed to look into conduct of concerned officers with regard to non-payment of salary
Ghosia No/ v. Deputy Education Officer 667
(Muhammad Aqil Mirza, J)
to civil servant and if necessary, to initiate proceedings of misconduct against such officers. [pp. 667, 668] A, B & D
B. Constitution of Pakistan 973.
–Arts. 9 & 14 – Protection of life—Guarantees—Life – Connotation– Article 9 of the Constitution guarantees protection to life—Word life as used in Art. 9 of the Constitution would not merely connote vegetative life– but would include life which a person of civilised society should live – Employee not receiving his salary for considerable period of time was not expected to maintain minimum standard of civilised living–Dignity of man as envisaged by Art. 14 to be inviolable could not be maintained by low-paid employee who was deprived of his pay for long period of time. 1p. 668IC
Muhammad Shard Warsi for Petitioner.
Muhammad Yawar Ali Khan, Addl. A.G. (on Court’s call).
The petitioner is EST/S.V. teacher. She is presently posted in Government Girls High School. Chhanga Manga. District Kasur. It is complained that since 15.2-1996 the salary has not been paid to the petitioner despite the fact that since then she is continuously performing her duties as school teacher. Learned counsel states that initially she was appointed in the elementary education and her D.D.O. was respondent No.1 but in June, 1996 she was transferred to secondary education and respondent No.2 is the D.D.O. in respect thereof. The salary, according to the learned counsel is not being paid on account of some objections raised by the District Accounts Officer, Kasur due to the petitioner, transfer from elementary education to the secondary education.
2. It is unfortunate that the concerned authorities are not cognizant of the legal position that nonpayment of salary to an employee who is performing duties or has performed duties, amounts to violation of Constitutional commands. In such like cases where salary is not paid, Articles 2A, 3, 9 and 14 of the Constitution are violated. Needless to say that it is the foremost duty of every functionary of the State to set that provisions of the Constitution and particularly those relating to the Fundamental Rights arc vigilantly observed and followed, failing which they are liable to be proceeded for disciplinary action. In this behalf attention may be invited to Article 5 of the Constitution which, inter alia, requires as follows.
(2) Obedience to the Constitution and law is the inviolable obligation of every citizen wherever he may be and of every other person for the time being within Pakistan.
Functionaries of the State who are negligent in performing this Constitutional obligation cannot be said to be performing their duties efficiently at least, for which they are liable to be proceeded against in disciplinary proceedings. In the instant case if the facts as stated above are correct that the petitioner though performing the duties, has not received the salary on the technicality or the other for the last one year. Her Constitutional rights have been violated, particularly she has been deprived of the Fundamental Rights enshrined in Article 9 and 14 of the Constitution.
3: Article 9 guarantees protection to life. It may be observed that “life” as occurring in this Article does not merely mean vegetative life. It includes life which a person of civilized society should live. An employee who does not receive salary for considerable period of time is not expected to maintain even the minimum standard of civilised living. Article 14 provides that dignity of man shall be inviolable. Can it be possibly said that an employee, particularly a low-paid female teacher can maintain her dignity and self-respect in sustaining her existence for a long time without getting salary. Answer is obviously no.
4. Copy of this petition shall be forwarded to the Secretary, Education, Government of the Punjab. He shall look into the grievance raised in this petition, hold appropriate inquiry and fix responsibility on officers responsible for non-payment of salary to the petitioner. Similarly, copy of the writ petition shall be forwarded to the Accountant-General, Punjab. He will also look into the conduct of the District Accounts Officer. Kasur with regard to the non-payment of salary to the petitioner. The Secretary Education and the Accountant-General, Punjab will issue necessary instructions to the subordinate officers, under intimation to the Deputy Registrar (Judicial) of this Court, warning them that in future delayed payment of salaries to the employees of the Government will result in initiation of disciplinary proceedings against the officers/officials who are found responsible for non-payment/delayed payment of salaries to the employees. It may be observed that nothing can be more inefficient than to deprive an employee of his salary, within the meaning of Efficiency and Discipline Rules.
5. The question of payment of salary to the petitioner involved in this case shall be finally resolved within the next three weeks. Needless to observe that if the petitioner is performing her duties as pleaded, then the salary must be paid to her within the said period.
With the above direction this petition is disposed of.
A.A./G-37/L Order accordingly.