PIA punishes for attempting higher education

Nasir Mahmood

The breaking news is that Pakistan International Airline (PIA) has approached Supreme Court so that it is able to hire more people. On the other, the same management has sacked hundreds of skilled and experienced employees by leveling false allegations.

Its latest example is Muhammad Arif Khan who was employed by Pakistan International Airlines Corporation (PIAC) in April 1992 on daily wages basis in the capacity of Dispenser, for which the required qualification was Matriculation. He is sacked after 27 years by alleging that he had submitted a fake degree of M.A, while it had nothing to do with his job requirements. It means the new management was jealous of the people who were fond of getting higher education.       

According to detail, before joining PIA Arif Khan had already got his B.A degree in 2nd Division in 1990 and continued studying for M.A. In 1991 he was passed in M.A. Part-I but due to professional activities he was unable to clear Part-II in 1993 and continue further studies. His technical qualifications were Dispenser training course from JPMC and 10 years job experience as Male Nurse, Assistant Technician, Dispenser and Receptionist etc.

After few years on 22-11-1995 the Corporation issued order for his contractual employment of three years. He was appointed in Pay Group-III, Admin in Precision Engineering Department. In year 1997 he was regularized as permanent workman and submitted all the credentials to PIAC management. He worked hard and till the last year was performing his duties in the capacity of Project Officer in Pay Group-V.

However, after twenty years of continuing service on; 10-09-2015 Muhammad Arif Khan was issued a show-cause notice alleging that M.A marks sheet submitted to PIA is declared forged by University of Karachi. This is serious misconduct therefore, he is required to submit genuine certificate (if any) and written reply within 07 days.

In his reply dated 11-09-2015 Arif submitted that contents of the notice were baseless, misconceived, untrue and contrary to the facts as such totally denied being as false. He said that his appointment in 1992 was made on the basis of Matriculation only not on M.A. However, at the time of appointment in year 1995 while stating the facts he had submitted all his educational documents including the Marks Sheet of M.A Final (three papers failed). He had neither passed the M.A Final examination nor had submitted any M.A Certificate during the entire period of his employment as such the question of submitting the forged M.A Certificate does not arise.

On 21-09-2015 Dy. General Manager HR informed that Arif Khan’s reply was found unsatisfactory by the management. The allegation of submission of forged M.A Marks Certificate prima facie reflect that he had rendered himself liable to disciplinary action under Clause 75(aj) of PIAC Employees (Service & Discipline) Regulations-1985 as amended up to date. However, Dy. General Manager HR offered an opportunity of personal hearing with the Director HR Admin. & Coordination on 30-09-2015 in his office.

Meanwhile, Arif Khan filed a petition with NIRC Karachi Bench and stated that he had never claimed nor submitted any M.A. Degree but since the management has adopted a policy to get rid of unionized workers due to their trade union activities, as such he has been served with false and fabricated show-cause notice alleging that he had submitted M.A. Certificate which has been found forged. The petitioner said he has strong apprehension that his services will be terminated due to his involvement in trade union activities, which amounts to an act of unfair labour practice.

Dr. Qamaruddin Bohra Member NIRC admitted the petition by saying that the above contention needs consideration. He ordered to issue notice to respondents for filing their comments/ counter affidavit and come up on 25-11-2015. Meanwhile the respondents were restrained from taking any adverse action towards employment of petitioner on the basis of show-cause notice dated 10-09-2015 till next date.

On 18-05-2017 Saleem Jan Khan, Member NIRC disposed of the petition and ordered the PIAC to hold a proper inquiry into the allegations leveled against the petitioner with a reasonable opportunity of defence and hearing be provided to the petitioner before passing a final order. However, on 21 January 2019 Dy. General Manager HR, PEC, issued his dismissal letter against the above-said allegation.

While replying to various queries from this correspondent Mohammad Arif Khan stated: “In the history of PIA this is unique case that instead of appreciating my additional educational qualifications of Intermediate, B.A and then getting studied for M.A they had unjustly punished for false allegation.”

Informed sources disclosed that when a PIA employee is found guilty of misconduct or is convicted of an offence involving moral turpitude, the competent authority may impose on him/ her one or more of the following penalties:

Censure; (b) Withholding of annual increment(s) for a period not exceeding three (03) years; (c) Fine not exceeding five (05) percent of the basic pay; (d) Recovery from the pay of the whole or any part of pecuniary loss caused to the Corporation by negligence or breach of any discipline; (e) Reduction to a lower scale in a time scale for a period not exceeding three (03) increments; (f) Demotion/ Reduction to a lower pay group and cadre; (g) Compulsory retirement; (h) Dismissal from service.

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