Hearing in APNS plea adjourned till June 3
ISLAMABAD- The Supreme Court on May 7, 2003 adjourned hearing of the constitutional petition filed by the association of newspaper owners challenging the Wage Board Award, and announced that it would begin its hearing from June 3 on a daily basis.
The petitioner association, the All Pakistan Newspapers Society (APNS), has approached the apex court under its original jurisdiction with a request to declare that the government had no powers to constitute a wage board for determining the salaries of their employees.
On May 7, 2003 when the bench, headed by Chief Justice Shiekh Riaz Ahmad, took up the matter, Abdul Hafeez Pirzada, counsel for the APNS, asked the court to adjourn the case. He stated that Abid Hasan Minto, counsel for the newspaper employees, was not feeling well, and if the case was adjourned to a date when the court would be totally free, he would have no objection.
Mr Minto, said Mr Pirzada had talked to him and he would not object if the case was adjourned to a date when the court would be totally free from other work. The senior counsel said Mr Pirzada had told him that he would require about three days to complete his arguments.
It was agreed between the two counsels that the case should be taken up next week. The court was also agreeable to the date. Advocate Akram Sheikh, who represents a breakaway group of the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) called the Dastoor Group, asked the court to adjourn the case to a date next month.
The court fixed June 3 when it would start hearing of the petition on a daily basis for at least three days.
Mr Pirzada pointed out that the chairman of the Implementation Tribunal for Newspaper Employees (ITNE) was creating problems for his clients, and he should be restrained from taking any coercive action against them.
The counsel said he was informed that the ITNE chairman had submitted a statement before the court, and he was pleased that he had submitted it voluntarily to the jurisdiction of the apex court.
The counsel further said that the ITNE chairman had taken exception to his letter in which he had informed him that the matter was pending for adjudication before the apex court.
Advocate Naseer Bhutta, representing PFUJ president I. H. Raashed, said that no restraint order should be passed against the ITNE as one of the organization had already implemented the 7th Wage Board Award and a restraint order would create complications.
The court, however, directed the ITNE chairman not to take any coercive measure during the pendency of the constitutional petition.