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Legality of NO REASON CLAUSE (without assigning any reason) in the Appointment Letter

The Division Bench of Lahore High Court in case of Samina Kanwal v. Director, Punjab Forestry Research Institute, Faisalabad (2011 PLC (CS) 1553) declared the NO REASON CLAUSE (without assigning any reason) as unlawful and violative of Article 4, Fundamental Rights (Article 9, 14, 25), and Rule of Law. Hence it has no legal value. Executive Summary On 24.09.2009 Petitioner (Ms. Samina Kanwal) was appointed as Research Assistant (BS-11) in the Punjab Forestry Research Institute, Faisalabad on contract basis for a period of three years. She joined the department on 26.09.2009 but within two months her services were terminated with immediate effect (i.e. 14.11.2009) against one months salary in lieu of notice. Petitioner challenged her termination through Constitutional Petition (Writ Petition No. 285 of 2010) under Article 199 of the Constitution of Pakistan, 1973 read with Article 144 of Punjab Contract Recruitment Policy, 2004 in the Lahore High Court (LHC) with prayer for declaring the termination letter illegal, violative of Punjab Contract Recruitment Policy, 2004 and without any legal effect as her services were terminated without assigning any notice. On the other hand, Respondent (Punjab Forestry Research Institute, Faisalabad) submitted that Petitioner was appointed purely on contract basis and contract appointment could be terminated with one month notice or one month salary in lieu of notice by either side without assigning any reason. Therefore, there was no need for serving a show cause notice to the Petitioner in terms of clause 8 of her appointment (i.e. after giving her salary of one month lieu of notice without assigning any reason). Single Judge of LHC held Respondent was not under an obligation to give a show cause notice to the Petitioner prior to termination of her services according to the Punjab Contract Recruitment Policy, 2004 or terms and conditions of appointment letter. The Single Judge further held both parties were legally bound to follow the terms and conditions of the contract. As a result, application of the Petitioner was dismissed. (2010 YLR 1920). Petitioner being aggrieved by the judgment of Single Judge of LHC filed an Intra-Court Appeal (I.C.A.No.281/2010) before the Division Bench of Lahore High Court and the court held: NO REASON CLAUSE (without assigning any reason) in the Appointment Letter does not stand the test of due process (Article 4), Fundamental Rights (Article 9, 14, 25), Rule of Law, Reason, Logic, Ethics and Good Governance. While the modern world moves towards accountability and transparency, the No Reason Clause reminds us of unfettered, unmufflered and unchecked discretion. Such a clause has no place in a constitutional democracy, which rests on the supremacy of the rule of lawThe said clauses therefore ex facie lack the requirement of fairness and procedural due process thereby offending Article 4 of the Constitution. The said clause is also facially discriminatory besides being liable to be used in a discriminating manner thereby violating Article 25 of the Constitution. Reliance is placed on Dr. Mobashir Hassan v. Federation of Pakistan and others (PLD 2010 SC 1) and Government of Balochistan v. Azizullah Memon (PLD 1993 SC 341). The said clause is therefore struck down as unconstitutional and offensive to human dignity and reason. Reliance is placed on Faisal Sultan v. E.D.O. (EDUCATION) and others (2011 PLC (CS) 419). emphasis supplied. With above reasons the Division Bench of LHC set aside the termination letter of Appellant and declared it to be unlawful and in violation of Punjab Contract Recruitment Policy, 2004. Case: Samina Kanwal v. Director, Punjab Forestry Research Institute, Faisalabad. Official Citation: (2011 PLC (CS) 1553)
http://lhc.gov.pk/appjdmts/2011LHC642.pdf