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LHC reinstates two ‘overweight’ airhostesses

LAHORE: Justice Hafiz Tariq Nasim of the Lahore High Court (LHC) on Thursday reinstated two Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) airhostesses whose services were terminated in 2005 allegedly for being overweight. Samina Abid and Naureen Naz Butt had challenged the orders in separate petitions.

The counsel for the petitioners submitted that Abid joined PIA in 1992, and was sacked in 2005 for being overweight. The counsel said Butt joined PIA in 1995 on contract basis. Her contract was not extended after January 2005, despite an unblemished record. He said she was not removed in accordance with the Removal of Services Ordinance, 2000, because she had not committed any fault. Rather, he said, her dismissal was due to an ‘extraneous consideration’ – her weight.

The counsel said the petitioners’ dismissal was a violation of Article 25 of the Constitution and the chief justice of Pakistan in two suo motu notices, had ordered the reinstatement of sacked staff in such cases. In his reply, the PIA counsel conceded Butt had a faultless record, but submitted that it was the prerogative of the employer to extend or terminate a contract.

While accepting Abid’s petition, the judge observed that if her weight prevented her from working as a member of the cabin crew, she could be allocated to the ground staff. On Abid’s petition, the judge observed that her contract clearly stated that it was “convertible into regular employment subject to satisfactory performance during the contract period” and that she was therefore entitled to being regularised.

Source: Daily Times

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