Biman Bangladesh to reappoint 'sacked' staff

The High Court tells the national flag carrier to appoint afresh those given 'golden handshake' Full report

bdnews24.com
Published : 4 March 2012, 08:05 AM
Updated : 4 March 2012, 08:05 AM
Dhaka, March 4 (bdnews24.com)-The High Court (HC) on Sunday ordered Biman Bangladesh Airlines to appoint afresh those who were given retirement under a 'golden handshake' scheme during the last military-backed caretaker government.
The bench of justices Farah Mahbub and Abdur Rab, after hearing a number of writ petitions, also ordered reinstatement of those employees, who were offered the 'golden handshake', but finally, did not avail the benefits.
The Biman Bangladesh authorities have been told to appoint afresh those officials and employees against its 608 vacant posts considering their seniority, academic qualification, service record and medical fitness to continue in job.
The verdict also declared the 'golden handshake' scheme legal.
As for compensation for the period since their 'forced retirement', Biman has been told to take measures in accordance with its service rules.
As many as 1,877 Biman employees were given retirement under a 'golden handshake' scheme during the military-backed caretaker government in 2007.
The HC issued a number of rulings on the government after the Biman employees challenged the retirement decision in 2008, 2009 and 2010, saying that they were forced to retire. The Sunday's order came after disposing of 61 writ petitions out of the total 70 filed by 1,172 retired Biman employees.
"Biman cannot make new appointments unless the retired employees are reinstated gradually," lawyer for the petitioners Salahuddin Dolon told bdnews24.com.
Only those who did not avail the benefits offered under the retirement scheme would be reinstated with the seniority they were enjoying prior to their retirement, said Salahuddin, who represented 536 petitioners during the hearing.
Barristers Rafiqul Haque, Abdur Razzak, Nazrul Islam, Omar Sadat and Mahbub Shafique, and advocates Abdul Matin Khasru and Ahsanul Karim also took part in the hearing for the rest of the petitioners.
Barristers Kamalul Alam, Akhter Imam, Zonayed Ahmed Chowdhury, and advocates Khandaker Diliruzzaman and Ekramul Haque Tutul appeared on behalf of Biman Bangladesh.
"Those who had taken benefits offered under the retirement would be appointed afresh only if they fulfil certain stipulated conditions," said Diliruzzaman.
"It is a victory for Biman as the court has ordered retirement under 'golden handshake' legal," said Diliruzzaman.
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Toufique Imrose Khalidi
Editor-in-Chief and Publisher