The High Court yesterday directed the government to fill 608 vacant posts of Biman Bangladesh Airlines Ltd.
The recruitment has to be made from 1,877 employees, who were terminated under the Voluntary Retirement Scheme (VRS) of Biman during the tenure of last caretaker government in 2007, the court said in a verdict.
The HC order came after hearing of 72 separate writ petitions filed challenging the legality of VRS.
Declaring the VRS valid, the HC said the recruitment will be made by taking into consideration the age, educational qualification, physical ability and previous professional performance of the officers.
The rest of the terminated employees will be reinstated gradually, it said also ordering the authorities to directly reinstate seven officials, who did not receive any benefit from the government after their “retirement”.
On June 5, 2006, Biman reduced its workforce by axing 1,877 staff under the VRS before the national flag carrier was made a public limited company in July next year.
The HC bench of Justice Farah Mahbub and Justice Abdur Rob gave the verdict after hearing the petitions jointly filed by 1,171 of the terminated employees.
Terminated officials had filed the petitions with the HC in 2008 and 2009 challenging the VRS under which the caretaker government had terminated them to cut expenses.
The petitioners claimed that the caretaker administration had no jurisdiction to terminate the officials as per the constitution.
The HC then issued separate rules upon the government to explain why the termination should not be declared illegal.
Deputy Attorney General Khondker Diliruzzaman said the government had also replied to the ruling.
Salauddin Dolon and Kamrul Huda appeared for the petitioners, while Junayed Ahmed Chowdhury represented Biman authorities.