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The Price of Litigation: PIDE study exposes costs of legal battles in universities

The Price of Litigation: PIDE study exposes costs of legal battles in universities

The average cost of litigation varies from PKR 50,000 to 200,000 per person for lower scales (BPS 1 to 16) and from PKR 150,000 to 500,000 per person for higher ranks (BPS 17 and above).

The study recommends the implementation of a proper penalty system against the losing party to discourage the unnecessary escalation of matters to court.

Conflict detrimentally impacts the working environment, particularly among faculty members, ultimately affecting the institution’s overall performance.

Islamabad, OCT 23 /DNA/ – The Pakistan Institute of Development Economics (PIDE) conducted a research study titled “Judiciary and Human Resource Management in Universities” to investigate the average number of court cases and their nature, registered by faculty members and other staff against university administrations, as well as the average cost of litigation to resolve these cases.

According to the press release issued by PIDE, the study revealed that, on average, 105 court cases were filed by faculty members against the administration. Of these cases, 50 were from relatively younger universities, while 160 cases belonged to the older universities. The universities were classified into two broad categories in the research: older universities (established before 2005) and younger universities (established after 2005).

In examining the cases filed by faculty, the study found that 58 percent were initiated by academic faculty members, while 42 percent were filed by non-academic staff. Additionally, the majority of these cases related to promotion (65%) and permanent positions (22%), respectively.

The cost of litigation involves both direct and indirect expenses. The direct cost is determined by lawyer fees, which vary based on the nature of the case and the scales and groups of applicants. For lower scales (BPS 1 to 16), the average cost of litigation ranges from PKR 50,000 to 200,000 per person, while for higher ranks (BPS 17 and above), it varies from PKR 150,000 to 500,000 per person. The indirect cost pertains to time, with each case taking, on average, six months in service tribunals. This duration can be extended if the losing party escalates the matter to higher courts, including high courts or supreme courts. This conflict detrimentally impacts the working environment, particularly among faculty members, ultimately affecting the institution’s overall performance.

The study recommends the implementation of a proper penalty system against the losing party to discourage the unnecessary escalation of matters to court. Additionally, it suggests the establishment of an effective and inclusive internal conflict resolution mechanism within institutions. Furthermore, the study identifies one of the main reasons people frequently resort to the courts as the absence of significant penalties in the event of losing a legal case. To address this issue, the study proposes two potential solutions: the development of a structured penalty system, particularly in cases of frivolous or defamatory litigation, and the adoption of more effective and inclusive conflict management mechanisms based on successful models and best practices. These recommendations are designed to promote fair and responsible legal actions while alleviating the burden on the legal system.






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