Govt files appeal against setting aside bureaucrats’ promotions

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IHC to hear Zafar Iqbal, Hussain Shah cases separately

Zubair Qureshi

Islamabad—The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Monday decide to hear federal government’s intra-court appeal against a single bench’s decision that set aside promotion of hundreds of bureaucrats to next grade. Some 58 ‘neglected’ bureaucrats had filed petition against the Central Selection Board’s decision and the single bench of Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui had admitted their petition and set aside the CSB’s decision. Federal government moved an appeal in the IHC against that decision however requested that cases of two bureaucrats—Zafar Iqbal and Hussain Shah—should be heard separately and the court will, now take up two bureaucrats’ promotion matters from BPS-21 to BPS-22 separately from rest of other petitioners. Hearing of the general case will take place on April 7 while that of the two petitioners on April 24.
Some 58 petitioners, senior officers of various departments and ministries had filed petition with the IHC that the government did not consider them for promotion.
The division bench comprising Justice Aamer Farooq and Justice Mian Gul Hassan Aurangzeb decided while hearing the appeal presented by Additional Attorney General (AAG) in government’s Intra Court Appeal (ICA) against the decision of single judge-bench which declared recent promotion carried out by Central Services Board (CSB), null and void.
During the Course of proceedings, Afnan Karim Kundi AAG argued on the maintainability of the ICA as it was objected by the petitioners in their arguments. He requested the bench to hear former federal secretary, Zafar Iqbal and an officer in Inland Revenue Services (IRS), Syed Ejaz Hussain Shah, promotion matter separately from other about 58 cases as they were only two persons in BPS-21 who challenged their supersession to BPS-22.
While accepting the plea of federal government’s counsel, the bench adjourned hearing of the case regarding two particular persons till April 7 whereas other 58 identical petitions would be heard on April 24 (Thursday).
In July 2015, Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui had set aside promotions of bureaucrats with directions to the federal government to revise the promotion policy criteria and reconsider the promotions of those officers whose names were deferred in Central Selection Board (CSB) meeting. Justice Siddiqui had also declared that the entire process carried out by the CSB on the basis of the formula was illegal.
Some 60 bureaucrats had assailed the recommendations of CSB and formula through which promotions were awarded while calling it as a ‘controversial’ formula. Subsequently the federal government moved forward and filed ICA stating that “for selection, posts, comparatively more meritorious officers are selected and appointed based on the collective wisdom of the CSB and the fact that a senior officer is not promoted having been found not fit for promotions due to lesser comparative merit does not attach any stigma.
“This also applies to an officer not promoted due to negative general reputation or perception about him or his integrity which simply results in leaving him out of competition of promotion,” maintained the government in ICA. The federal government has prayed to the court to set aside the order issued against the promotions of hundreds of civil servants.

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