IHC upholds civil servants forced retirement rules

Judgment says rules made in accordance with law, court cannot interfere in govt’s policy matter


Saqib Bashir June 16, 2021
Islamabad High Court. PHOTO: IHC WEBSITE

ISLAMABAD:

The Islamabad High Court (IHC) has upheld the rules relating to forced retirement of civil servants, saying that the Civil Servants (Directory Retirement from Service) Rules, 2020, were in accordance with the law.

In a 37-page judgment, Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani said that the federal government could better examine matters pertaining to promotion and retirement of the civil servants, adding that the courts should not interfere in the government’s policy matter.

The court ruling came on multiple petitions, challenges the promulgation of the Civil Servants (Directory Retirement from Service) Rules, 2020, concerning directory retirement of civil servants after completion of 20 years of service, qualifying for pension and other retirement benefits.

The court rejected the petitions filed by various bureaucrats, saying that the rules cannot be challenged by the civil servants because it was not against fundamental rights. The judge further said that the civil servants had no authority to challenge the government policy matters.

“The impugned Rules have been made by the competent authority backed by the law and are in consonance with the parameters of the constitutional framework which could not be interfered with at the touchstone of judicial review…” the judge ruled.

“Fundamental rights of the civil servants and under the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, 1973, no vested right is available to the civil servants to challenge this policy matter where rules have been framed within the scope of law,” it added.

The ruling said that it was a settled proposition that the competent authority – the federal government – was in a better position to settle requirements to engage services of a civil servant in the public interest. “This executive discretion could not be interfered with,” the judge said.

Furthermore, the ruling said: “if the vires of the same (law) were challenged, the burden is always upon the person making such challenge to show that the same (law) was violative of any of the fundamental rights or provision of the Constitution.”

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