Bureaucratic battles: Verdict reserved on petitions challenging promotions

The board considered the same things this year as well, yet some officials were not promoted


Our Correspondent July 08, 2015
The official respondent may issue notifications of promotion to private respondents. PHOTO: CREATIVE COMMONS

ISLAMABAD:


The Islamabad High Court on Wednesday reserved its verdict on different petitions challenging recent promotions of bureaucrats from BPS-20 to BPS-21.


Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui reserved the verdict till July 27 after lawyers for either side concluded their arguments.

Previously, Justice Siddiqui had allowed notifications of promotions to be issued but linked it with the final order of the court. “The official respondent may issue notifications of promotion to private respondents, but they shall be subject to the final adjudication of the writ petition,” he had ordered.

The petitioners’ counsels had maintained that the Central Selection Board (CSB) considers three factors — length of service, service record, and Annual Confidential Reports (ACRs) for the last six years while considering promotions.

He added that at least three of the six ACRs should be above average.

The board considered the same things this year as well, yet some officials were not promoted, which was discriminatory, the counsel argued.

Previously, Additional Attorney General Afnan Karim Kundi had argued that the court cannot review the decision, adding that the Prime Minister decides on promotions after the CSB finalises names.

The court was hearing the petitions of the former Islamabad IGP Aftab Ahmed Cheema, Frontier Constabulary (FC) Deputy Commandant Ghaniur Rehman Wazir, Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Director Asif Samad, and several others who are challenging the promotion of junior officers to grade 21.

The petitioners have listed the establishment secretary, CSB and Federal Public Service Commission chairpersons, and several police officials as respondents.

Cheema was suspended for disobeying government orders to use force against violent protesters during the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and the Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) sit-ins last year. Disciplinary proceedings against him are still pending.

The suspended IGP has challenged the CSB’s recommendation to promote Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Additional IGP Tariq Javed to grade 21.

Wazir has challenged his supersession from promotion to BPS 21 as well as the legality of the federal government’s promotion policy.

His counsel had argued that the petitioner, who has an unblemished service record and has personally led several successful operations against terrorists, has been ignored, whereas junior police officials involved in questionable arms purchase cases being heard in accountability courts, and some that have even entered into voluntary return (VR) plea bargains with NAB, have been promoted.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 9th, 2015.

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