Islamabad High Court grills government over the faulty promotion criteria in CSB 2016

Islamabad High Court grills government over the faulty promotion criteria in CSB 2016
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ISLAMABAD: 

Islamabad High Court has taken up the issue of the irregularities in the promotions cases decided in the recently held Central Selection Board meeting in Islamabad.

400 cases of the senior officers in Grade 19 and 20 were sent by CSB to Prime Minister of Pakistan for formal approval. CSB also deferred and superceded the cases of 94 officers.

However Prime Minister did not fully agreed with the CSB recommendations and cases were sent back to CSB .

The aggrieved officers had filed a petition in the Islamabad High Court. 

The Islamabad High Court (IHC) has questioned the Central Selection Board’s (CSB) criteria for the recent promotions of bureaucrats, asking the government to clarify if over 400 officials were promoted in violation of a judgment earlier passed by the court.

The IHC gave this instruction on Wednesday while hearing a case of over a dozen civil servants, who approached the court against the CSB’s Dec 2016 decision not to promote them, apparently despite their fulfilling the criteria.

Observing that the entire grading system was flawed and unlawful, the IHC had earlier directed the government to reframe the promotion formula by taking away the overriding effect of five marks.

These five marks – awarded for integrity, general reputation and perception – were among the 15-marks which the Establishment Division had empowered the CSB to give at its discretion, according to a circular issued on Feb 10, 2014.

The CSB was empowered not to recommend the promotion of a bureaucrat who failed to obtain a minimum three out of the five marks. Hence, these five marks were superseding the remaining 95 marks.

Earlier, the IHC also ordered to promote 300 civil servants whose promotions had been deferred by the CSB in 2015 using this formula. The Supreme Court (SC) on Monday upheld the IHC decision.

The affected officers pleaded that just like the 2015 promotions these 15 marks were blatantly misused to provide a total of 75 marks to some of the low-scoring officers during promotions in Dec 2016. Many others who had genuinely got 75-plus marks were also ignored, they claimed.

On Wednesday, when the IHC judge Justice Aamer Farooq asked the Assistant Attorney-General Abdul Khaliq Thind if the CSB was held under the office memorandum’ (OM) of 2014, Thind could not give a satisfactory reply.

The judge noted that if the government had again used the overriding marks used by the CSB for promotions, then it was a matter of legality.

“The SC was told by the government that they would not use those marks but it seems they did this time again,” he said, adding: “If the SC upheld our judgment then the findings and observations we gave last year stay intact,” Justice Farooq said.

He asked Thind to explain the way officers were promoted in the CSB held in December 2016.

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