The three-member bench of the apex court headed by Chief Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali heard the case and remarked that out of turn promotions demoralised honest officers.
During the course of proceedings, Barrister Syed Ali Zafar counsel for the Petitioners (Officers of Punjab Police) said that although the Supreme Court in its earlier judgement decided that all promotions made on the basis of gallantry in the Sindh Police stood cancelled, the case of Punjab Police was entirely different.
He explained that under Section 8A of the Punjab Civil Servants Act , 1974 read with Rule 14 thereunder an officer was entitled to the promotion on account of gallantry.
He submitted that Section 8A in existence since 1987 till 1996 and during this time the Supreme Court of Pakistan and the High Courts had implemented this law through various judgements.
According to Mr. Zafar the promotion of the Petitioners on account of meritorial services and capturing notorious criminals under Section 8A was in accordance with the law prevailing at the time as upheld by the Superior Courts and there was nothing illegal.
He said that when the Supreme Court changed its own judgement/law and made a new precedent, then that precedent is applicable prospectively and to future cases and does not automatically reopen past and closed transactions or change vested rights and certainly does not set aside past judgements.
He argued that this is a well-established legal proposition that Courts all over the world accept this position. Even jurisprudence on the matter is that the Courts cannot change history or past facts by precedents and if its judgements were to apply retrospectively and open past and close transactions, then that would lead to mayhem and anarchy in the system.
He had begun arguments by narrating the famous principle of res judicata as elaborated in the famous case of Pir Bukhsh which says that once a judgement has been passed and become final, then it cannot be reopened subsequently by any Court or authority.
It may be mentioned that as a result of the earlier judgements of the Supreme Court , a number of police officers , who were promoted on account of gallantry and other meritorial services, have been reverted back to their earlier posts.