As many as 521 officer of BS-21 and BS-20 belonging to different occupational groups are facing a risk of demotion to their previous scales as the Senate body on cabinet secretariat and Capital Administration and Development (CAAD) believes that the law division gave ‘wrong’ interpretation of the Supreme Court judgment in Orya Maqbool Jan case.
According to details, the meetings of central selection board (CSB) held on 11-14 and 27 in February, 2013, recommended the promotion of 601 officers of various occupational groups and ex-cadre posts from BS-20 to 21 and BS-19 to BS-20 including the 80 BS-20 officers of Pakistan Administrative Service (PAS) Group. The promotion case of Orya Maqbool Abbasi, commonly known as Orya Maqbool Jan, a BS-20 officer of the PAS, was deferred in the said meetings due to his not earning the mandatory performance evaluation report for the year 2011, as he was superseded in the CSB meetings held on 3 October and 23-24 October 2011. At that time, Orya was at Sr No 57 on the seniority list. Later, Orya filed a petition in the SC for promotion in BS-21 and the apex court set aside the “notification of promotion of all the officers issued in pursuance of the recommendations of CSB held on 11-14 and 27 in February, 2013”.
The establishment division found ambiguity in the judgment as at one place the judgment also said that “Instead of canceling the promotion of the officers from Sr No 57 to 80, all cases of promotions against 80 vacancies of BS-21 are hereby cancelled being void and unlawful”. The establishment division sought legal opinion from the law division whether the judgment was applicable to only 80 officers of PAS who were promoted to BS-21 or also on all the 601 officers of other occupational groups promoted to BS-21 and BS-20 in the CSB meetings held in February 2013. The law division opined that the judgment was applicable to only the 80 officers of PAS who were promoted to BS-21. Subsequently, the establishment division de-notified the promotion of 80 PAS officers only.
However, the committee which met here on Wednesday in the parliament house rejected the law division opinion as an ‘example of incompetence’. The committee members held that the judgment was applicable to all the 601 promotion cases as the SC set aside the recommendations of CSB made during the meetings held in February 2013. The committee has decided to summon the law division high-ups in the next meeting to get explanation on ‘wrong’ interpretation. The committee may ask the division to review its earlier opinion and declare the SC judgment applicable to all the 601 promotion cases, resulting in demotion of the remaining 521 officers of BS-21 and BS-20 also.
The Senate body also recommended the establishment division to initiate disciplinary action against the reporting officer in case he failed in submitting the annual confidential report (ACR) of his subordinates by March 31 every year.
The adverse action may also include stoppage of the salary, non-considering for promotion to next grade or any other action that the establishment division deemed fit against the reporting officer. The establishment division will share its recommendations on the subject with the committee in the next meeting.