Prime Minister Imran Khan chaired the High Power Selection Board (HPSB) to consider the promotion of senior bureaucrats to the top-most grade amid serious legal challenges but withheld announcement of its decisions.
According to a local media report, PM Imran did not “communicate” the outcome of the meeting to the Establishment Division. Moreover, the division sought the PM’s approval for the promotion of the officers.
The officers that were on the list for promotion included the current BS-21 officers and to promote them to grade-22 without taking into account the current situation.
Moreover, the SC’s judgement was known to officials in the division but the PM was not informed and the matter was then brought into the knowledge of the advisers to the Prime Minister on Institutional Reforms and Austerity Dr Ishrat Hussain and on Establishment Division Shahzad Arbab who highlighted the SC order during the meeting.
On Oct 25, the Supreme Court had ordered restoration of the seniority of the officers who had been promoted to BS-21 in January after having been denied promotion over the past three years.
In 2016, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) struck down the establishment division’s amended promotion policy of 1982 and the apex court upheld the decision in 2017.
The actual law of promotion is contained in Section 7(1)(b)(ii) and Section 7(1)(c) of the Federal Public Service Commission (FPSC) Ordinance, 1977; Section 25(2) of the Civil Servants Act, 1973; and Rule 8-A of the Civil Servants (Appointment, Promotion and Transfer) Rules, 1973.
Section 7(1)(b)(ii) of the FPSC Ordinance empowers the Federal Public Service Commission to advise the president on promotion policy for promotion to BS-18 and above, while Section 25(2) of the Civil Servants Act empowers the president to enact such promotion policy in the form of rules. The president has already enacted such promotion policy in the APT Rules.