CS petitioned over alleged illegal promotions

Applicant contends appointment of SDOs on officiating basis against the law

An appeal was filed in the chief secretary’s office against the secretary irrigation department’s order over alleged illegal promotions of sub-engineers.

The appeal says that sub-engineers qualifying for the BSc Engineering or BTech Honors degrees can only be promoted against the 15% promotion quota and cannot be promoted against the 65% quota of initial recruitment according to applicable rules. The applicant submitted that the appointment of the respondents as Sub Divisional Officers (SDOs) on officiating basis against the quota of initial recruitment was, totally, against the laws as no vacant post was available against the 15% promotion quota of sub engineers.

According to the documents, the Punjab Service Tribunal (PST) and Lahore High Court (LHC) Lahore have also directed the department to decide the case according to the law. An inquiry was conducted by an Additional Secretary Establishment Fazal ur Rehman and the respondent’s representations were rejected. As per the appeal filed in the CS office, some respondents also got direction from the LHC that said ‘treat it as representation and decide the same strictly in accordance with the law through speaking order within a period of 30 days from the date of receipt of certified copies of this order, without being influenced by the previous orders…’

The representation also mentions Punjab Civil Servant Rules, 1974 which says; As officiating promotion shall not confer any right of promotion on a regular basis but shall be liable to be terminated as soon as a person becomes available for promotion on a regular basis.’ The applicant also begged in the appeal that the impugned order will badly affect the seniority of the present appellant and which has been issued without providing a hearing opportunity to the present appellant.

It also said that the respondent secretary of the irrigation department with a malafide intention neglected the facts and issued orders for the promotion of respondents on a regular basis. The applicant requested the chief secretary, the chief appellate forum, that the impugned notification is liable to be set aside under the ground that the case of respondents is not at par with the case of Mohammed Aslam and Nisar Ahmad or any other employee of the irrigation department as the respondents were appointed on officiating basis on the available post of 65% quota of initial recruitment rather than promotion quota of 15% for promotion of sub-engineers to the position of SDOs. The further ground it presented was that the vacant post against the 15% quota was available at the time of the departmental promotion committee for the promotion of sub-engineers; therefore, the respondents cannot be promoted on a regular basis with effect from the date of appointment.

It also said that the decision of appeals of respondents issued by the irrigation department is still in the field and it is not suspended by any court of law. The case is badly time-barred and appeals can only be filed after 30 days of issuance of the order. Here the appeals are filed after twenty years of issuance of the order, noted the appeal. An affected officer, on the condition of anonymity, stated that instead of referring the case to the parent department to decide that had already flouted rules, any senior/competent/honest and neutral officer should be deputed to decide the issue. He alleged that the direct appointees had become juniors to those who were illegally given the benefit of promotions from back dates. The irrigation secretary was not available for his version till the filing of this story.

Javed Iqbal is a special correspondent covering the Punjab government with a particular focus on bureaucracy. He has unearthed a number of mega scams while working with leading media houses. He tweets @javedjahangiri and can be reached at javediqbal344@gmail.com.

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