ISLAMABAD - A division bench of Islamabad High Court yesterday deferred hearing of the federal government’s intra court appeal against its earlier verdict in which the court had declared the recent promotions of some 300 high-level bureaucrats as null and void.

The DB, comprising Justice Athar Minallah and Justice Aamer Farooq, while hearing the ICA, adjourned it since the detailed judgment of this matter has yet to be announced by the single bench of the IHC. The court will resume the hearing after Eidul Azha vacation.

The federal government had moved the ICA through Additional Attorney General (AAG) Afnan Karim Kundi, challenging the high court’s judgment of July 27, 2015.

The AAG contended the IHC bench had no jurisdiction to hear this matter in the light of Article 212(2). He said promotions were not a right of civil servants for it was within the exclusive domain of the executive authority. He further argued it was the government authority to form and review a promotion policy, so it could not be challenged.

Last month, Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui set aside the promotions of bureaucrats with the direction to the federal government to revise the promotion policy criterion and re-consider the promotions of those whose names were deferred at a meeting of the Central Selection Board (CSB). Justice Siddiqui also declared that the entire process carried out by the CSB on the basis of the formula was illegal.

Earlier, some 64 bureaucrats, including ISI Director Asif Samad, Frontier Constabulary Deputy Commandant Ghani-ur-Rehman Wazir and former Islamabad DIG Aftab Cheema, had challenged the CSB recommendations, terming the formula through which promotions had been awarded ‘controversial’ introduced by the federal government in 2012. These promotions were recommended by the CSB in May this year.

The federal government, in its ICA, said: “For selection posts, comparatively more meritorious officers are selected and posted on the basis of collective wisdom of the CSB and the fact that a senior officer is not promoted having been found unfit for promotion due to lesser comparative merit does not attach any stigma.”

“This also applies to an officer not promoted due to negative general reputation or perception about him or his integrity, which simply results in leaving him out of competition of promotions,” maintained the government in the ICA.

The federal government prayed to the court to set aside the order issued against the promotions of hundreds of civil servants.