Islamabad - The Islamabad High Court yesterday deferred an intra-court appeal of the federation challenging a single bench’s verdict in which the court had declared the promotions of some 300 high-level bureaucrats as null and void.

A division bench of IHC comprising Justice Aamer Farooq and Justice Mian Gul Hassan Aurangzeb resumed hearing of the case and adjourned the proceedings till Tuesday (today).

During the hearing, Masroor Ali Shah Advocate, counsel for Commandant Frontier Constabulary (FC) Ghani-ur-Rehman, contended before the court that his client had been superseded on verbal opinion. He further argued that there was no tangible or documentary material pertaining reasons to supersede Rehman.

Earlier, Additional Attorney General (AAG) Afnan Karim Kundi completed his arguments stating that many of the petitions were based on speculations and only four to five petitioners had actually challenged the Central Selection Board’s (CSB) decision on the grounds that they were superseded. He added that many of the 60 odd petitions were “copy paste”, probably filed by the same counsel.

Kundi emphasised that deferment was not adverse as those whose promotion had been deferred were saved from being superseded. He said, “There was no other option.” The officers were considered for promotion but reasons were not recorded in all the forms when they were ultimately deferred.

He adopted that the single bench gave “wrong references” in its judgement as both the memos had different forms attached with them but the bench only referred the 2012 memo.

Later, the dual bench adjourned further hearing of the case till February 23 (today).

In July, 2015, Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui had set aside the promotions of bureaucrats with directions to the federal government to revise the promotion policy criteria and reconsider the promotions of those officers whose names were deferred in Central Selection Board (CSB) meeting.

Justice Siddiqui had also declared that the entire process carried out by the CSB on the basis of the formula is illegal.

Earlier, some 64 bureaucrats had assailed the recommendations of CSB and formula through which promotions were awarded while calling it as a ‘controversial’ formula introduced by the federal government in 2012. These promotions had been recommended in May this year by CSB.

The federal government in its ICA has adopted that “for selections posts, comparatively more meritorious officers are selected and appointed based on the collective wisdom of the CSB and the fact that a senior officer is not promoted having been found not fit for promotions 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 promotion,” maintained the government in ICA.

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