ISLAMABAD - The Islamabad High Court (IHC) Tuesday issued stay orders against the meeting of Central Selection Board (CSB) of Intelligence Bureau (IB), scheduled for today (Wednesday), for promotions of the officers of the agency.

A single bench of IHC comprising Justice Noor-ul-Haq N Qureshi stayed the CSB meeting of IB while hearing a petition of Deputy Director IB Muhammad Arif Zulqarnain.

In his petition, Arif contended before the court that meeting of CSB under the chair of director general IB is going to be held for promotion of blue-eyed junior officers from grade 18 to 19 only six days before the retirement of DG IB.

After hearing the petition, Justice Qureshi directed IB and Establishment Division to submit para-wise comments within fortnight. However, the judge observed that high court could not determine the seniority of an official.

The petitioner moved the court through his counsel Hafiz Arfat Ahmad Advocate and maintained before the court the senior administration of IB through its CSB was going to promote the junior officers into grade 19, ignoring the seniority list.

He alleged that DG IB, who was going to be retired on upcoming April 02, in an extraordinary and unusual haste was going to grant premature promotion to some blue-eyed from BPS-18 to BPS-19, ignoring the seniority of the petitioner that was illegal, unlawful, void, malafide, and unwarranted manner.

Arif argued that he had an excellent academic background. He joined IB on June 26, 2001 as assistant director in BPS-17 through Federal Public Service Commission (FPSC) and was placed at serial number 2 in the seniority list determined by the FPSC. “No adverse report has ever been issued against the petitioner rather he has always been appreciated by his superiors and in 2006 he was promoted to BPS-18,” he added.

He continued that in order to get further elevation to the post of director in BPS-19, it was mandatory requirement for an official to have overall minimum 12 years service, besides completing mandatory promotional courses.

“The case of an official is placed before CSB only if he/she fulfils the aforementioned two conditions. While serving against the post of deputy director, the petitioner made a request to his higher authorities in the year 2009 to send him for mandatory promotional courses so that thereafter his case be placed before CSB but the request was not acceded due to his engagement in sensitive and important official assignments at that time,” he informed the court.

However, he added that all batch mates of the petitioner and several junior officers were sent to attend the courses that they completed them in due course. “This discriminatory and pick and choose policy eventually led to denial of promotion to the petitioner,” he maintained.

Muhammad Arif argued that it was evident from the record that it was the decision of the higher authorities that they did not send him on promotional courses for quite a long time spanning over four years and no fault could be attributed to the petitioner in that regard.

“That finally, after numerous requests of the petitioner, he has been nominated for the promotional course which is going to conclude on April 11, 2014, enabling him for consideration for promotion as director in BPS-19,” he stated. He told the court that the petitioner had learnt that the respondents were going to hold a meeting of CSB on March 26, 2014 to promote their favourites. The petitioner immediately moved a departmental representation but received no response thereto.

“The act of the respondents is based on patent malafide and the same grossly contradicts the fundamental rights of the petitioner,” he contended. The deputy director further said that despite his best efforts, he could not procure necessary documents from his department for the assistance of this court. The petitioner has been denied the access to the concerned documents including seniority list.

“That the petitioner being the senior most officer currently serving in BPS-18 has a legitimate expectation of promotion to PBS-19 prior to his juniors,” he said. Therefore, the petitioner prayed to the court to direct the respondents to hold the meeting of Central Selection Board for grant of promotion from BPS-18 to BPS-19 till completion of ongoing mid career management course that was going to be concluded on 11th April 2014.

Later, the court deferred the hearing and would take up this matter after respondents submit their comments in this matter.