ISLAMABAD-The Islamabad High Court (IHC) will Monday (today) resume hearing in petitions filed against the new rules for promotion of bureaucrats.

A single bench of IHC comprising Chief Justice of IHC Justice AtharMinallah will conduct hearing of the petitions.

Previously, the IHC bench had observed that the promotion of the bureaucrats would be subject to the final verdict of the court in this matter.

The IHC bench noted in its order, “It is further observed that in all these petitions the impugned notifications shall be subject to the final adjudication of the petitions. The injunctive orders are, therefore, accordingly modified.”

The petitioner Muhammad Imtiaz contended in the petition that he had an unblemished service record and was fit for promotion in BS-21. He, however, said that the CSB members deprived him of promotion and superseded him not because of his service record but for the reason of their personal information about him. The petitioner argued that he had been superseded and denied promotion contrary to the law laid down by the Supreme Court.

The Central Selection Board (CSB) for the promotion of civil servants applied the Promotion Rules promulgated on Dec 3, 2019, by the PTI government which allows 30 discretionary marks to CSB members.

The new rules also mandated the CSB members to be free to consider marks of candidates on the basis of intelligence reports as it has been specifically mentioned in the rules that for the promotion to top posts, the CSB can take into account the information received against officers from intelligence agencies.

These rules changed the ratio of 100 marks as contrary to the earlier practice, where the CSB had 15 per cent marks. The Rules of 2019 have doubled the power of the CSB by keeping 30pc marks at the discretion of the board members.

Earlier, the passing marks for a candidate were 75 for the Pakistan Administrative Service (PAS) and 72 for other cadres. These could be obtained through outstanding performance and successful completion of professional courses in the National Defense University and administrative college.

There were 50 marks for Annual Confidential Reports (ACRs) and 35 for professional courses. If a candidate secured 80pc marks there were chances of his promotion even if the CSB did not give him any mark.

However, under the new rules introduced by the PTI government, an officer, despite getting 90pc marks of ACRs and courses could not be promoted without obtaining 70 to 80pc marks from the CSB. The division of marks is 40 for ACRs, 30 for courses and 30 for the CSB. The new rules set the minimum threshold of 60 marks for promotion in BS-18, 65 for BS-19, 70 for BS-20 and 75 for BS-21.

In 2014, the Establishment Division introduced the criteria that empowered the CSB to reject promotion of a civil servant if he/she failed to secure at least three out of five marks for “integrity/general reputation/perception.”

The CSB denied promotions to scores of senior bureaucrats on the basis of this criterion by invoking the integrity-related clause.

These officers initially challenged the discretionary marks of the CSB in the Supreme Court and ultimately the unfettered powers of the CSB had been set aside by the top court.