ISLAMABAD Secretary Establishment Division Ismail Qureshi informed the Supreme Court that no targeted cover letter with regard to the promotion of 54 federal government officers from BPS-21 to BPS-22 was sent to Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani. This statement surprised Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, who said, You (Mr. Qureshi) are the Secretary Establishment and you exercised the power in whole business/process (promotion). How all was being done through verbal and oral means? The Chief Justice further said, It (secretaryship) is not a shop. It relates with government systems. You should have to send summary as well as the cover letter to the Prime Minister. How competent authority was going to ascertain the eligibility of 267 officers of BPS-21? Without rules of business how can you precede matters? Then the CJ asked Qureshi to read section 11 and its clause 4 of the rules of business. If rules of business are not to be followed, they will be redundant, he explained. A three-member bench of the Supreme Court was hearing the case of out-of-turn promotions of 54 BPS-21 officers to BSP-22. Justice Ijaz Chaudhry and Justice Ghulam Rabbani were the other judges of the bench. Earlier, Abdul Hafeez Pirzada, counsel for Federation, put the letter of Prime Minister before the court arguing that he promoted the officers according to laws while considering their eligibility. He told the court that the Federal Government would chart out rules vis-a-vis promotions in a fortnight. Elaborating the issue, he argued that till 1993, rules were not made over promotion to BPS-22 and for the first time an interim government felt the need and gave exhaustive rules which were called BPS-22 Rules. In 1998, the rules went away under the elected government and afterwards necessity was not felt for making rules, he added. Pirzada said till this date no one felt it and lodged the grudge/complaint against it. Between promotion Boards/Committees and Prime Ministers discretion, a cut off line has been drawn and latter was given the authority over promotion issue on merit, he told. He also submitted that Government respected the court and would enforce its verdicts. He hinted at the possible clash of institutions in the state, as, earlier, feared by the Prime Minister during a meeting with him (Pirzada). On this point the Chief Justice said, There will be no clash among institutions. We will defend parliamentary system as well to strengthen democracy. The Chief Justice also appreciated the role of Parliament for not validating the actions of November 3, 2007, saying that the judiciary is here to protect the Constitution. Justice Ghulam Rabbani asked the Secretary Establishment Division to explain under which law the PM promoted 54 officers from PBS-21 to PBS-22. Replying to this query, Peerzada said the Prime Minister was also not bound to get record from the Secretary Establishment in exercising the power. Barrister Akram Sheikh, lawyers for 67 officers, who were not being promoted stressed on the protection of fundamental rights of citizens of Pakistan, terming the case a wonderful example among good governance cases. Then Attorney General of Pakistan also put his arguments under sanction 9 of Civil Service Law, which defines that there is a minimum qualification required for promotion of officers. He also gave reference of the case of Union of India versus Lt General Rajindra Singh in High Court of Delhi. Then court asked him to keep his arguments under Pakistans Constitution. The Attorney General continued his arguments even the court adjourned the hearing till today (Friday). It may be recalled that Mr Qureshi on Tuesday last failed to produce formula/rules of civil service under which the big bosses were promoting their subordinates.