ISLAMABAD, Aug 15: Justice Riaz Ahmed Khan of Islamabad High Court (IHC), on Wednesday while hearing the petition seeking repatriation of 44 officers of BPS-17 to 19, working in Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) on deputation basis, restrained the FIA authorities from absorbing the officers on deputation.
Justice Khan sought reply from the secretary interior and director general FIA on a petition filed by FIA deputy director Saifullah Johio and other officers seeking repatriation of the deputationists into their parent organisations.
Advocate Shah Khawar, petitioners’ counsel told the court that it has became a routine practice that due to political influence, officers from other government, semi-government departments and autonomous bodies are firstly requisitioned in the FIA for appointments on deputation, and afterwards, are absorbed in the agency, adding that the appointments on deputation and the absorption is a violation of the mandatory provisions of the FIA act 1974.
According to him, FIA recently appointed on deputation 10 officers on deputation from other government departments in BPS-19, 15 in BPS-18, 13 in BPS-17 and 6 in BPS-16.
He said the FIA authorities had started gradual process for the absorption of deputationists at senior level positions, which would block the promotion of dozens of FIA officials.
He told the court that FIA works under the supervision of the federal government and its administration has been vested in its director general.
The federal government notifies gazette and rules with regard to the subjects mentioned in FIA (appointment, promotion and transfer) Rules 1975.
According to the said rules, FIA could make appointments by promotion of person employed in regular basis in the agency by transfer of a person from other departments of the federal or provincial governments or through direct induction in six groups namely investigation, accounts, customs, income tax, engineering and law.
The petition pointed out that the appointment in BPS-19 can only be made through promotion of officers of BPS-18 working in the FIA on regular basis.
In the appointment in BPS-18, advocate Khawar added, 50 per cent vacancies should be made through promotion and rest of the vacancies should be allocated to the police service of Pakistan.
The vacant posts in BPS-17 could only be filled through deputation, promotion and fresh induction, he maintained.
He pointed out that in sharp violation of the rules, the contract employees of National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) are being absorbed in the BPS-19.
In the said absorption, the legal method of appointment was not followed which would open a flood-gate of favouritism, to induct people on political consideration, he added.
Advocate Khawar said the deputationists at the time of their arrival neither underwent any process of selection on merit at the time of transfer nor any type of assessment of suitability by departmental promotion committee or by any other selection authority.
He requested the court repatriate the deputationists to their parent departments and for the re-evaluation and examine cases in order to streamline the affairs of FIA in accordance with its rules and regulations.