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ISLAMABAD: How are serving officers of the armed forces inducted in the civil service and whether or not the government recovers any expense incurred on their training in respective academies of the army, the air force and the navy from them at the time they join the bureaucracy?

These are the questions Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui of the Islamabad High Court posed to the chairman of the Federal Public Service Commission (FPSC) while hearing a petition on Tuesday.

He sought a report within a fortnight, asking the FPSC chairman to explain in detail also some other identical questions.

The petition has been filed by Mohammad Shahid Amin, an official of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) working as assistant in BS-11, who claimed that he was facing discrimination while trying to appear in the exam of the Central Superior Service (CSS) on one-third CSS seats of section officers that were filled through lower cadre employees after exam and interviews.

Justice Siddiqui issued notices to the attorney general, asking him to assist the court in determining how commissioned officers from the armed forces got into the CSS and under what criteria.

Petitioner Amin adopted before the court that he wanted to appear in the exam to contest the seats for section officers but was not allowed to take part in the exam.

In a written order issued on the matter, the court asked multiple questions from the FPSC chairman.

The court asked the FPSC chairman to explain the criteria for induction of serving army, air force and naval officers into the civil service. Is there some quota fixed for the armed forces’ officers and, if the answer is yes, whether or not they compete with other candidates participating in the exams? In case of success in CSS exams, does their status as retired officers entitle them to receive pension benefits for the service they have rendered for the armed forces?

What are the criteria of the release of cadets from the Pakistan Military Academy (PMA) Kakul, and other academies, when they opt to leave during the course? How much amount is received from cadets before they are allowed to leave? How much cost is incurred by the state for producing a major or captain, and whether this cost is received from officers when they opt to leave the armed forces to join the civil service?

During the hearing, the court observed that the petitioner, who is working under the administrative control of the Ministry of Defence, did not make the competent authority as a respondent in the petition.

The court accepted the request to amend the petition for making the defence secretary as respondent and sought his reply as well.

While issuing the notice to the attorney general, the court observed that “the matter is delicate in nature, which requires proper assistance”.

The case was adjourned to May 14.

Published in Dawn, May 9th, 2018