LHC asks govt to decide sacked major general’s appeal within 30 days

Published July 27, 2021
The LHC division bench admitted the intra-court appeal of former Maj Gen Manzoor Ahmed against his removal. — Reuters/File
The LHC division bench admitted the intra-court appeal of former Maj Gen Manzoor Ahmed against his removal. — Reuters/File

RAWALPINDI: The Rawalpindi bench of Lahore High Court (LHC) has directed the federal government to decide within 30 days an appeal — made by a sacked major general through a representation — in which he has described as defective the procedure for promotion to the rank of lieutenant general and advocated remedial measures.

The LHC division bench comprising Justice Sadaqat Ali Khan and Justice Sohail Nasir admitted the intra-court appeal of former Maj Gen Manzoor Ahmed against his removal and issued notices to the defence secretary, adjutant general, military secretary and inspector general of arms.

Further hearing has been adjourned till a date to be fixed by the registrar office.

Justice Asim Hafeez of the LHC had on July 1 dismissed the petition of Manzoor Ahmed, citing Article 199 (3) of the Constitution that states: “An order shall not be made… in relation to a person who is a member of the Armed Forces of Pakistan… in respect of his terms and conditions of service.”

Ex-officer has termed procedure for promotion as defective

Earlier, Manzoor Ahmed had filed a petition in the Islamabad High Court against the military authorities, which was not entertained due to lack of territorial jurisdiction.

Manzoor Ahmed was dismissed from service on March 9, 2021.

Advocate Abid Saqi represented Manzoor Ahmed before the LHC bench.

According to the appeal, Manzoor Ahmed was being sent on premature retirement, but was dismissed after he had filed a representation before the federal government in which he objected the criteria for promotion as the three-star general and suggested some remedial measures.

The petition stated that in the representation Manzoor Ahmed highlighted some major shortcomings in the promotion system starting from the rank of major general to lieutenant general, such as lack of demographic diversity and its effect on the institution.

However, the appeal went on to state that “instead of giving due consideration to the petitioner’s proposals and according him priority for honorary regular promotion to the next rank, as the petitioner had six months’ experience of performing duties on a slot tenable by a three-star general, it infuriated the officers at the helm of affairs to such an extent that they orchestrated an unlawful dismissal of the petitioner from service”.

According to the counsel, the respondents — secretary defence, adjutant general and military secretary — were supposed to forward the representation to the supreme commander of Pakistan Army; however, they withheld the same and it is yet to be decided.

He requested the court that the federal government might be directed to dispose of the representation.

Subsequently, the bench issued a directive for disposal of the representation in 30 days.

Manzoor Ahmed stated in the petition that he got commissioned in Pakistan Army in 1985 and rose to the rank of major general (BS-21), adding that during the entire tenure not an iota of adverse record surfaced at any level against him and he also served as acting inspector general of arms which is a post of lieutenant general.

Manzoor Ahmed received a retirement order on June 29, 2020 from the military secretary stating that the federal government has approved his retirement, indicating it a “normal retirement on completion of service limit”. However, he was terminated from service after he filed a representation before the president, his retirement order was recalled and the authorities dismissed him from service.

Published in Dawn, July 27th, 2021

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