PESHAWAR: A bench consisting of Justice Abdul Shakoor and Justice Syed Arshad Ali heard arguments of the counsel for petitioners – seven police officers – as well as the representatives of the federal and provincial governments.

The petition was jointly filed by superintendent of police (security) Salahuddin Khan and six other police officers seeking the court to declare the impugned seniority list issued on June 28, 2022, by the police’s additional inspector general (establishment) unconstitutional and against Articles 142, 240 and 260 of the Constitution.

The petitioners also challenged the “intended” promotions through the provincial selection board of officers of BPS-17 and above, questioning whether the provincial government was competent to promote such officers or it was the domain of the federal government.

They requested the court to direct the respondents, including the provincial government and provincial police officer, to restore an earlier seniority list of DSPs (BPS-17) issued on Feb 21, 2022, insisting it was based on the relevant laws and rules.

Officers insist dept revised list in violation of law and rules

The petitioners’ counsel, Anwarul Haq, highlighted the Police Service of Pakistan (Composition, Cadre and Seniority) Rules, 1985, and said those rules declare that promotions to BPS-18 should be made on the basis of 40 per cent quota reserved for the provincial police cadre.

He requested the court to direct respondents to prepare a joint seniority list of senior officers in BPS-17, including ASPs and DSPs, in light of those rules before making promotion to BPS-18 on the basis of a 40 per cent quota of provincial police officers.

The lawyer said his clients served as senior police officers (BPS-17) in the police department.

He added that the petitioners, who were promoted as DSPs, had successfully undertaken various obligations and missions.

Mr Anwar said a seniority list meant for DSPs was issued on Feb 21, 2022, but the AIG (establishment), violating different procedures and rules, revised it and issued the impugned list in June 2022 without citing any cogent reason.

He said under Police Service of Pakistan (Composition, Cadre and Seniority) Rules, 1985, 40 per cent quota was reserved for promotion and ‘encadrement’ for officers of the police cadre of the province for which joint seniority list had to be prepared.

The lawyer added that the respondents had never followed the criteria and rules.

He argued that the petitioners were entitled to promotion since 2015 and they had performed in exemplary manner during the war against militancy.

Mr Anwar said an identical claim of promotion and ‘encadrement’ was raised before the Sindh High Court, which decided the same in favour of petitioners in 2014 and that judgement was later upheld by the Supreme Court.

Deputy attorney general Altaf Khan and lawyerSangeen Khan appeared for the federal government.

The DAG contended that the petitioners were provincial cadre officers and it was the domain of the provincial government to give them seniority.

The bench wondered when the relevant rules were related to the federal government, then whether the federal or provincial government was empowered to issue the seniority list for police officers.

The DAG said he would submit some relevant documents to “clarify” the situation.

Published in Dawn, September 27th, 2023

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