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Wednesday May 29, 2024

IHC stays process to appoint FDE regular chief

By Jamila Achakzai
April 10, 2024
A general view of Islamabad High Court. — Geo News File
A general view of Islamabad High Court. — Geo News File

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) has issued a stay order suspending the education ministry’s move to fill the top vacancy at the Federal Directorate of Education.

Justice Babar Sattar of a single-member bench put the prime minister, the education ministry, FDE, Establishment Division, and Federal Public Service Commission on notice, seeking their response to the petition of BPS-20 officer at the Federal College of Education Prof. Dr. Samia Rehman Dogar against the advertising of the BPS-21 director-general’s post to invite applications for a two-year appointment.

They have 10 days to file comments on all paragraphs of the petition.The court put off the hearing until May 27, declaring that the respondents wouldn’t make a “final” top appointment to the education directorate pursuant to the impugned advertisement until then.

In the petition, Prof. Dr. Samina’s lawyer Javed Iqbal Khan said her client was aggrieved by the nature of the appointment outlined in the federal education ministry’s March 29 advertisement, as it went against the established legal precedents, including apex court judgments, and guidelines outlined in the Estacode for such public sector recruitment.

He added that the move also violated the formal instructions of authorities for the filling of upgraded posts.The counsel insisted that the post fell within the category of All-Pakistan Service, so the appointment to it was regulated through the Civil Servant Act, 1973, and the Appointment, Promotion, and Transfer Rules, 1973, which governed the filling of higher civil service positions.

“Such recruitment is to be undertaken pursuant to Rule 23 of the APT Rules, 1973, by the Federal Public Service Commission,” he argued.The lawyer said the FDE framed rules declaring the DG’s post will be filled by promotion of any officer and not by ‘initial’ appointment. The post was subsequently upgraded to the BPS-21, but no rules were framed about how to fill it.

He added that the education ministry proposed the DG’s appointment either on contractual basis or by transferring an officer to the directorate.“Such proposal was not acceded to by the Federal Public Service Commission in exercise of its authority under Section 7 of the Federal Public Service Commission Ordinance, 1977, read with Rule 3 of the APT Rules. It informed the ministry on January 18, 2021, by a formal communication that there was no mention of the DG’s post in the draft notification of recruitment rules approved by the Establishment Division, and therefore, it didn’t consider that,” he said.