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January 14, 2019

Detailed judgment: PHC says no provision for NAB regular employees’ proficiency test


January 14, 2019

PESHAWAR: The Peshawar High Court (PHC) has declared illegal the proficiency test ordered by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) chairman for its regular employees.

As per a detailed judgement issued by a division bench comprising Justice Ikramullah Khan and Justice Musarrat Hilali, there is no provision in the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) employees’ terms and conditions of Services Rules, 2002, that permanent employees were to be subjected to any test during the course of their employment, in order to judge their efficiency and, therefore, any kind of test in this regard could not be termed as legal.

The high court had passed the judgement in a writ petition filed by assistant private secretaries of the NAB KP, including Asia Rehman, Ubaid, Manzoor Hussain and Ahmad Hussain, against the proficiency test for regular employees by the NAB chairman across the country.

The court had also declared that no adverse action shall be taken against the employees (petitioners) even if they failed in the proficiency test; however, the bureau may arrange refresher courses for enhancement of efficiency of their employees.

Therefore, the court ruled that the writ petition is accepted, as prayed for, however, petitioners shall join the courses as and when required.

The ministerial staff of the NAB including private secretaries and assistant private secretaries had appeared in the proficiency test across the country on the directives of the NAB chairman Justice (R) Javed Iqbal, but most employees failed it.

Fida Gul, counsel for the petitioners, contended before the bench that the petitioners were appointed to permanent posts in BPS-15 as stenographers and later they were upgraded to PBS-16, while they have already completed almost 15 years as permanent employees.

In 2011, he said they were re-designated through a notification and then promoted as assistant private secretaries (APS) on February 28, 2013.

Azeem Dad, the NAB prosecutor, submitted that the test was being conducted across the country and majority of the employees had taken the test.

He submitted that the proficiency test was only being conducted to enhance the efficiency of the employees as no action was being taken against them if even they failed it.

However, the petitioners claimed that they had received information that the NAB chairman was going to remove the employees from posts in the name of the proficiency test, which, they said, was illegal and against the rules.

Some officials of the bureau said that when they, as per the rules, demanded a promotion, the bureau announced the proficiency test to discourage them.

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