PESHAWAR: By finding it unconstitutional, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Services Tribunal has struck down the promotion of the additional secretary of the provincial assembly as its secretary.
The Chairman of the Tribunal, Hamid Farooq Durrani and Mian Mohammad, also directed the responsible authorities to set up a new Departmental Promotion Committee (DPC) within three months to recommend officials for promotion to the BPS-21 position.
The order came as the tribunal approved an appeal on the advice of the last DPC by Senior Additional Secretary of the Assembly Secretariat Kifayatullah Khan Afridi against the promotion last year of Additional Secretary Nasrullah Khan as Secretary.
The plaintiff argued that the appointment undermined the earlier decision of the tribunal.
He questioned the judgement of the last DPC on Sept 2, 2019, and the Sept 3 announcement by the speaker of the assembly for the promotion of Mr. Nasrullah as secretary.
In compliance with the constitution, the tribunal ordered the competent authorities to form the DPC to consider, in the light of the decision on the appellant’s previous plea and the present judgement and in accordance with the statute and the laws, the matter of elevation to the rank of secretary.
It announced that within three months, the exercise should be completed.
The respondent in the appeal was the speaker of the provincial assembly, DPC through the provincial assembly’s secretary, and Mr Nasrullah.
A few years back, the legal battle between the two assembly officials over the question of seniority began.
“It is important to note here that the appellant was the most senior among the Additional Secretaries of the BPS-20, but the DPC ignored that factor.”
Referring to the previous tribunal’s judgement delivered in 2018, it noted that it was laid down in para-8 thereof that seniority-cum-fitness was the sole criterion/principle for promotion to the rank of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Provincial Assembly Secretary (BPS-21).
The tribunal also referred to another service appeal, which was determined on Sept 14, 2017, with the declaration that seniority-cum-fitness was also the basis for the requirements for promotion to the position of secretary of the provincial assembly of the Assembly Secretariat.
The tribunal held that the DPC found validity alone and that it disregarded both the decisions of the tribunal and those alluded to in the previous appeal’s ruling.
Appellant lawyer Ali Azim Afridi reported that his client was named on 23 Nov 1992 as Assistant Secretary to the Secretariat of the Provincial Assembly and was elevated to Deputy Secretary on 11 Feb 1997 and Additional Secretary (BPS-19) on 12 Mar 2007.
He reported that a list of senior officials of the secretariat had been released on 18 April 2007 and 20 October 2007, showing the appellant in Serial No 2 and Mr Nasrullah in Serial No 3.
Ali Azim claimed that his client was recommended for promotion to the post of senior additional secretary (BPS-20), which was told on Oct 1, 2009, during the course of events.
He added that on August 1, 2017, owing to the resignation of the then secretary, a notice for the constitution of the DPC was released and that committee had recommended Mr Nasrullah for the post.
The lawyer claimed that the ruling was contested by the appellant with a wider tribunal bench setting aside Mr Nasrullah’s promotion on Dec 10, 2018.
He claimed that the judgement of the tribunal was contested by respondents in the Supreme Court, who ordered the reconstitution of the DPC to review and determine the promotion at issue.