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Jun 06, 2020 PRINT EDITION
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All courts, tribunals asked to act strictly as per law

The Supreme Court ruled that all courts and tribunals are required to act strictly in accordance with the law, and all orders and judgments passed by them must be entrenched and grounded in the Constitution, the law, and the rules.

May 23, 2020

The Supreme Court ruled that all courts and tribunals are required to act strictly in accordance with the law, and all orders and judgments passed by them must be entrenched and grounded in the Constitution, the law, and the rules.
"No Court, Authority or Tribunal has any jurisdiction to grant any relief in favour of any person, which is not based upon the foundation of the Constitution, the law and the rules," said 11-page judgment authored by Justice Ijazul Ahsan.
A three-member judges' bench, headed by Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed on the appeal of Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) on 03 March 2020 had set aside the Federal Service Tribunal, Lahore, order.
The detailed reasons of the order released now. Nawaz Ali Sheikh, in his capacity as superintendent, Regional Tax Office, Karachi, processed bogus refund claims filed by various parties by ignoring red alerts issued by the director of intelligence and investigation, Karachi.
The department conducted inquiry and found the respondent guilty of inefficiency, misconduct and corruption within the meaning of Rules 3(a)(b)(c) of Government Servant (E&D) Rules, 1973. Consequently, he was removed from service.
The respondent challenged the decision in the Federal Service Tribunal, which modified the major penalty of dismissal from service and reduced the punishment to a lower stage in his current scale equal to three increments for a period of five years and ordered for reinstatement of the respondent into service.
The court noticed that the Service Tribunal has not assigned any reason whatsoever in accepting the appeal of the respondent, which it was required to do to justify the reduction in penalty.
The court termed the Service Tribunal order illegal, without lawful authority and in excess of jurisdiction available to the Service Tribunal under the law, and therefore unsustainable.
It said no doubt, under Section 5 of the Service Tribunals Act, the Service Tribunal enjoys powers to modify any appellate order but such power is to be exercised carefully judiciously and with great circumspection by assigning cogent, valid and legally sustainable reasons justifying such modification.
We fail to understand how and from where the Service Tribunal derived the authority and jurisdiction to arbitrarily and whimsically grant the relief that it has ended up granting to the respondent.
The Supreme Court noted that the Service Tribunal in its judgment came to the conclusion that the charges against the respondent stood full proved, and he had been unable to substantiate the defence taken by him.
In spite of that reduced the major penalty of dismissal for service to a lower stage in his current scale equal to three increments for a period of five years and ordered for reinstatement of the respondent into service.
"We are at a complete loss to understand how and on what basis the respondent's appeal was allowed by the Service Tribunal and the major penalty of dismissal from service imposed by the competent authority on the basis of a validly conducted regular inquiry, could be modified without finding any flaw legal or procedural in the inquiry," said the judgment.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2020