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KARACHI: The Sindh High Court (SHC) has declared that there is no proper mechanism provided either under the Sindh Civil Servant Act 1973 or ACCE Rules for permanent absorption of any civil servant and ruled that competent authority has no unbridled powers to first appoint on deputation and then absorb any person in the Enquiries and Anti-Corruption Establishment (E&ACE) without fulfilling the conditions as outlined in the recruitment rules.

Prima facie the word “absorption” is not akin to the word “confirmation” in service, which has its meaning and procedure provided in-service law, a division bench of the SHC ruled in a written order, released on Wednesday.

The court was hearing a petition which sought directions to the respondent — the Enquiries and Anti-Corruption Establishment Sindh (E&ACE) — for issuance of his retirement notification and releasing his salaries up to 21.7.2013, wherein he has served for 10 years.

The order stated that the petitioner joined the police department as an Assistant Sub-Inspector in the year 1975 and subsequently promoted to the post of Sub-Inspector in the year 1996, thereafter his services were placed on the disposal of the respondent — E&ACE — on deputation and was absorbed as Sub-Inspector in E&ACE by way of transfer in the year 2008 and promoted to the post of Assistant Director (Executive) (BS-17).

According to the petitioner, his matter of retirement from service was under process. Meanwhile vide judgment dated 12.06.2013 passed in Crl. Original Petition No.89 of 2011, the Supreme Court (SC) canceled all the out of turn promotions and absorption of the persons from cadre to ex-cadre posts.

The petitioner stated that he approached the SC on the issue of retirement.

“SC vide order dated 23.10.2018 directed the Chief Secretary Sindh to pass a final decision on his retirement for which he moved various applications but to no avail and due to lethargic attitude of respondents he has suffered a lot and he has been deprived of his salary and pension benefits,” he added.

The SHC bench in its verdict referred to findings of SC in the case of Ali Azhar Khan Baloch, which stated, “No Civil Servant of a non-cadre post can be transferred out of cadre to be absorbed to a cadre post which is meant for recruitment through competitive process. A Civil Servant can be transferred out of cadre to any other department of the Government subject to the restrictions contained under Rule 9(1) of the Rules of 1974.”

The bench declared that the petitioner could not be allowed to be absorbed and subsequently promoted in E&ACE and stated that no department can be allowed to absorb any employee of another department/cadre except with certain exceptions as set forth by the SC.

The bench stated that primarily the parent department of the petitioner is the police department and his deputation in E&ACE and subsequent absorption by way of transfer in the year 2008 and promotion to the post of Assistant Director (Executive) (BS-17), Anti-Corruption Establishment on regular basis was done away by the orders of the SC.

The SC vide order dated 23.10.2018 directed the Chief Secretary of Sindh to pass a final decision on his retirement issue.

Prima facie the directives of the SC have been complied with by the chief secretary, Sindh vide order dated 07.10.2019 with direction to Sindh Police department to issue his retirement notification one day before attaining the age of superannuation along with pension benefits.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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