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ISLAMABAD: The Sindh High Court (SHC), dismissing the petitions of the Inland Revenue Department officers, held that their posting falls within the terms and conditions of a civil servant and the bar contained in Article 212 of the Constitution is fully applicable.

A division bench of the SHC comprising Justice Muhammad Junaid Ghaffar and Justice Agha Faisal also held that the petitions are incompetent, whereas, even otherwise, no case for indulgence is made out.

The judgment authored by Justice Ghaffar observed that the expression “Terms and Conditions” includes transfer, posting, absorption, seniority and eligibility to promotion but excludes fitness or otherwise of a person, to be appointed to or hold a particular post or to be promoted to a higher post or grade as provided under section 4(b) of the Sindh Service Tribunals Act, 1973.

It said that by now it is a settled principle of law that the civil and writ jurisdictions would not lie in respect of the suits or petitions filed with regard to the terms and conditions of Civil Servants, adding in view of such position, petitions on the face of it do not appear to be maintainable, whereas, remedy, if at all, was by way of approaching the Service Tribunal.

The Court said nonetheless, even otherwise on merits, the impugned letter is merely reiterating what has been stated in the notification dated 28.10.2015, wherein, the decision taken in the meeting of the FBR’s Board-in-Council held on 11.09.2015 was implemented, whereby, the nomenclature(s) of the employees of Audit Department were revised and now they have been called as “director, “additional director”, “deputy director” and “assistant director” (audit) instead of “manager”, “additional manager”, “deputy manager” and “assistant manager” (audit).

To that extent, the petitioners are not aggrieved as this part of the notification is in fact in their favour. However, their grievance is in respect of Para-3 of the said notification, which reads as; “It has further been clarified that the officer of this Cadre shall not be posted as Unit In charge in the field formations i.e. they shall not be assigned assessment related duties and functions.”

The court noted that the main argument of the petitioners’ counsel was that this was never an agenda item for the said meeting nor any decision was taken in the meeting of the FBR’s Board-in-Council and in support reliance has been placed on the minutes of the meeting in respect of agenda item No3. It said for this no meeting of the FBR’s Board-in-Council was required as the meeting was in respect of change of nomenclature of petitioners and others, whereby, now they were to be called as directors instead of managers, whereas, the decision as above, was purely an administrative issue and for that, no such authority or approval was required from the FBR’s Board-in-Council; hence, the argument to this effect is misconceived and is hereby repelled.

The judgment further said that even otherwise, the petitioners are admittedly.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022


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