This law article synopsis discusses a significant legal case (details below) where three Divisional Accounts Officers (DAO) filed a Writ Petition to challenge unfair transfers. The petitioners were posted as DAOs in different cities, and their transfers were allegedly based on sifarish (favoritism), illegal gratifications, and political pressures. To address this issue, the respondents (Senior Officers and Department) had previously formulated a “Policy for Transfers/Postings of Divisional Accounts Officers” in 2002, strictly adhered to until recently.

However, a Controller-General took advantage of his powers and centralized the authority for postings and transfers of DAOs at the Headquarter level. Subsequently, he initiated massive transfers through his associates, allegedly after receiving bribes. This led to excessive complaints and maladministration, prompting the Auditor-General of Pakistan to intervene. The Auditor-General personally addressed the Controller-General, reprimanding him for forcing DAOs to pay illegal gratifications for their transfers and implying that the funds collected might be used for personal gains or to influence parliamentarians.

In response, the Deputy CGA was directed to stop the implementation of transfer orders and impose a ban on further postings and transfers. Despite these orders, the Controller-General continued to issue transfer orders for the petitioners, prompting them to challenge the actions in court.

The grounds for the Writ Petition were based on the illegality, discrimination, and mala fide nature of the respondent’s actions. The petitioners argued that the Controller-General violated the established transfer policy and prematurely transferred them, which was contrary to the policy’s minimum tenure requirements. They asserted that public functionaries must act in accordance with the law and constitution, as established by Article 4 of the Constitution of Pakistan.

The article further highlights the petitioners’ plight, suffering due to unfair transfers and being subject to capricious decisions. The intervention of the Hon’ble High Court was sought to uphold their fundamental rights and to challenge the Controller-General’s centralization of powers at the Headquarter level.

Ultimately, the court accepted the Writ Petition, and the unfair transfers of the plaintiffs were prevented through a court order.

Status: The Writ Petition was accepted, and the High Court intervened to prevent the unfair transfers of the Divisional Accounts Officers, protecting their rights and ensuring they were treated in accordance with the law. This case serves as a significant example of seeking justice and protecting public officers from unjust transfers through the legal recourse of a Writ Petition.

Details

This was a Writ filed by our team for preventing unfair transfers of government officers.In this case three petitioners were all Divisional Accounts Officers (DAO). The petitioners were posted as the Divisional Accounts Officer, in three different cities.

On having excessive complaints pertaining to premature postings and transfers of Divisional Accounts Officers on the basis of sifarish, illegal gratifications and political pressures, the respondents (Senior Officers and Department) itself had formulated a policy to this effect, titled: “Policy for Transfers/Postings of Divisional Accounts Officers” issued in 2002. That policy was reiterated vide Office Memorandum dated -2003. The said policy had been strictly acted upon until recently. However in the case of these officers, these policies were being unfairly assessed.It was noted that the present Controller-General in the name of “collecting funds” for allegedly supplying to the Parliamentarian, firstly usurped the role of the Director-Generals and AGs powers in the posting and transfers of DAOs, and withdrew those powers and centralised the same at the Headquarter level. Thereafter, the respondent No.2 began effecting such transfers/posting on massive scale through his cronies after receiving bribes. The respondent had been abusing the policy mentioned above simply for his personal and parochial gains.

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The matter of premature, illegal and irrational massive postings and transfers of the Divisional Accounts Officers(DAO) and wholesale maladministration in this behalf was brought to the notice of the Auditor-General of Pakistan who vide office letter dated 2012, personally addressed to the respondent No.2, and reprimanded him as follows:

                     “The concerned DAOs have been forced to pay illegal gratification to CGA for their postings/transfers. There is a great perception that your office is collecting this money on the pretext to pay parliamentarians for the approval of your case for extension as CGA. It is highly unbecoming of officer-like behavior to indulge in such type of activities in the last days of your tenure by maligning respectable parliamentarians.The Auditor-General of Pakistan, being the PAAS Cadre Administrator, has desired that you may refrain from issuing transfers orders of lower grade subordinate officers at this last leg of your service of few days without any justification and administrative reasons. It will not only create doubts on the credibility of your office but also lead to administrative confusion.”

 

The Deputy CGA was asked by the Auditor-General of Pakistan to immediately stop implementation of orders already issued by the respondent No.2 and also imposed ban on such postings and transfers. It was in pursuance of the said direction, that Office Order dated 24-09-2012 was issued -banning all such postings and transfers with immediate effect and till further orders.

Paying no heed to the orders of the Auditor-General of Pakistan and the office order of 24-09-2012 of his own office, the respondent No.2 ordered for posting and transfer of the petitioner No.1 vide letter dated 27-09-2012. The posting/transfer order of petitioner No.2 was issued on 28-09-2012. The posting/transfer order of petitioner No.3 was issued on 25-09-2012.

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In order to challenge the actions above, with the aforementioned back ground of the impugned action of the respondent the following grounds were pleaded for the Petitioners.

GROUNDS

  1. That the impugned act of the respondent in transferring was not sustainable in the eye of law. The said act of the respondent in particular, was mala-fide, patently illegal, discriminatory in nature, motivated in substance and effected for his personal and parochial gains. A pointer to such an assertion could be office order of the Auditor-General of Pakistan mentioned above.In pursuance of the authoritative order of the Auditor-General of Pakistan, ban was imposed on the postings/transfers by the respondent No. 2 who was going to retire within few days and who was indulging into illegal gratification for such acts of the posting and transfers of the petitioners. Paying no heed to the orders of the Auditor-General of Pakistan and the office order of 24-09-2012 of his own office, the respondent No.2 ordered for posting and transfer of the petitioner No.1 vide letter dated 27-09-2012. The posting/transfer order of petitioner No.2 was issued on 28-09-2012. The posting/transfer order of petitioner No.3 was issued on 25-09-2012. On this score alone that these impugned posting and transfers have been effected during the ban, thus such orders are void ab initio, and may graciously be held so.
  2. The respondents No.2 blatantly violated the formulated policy of postings and transfers of DAOs, and impugn orders are result of violation of the same.The postings and transfers of the petitioners have been made prematurely, hence not sustainable on the strength of the above-said policy in this behalf. The policy clearly stipulates that an officer cannot be transferred from one place to another before lapse of three years, hence impugned action is devoid of lawful authority.The public functionaries are duty bound to act in accordance with law in view of Article 4 of the Constitution as held by the august Supreme Court of Pakistan in a case reported in PLD 1995 SC 530. It is duty of every organ and functionary of the State to provide justice by discharging its duty in accordance with law. However, the respondent No.2 mutilated such rights of the petitioners.
  3. It was further stated that the petitioners are suffering for no fault of their own and, therefore, left at the mercy of capriciousness, whims, prejudices and discriminatory will of the respondent No.2. The instant situation, therefore, definitely warrants kind indulgence and interference by the Hon’able High Court in exercise of its constitutional jurisdiction.
  4. It is further submitted that the respondents No.2 on his own could order for postings and transfers, however, he did so by usurping and centralising powers at the Headquarter level which is not permissible at all.
  5. It is fundamental right of the petitioners that they be treated in accordance with law and Constitution, which has been trampled upon by the respondents. The conduct of the respondent No.2 viz. the service rights of the petitioners is incomprehensible, illegal and frustrating, hence intervention of the hon’able High Court is utmost warranted.
  6. Based on the above, the petitioners had no any other efficacious and speedy remedy except to knock at the door of the hon’able High Court for redemption of their rights of being treated in accordance with law.
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Status: Writ Accepted and the Unfair Transfer of the Plaintiffs was prevented via order of the court.

If you have a similar court matter please feel free to consult us via email at aemen@joshandmak.com 

Based on the above, Josh and Mak Internationalcan offer the following legal services:

  1. Writ Petition Filing: The law firm can assist clients in filing Writ Petitions to prevent unfair transfers of government officers. They can draft the necessary legal documents and represent the clients in court.
  2. Legal Research and Analysis: Josh and Mak International can conduct comprehensive legal research and analysis to support their client’s case. This includes examining relevant policies, regulations, and legal precedents related to government officer transfers.
  3. Challenging Malafide Actions: The firm can challenge actions taken by senior officers or authorities that are alleged to be mala fide, patently illegal, discriminatory, or motivated by personal gains.
  4. Violation of Policy: The firm can argue cases where the transfers of government officers have been made in violation of formulated policies and regulations.
  5. Premature Transfers: Josh and Mak International can challenge premature transfers of officers that do not comply with the stipulated minimum tenure requirements.
  6. Protection of Fundamental Rights: The law firm can advocate for the protection of the fundamental rights of their clients, ensuring that they are treated in accordance with the law and constitution.
  7. High Court Representation: The firm can represent clients before the High Court, advocating for their rights and seeking intervention from the court in matters of unfair transfers.
  8. Speedy Remedies: Josh and Mak International can assist clients in seeking effective and speedy remedies for their grievances related to government officer transfers.
  9. Legal Consultation: The firm can provide expert legal advice to clients facing similar situations, guiding them on the appropriate legal actions to take.

Overall, Josh and Mak International specializes in providing legal solutions to government officers facing unfair transfers and can effectively represent their clients in court to protect their rights and seek justice.

By The Josh and Mak Team

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