In the context of Pakistan “Civil service” refers to the body of government officials who are employed in civil occupations that are neither political nor judicial. A well-functioning civil Service helps foster good policy making, effective service delivery, accountability and responsibility in utilizing public resources which are the characteristics of good governance. The importance of civil services to governance stems from the service present throughout the country and its strong binding character, administrative and managerial capacity of the services, effective policy making and regulation, effective coordination between institutions of governance, leadership at different levels of administration, service delivery at the cutting edge level and provide ‘continuity and change ‘ to the administration. Article 260 (1) of the Constitution of Pakistan defines civil services as;
“Service of Pakistan” means any service, post or office in connection with the affairs of the Federation or of a Province, and includes an All-Pakistan Service, service in the Armed Forces and any other service declared to be a service of Pakistan by or under Act of Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament) or of a Provincial Assembly, but does not include service as Speaker, Deputy Speaker, Chairman, Deputy Chairman, Prime Minister, Federal Minister, Minister of State, Chief Minister, Provincial Minister, Attorney-General, Advocate-General, Parliamentary Secretary or Chairman or member of a Law Commission, Chairman or member of the Council of Islamic Ideology, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister, Adviser to the Prime Minister, Special Assistant to Chief Minister, Adviser to a Chief Minister or member of a House or a Provincial Assembly“
Despite being so important to the good governance, civil servants often face a multitude of legal problems, including matters involving appointment, promotion, transfer, Adverse ACRs, and/ or the issues related to the Service Tribunals.
The ‘Civil Servants (appointment, promotion and transfer) Rules 1973’ lays down the relevant procedure for the appointment of individual to the civil services. It underlines the important aspects of how the procedure should be followed as to the provincial quotas, female quotas etc. Unfortunately the appointment procedure is routinely neglected by the authorities and arbitrary and capricious methods are taken up to appoint individuals. It is sometimes driven by political favours and corrupt motives as well.
The issue of promotion is crucial for a civil servant as the denial of promotion denies/ deprives such civil servant of an important right. To be elevated/ promoted to the higher posts becomes a right when the claimant fulfills the requisite criteria such as qualifications, experience etc. And is otherwise fit for the job. This right is however, denied to a deserving civil servant. Moreover, another issue that is related to the promotion is the seniority. Many a times junior officers are promoted and the seniority is overlooked. Moreover the Departmental Promotional Committees (DPCs) are held on the behest of the senior bureaucracy, delay in convening DPCs deprives the civil servants of their rights to promotion, in some cases the delay has been seen to be enormous being a delay of 10 to 12 years.
Annual confidential Reports (ACRs), is an evaluation report of a civil servant. It contains specific observations regarding conduct, character and performance of the servant in question. Basically, the ACR shows the capacity of the Civil servant to be promoted to a higher scale in the future. Any adverse remarks in the ACR from the immediate superior can deny the right of promotion to the civil servant. Strained relationship between the countersigning officer and the civil servant becomes evident in the cases where the superior officer deliberately spoils the image of the civil servant on personal bias and malafide. Another issue related to the ACRs is that apart from superior officers making adverse remarks against the civil servants, they tend to delay the writing of ACRs to deny promotion rights to the civil servants.
Lastly the civil servants have to face the issue of non-implementation of directions and orders given by the services tribunals to the departments. It has been observed that orders passed in the services matters by the services tribunals decided against the government are not implemented as per directions given in the respective orders. The government departments also tend to postpone or delay the implementation of the decisions on the pretext that a CPLA has been preferred against the order of service tribunal.
The Josh and Mak Team can help you with all these legal problems you might be facing as a civil servant.Please forward all your queries to [email protected] or call us at +92-51-8442922.
Currently we are taking up cases all over Punjab (especially Lahore) and the Federal Territory.If you need representation in any other part of Pakistan, please consult first with our team at [email protected]