Law on Upgradation for Civil Servants in PakistanLaw on Upgradation for Civil Servants in Pakistan

Update 2022: The latest Government Policy on Upgradation supersedes Establishment Division’s OM No. 8/36 2000-R-1 dated 20-01-2001: OM No. 8/36/2000-R-1 dated 03-02-2001: OM No. 8/36 2000-R-1 dated 11-09-2018 and others on the subject of ‘upgradation redesignation of posts.It states that the up-gradation of posts shall be undertaken under the following circumstances:

(a) When deemed necessary to enhance specific positions within a Ministry/Division or a Department in order to streamline the administrative framework, resulting in improved effectiveness, or to establish uniformity in pay scales for comparable roles across different organizations.

(b) In cases where the responsibilities and tasks associated with a particular position have notably expanded.

(c) When the assigned pay scale for a position is significantly misaligned with the qualifications and experience required for appointment to that role.

(d) Upgradation of a position on an individual basis will generally be discouraged, except in situations where an officer who already holds a higher-grade position on a regular basis is assigned to a role with a lower grade due to exigent circumstances.

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The concept of upgradation of a civil servant in Pakistan, as reflected in the discussed case law, involves the elevation of an individual’s position, grade, or pay scale based on qualifications, experience, and other relevant factors. The process is expected to follow established rules and procedures, involve competent authorities and committees, and prioritize substantive justice and fair treatment. Once an upgradation decision is implemented, it is generally considered final, and courts may intervene to ensure equal treatment and adherence to legal principles.

An upgradation and a promotion are two distinct concepts in the context of civil service in Pakistan, each involving changes in an employee’s position, grade, or pay scale, but with different implications and criteria. Here’s how they differ:

Upgradation:

Upgradation refers to the elevation of an employee’s position, grade, or pay scale based on factors such as qualifications, experience, and other relevant considerations. It generally involves moving an employee to a higher grade or pay scale within the same job or position. Upgradation is often initiated by authorities or committees responsible for assessing the need for such changes. The decision to upgrade a position may be discretionary, and it may not necessarily entail increased job responsibilities or a change in job title.

Key Points:

  • Upgradation focuses on improving the pay scale or grade of a current position without necessarily changing the nature of the job.
  • It may be based on factors like educational qualifications, years of service, or anomalies in pay scales.
  • Upgradation does not always require the employee to compete with others or fulfill specific promotion criteria.
  • The purpose of upgradation is often to address issues related to salary discrepancies, career progression, or equal treatment among employees.

Promotion:

Promotion involves the advancement of an employee to a higher position, often accompanied by increased job responsibilities, a change in job title, and sometimes a higher pay scale. Promotions are typically based on merit, performance, and meeting specific eligibility criteria outlined in the relevant rules and regulations. Employees seeking promotion usually have to compete with their colleagues, and promotions may involve assessments, interviews, and evaluations to determine suitability for the higher position.

Key Points:

  • Promotion usually entails a change in job title, role, and often increased responsibilities.
  • Eligibility for promotion is often based on performance, qualifications, experience, and other predetermined criteria.
  • Employees competing for promotion are assessed against a set of standards to determine their suitability for the higher position.
  • Promotions often come with a more significant change in career trajectory and may involve a shift in job duties and responsibilities.

Hence upgradation focuses on improving the grade or pay scale of an existing position without necessarily changing the job itself, while promotion involves advancing an employee to a higher position with increased responsibilities, often based on merit and specific eligibility criteria. Both concepts aim to provide opportunities for career growth and better compensation, but they differ in their scope, criteria, and impact on an employee’s role within the organization.

The Honourable Supreme Court of Pakistan in Civil Appeals No. 101 & 102-P of 2011 ordered as under:- “The upgradation cannot be made to benefit a particular individual in term of promoting him to a higher post and further providing him with the avenues of lateral appointment or transfer or posting. In order to justify the upgradation, the Government is required to establish that the department needs re-structuring, reform or to meet the exigency of service in the public interest. In the absence of these pre-conditions, upgradation is not permissible”.

The key principle of upgradation has been reiterated in the most recent case of  2023  SCMR  418  (also discussed further below)  as follows

“In order to justify the upgradation, the Government is required to establish that the department needs restructuring, reform or to meet the exigency of service in the public interest” It was further confirmed that “upgradation of a post is not a vested right but it stems from a policy decision for its implementation for the particular set of employees as per scheme embedded in the policy which cannot be mixed up with the promotion. By and large, upgradation is accorded to all positions in a category upon completion of a required length of service in accordance with the benchmarks laid down by the competent authority as a policy decision”

The 2016 decision below is also very important to the modern judicial context of Upgradation in Civil Service :

Supreme Court of Pakistan

Present: Anwar Zaheer Jamali, C.J., Mian Saqib Nisar, Amir Hani Muslim, Ejaz Afzal Khan and Mushir Alam JJ

REGIONAL COMMISSIONER INCOME TAX, NORTHERN REGION, ISLAMABAD and another – Appellants Versus Syed MUNAWAR ALI

Date of hearing: 17th February, 2016.

Judgment:

This case involves an appeal against a judgment dated 27th April 2010, passed by the Peshawar High Court. The Respondents, who were working as Superintendents/Supervisors, filed an Application before the Chairman of the Federal Board of Revenue (Revenue Division) seeking the upgradation of their posts from BS-13 to BS-16. The issue centered around whether the High Court had jurisdiction to entertain a Constitution Petition regarding the upgradation of civil servants’ posts.

The main contentions raised were as follows:

  1. Jurisdiction Bar: The Appellants argued (unsuccessfully) that the jurisdiction of the Peshawar High Court was barred under Article 212(3) of the Constitution, as the issue of upgradation fell within the terms and conditions of service of civil servants and should be under the domain of the Service Tribunal.
  2. Definition of Upgradation: The Supreme Court clarified that “upgradation” is distinct from “promotion” and involves improving the rank of a post without benefiting a specific individual by promoting them to a higher post or providing lateral appointment, transfer, or posting opportunities.
  3. Conditions for Upgradation: The Court emphasized that upgradation must be justified by the need for departmental restructuring, reform, or to meet service exigencies in the public interest. Upgradation cannot be granted without fulfilling these pre-conditions.
  4. High Court’s Jurisdiction: The Respondents argued that the issue of upgradation is not covered by the expression “terms and conditions of service” and therefore falls under the jurisdiction of the High Court.
  5. Policy of Upgradation: The Court held that the policy of upgradation, as notified by the Government, does not amend the terms and conditions of service of civil servants. It also established that the Service Tribunals do not have jurisdiction over appeals involving upgradation issues.

The Court’s Decision:

The Court dismissed the appeals, affirming the Peshawar High Court’s judgment. It held that the High Court has jurisdiction to decide issues related to upgradation of civil servants’ posts, and the bar contained under Article 212(3) of the Constitution does not apply to matters of upgradation. The Court further clarified that the policy of upgradation is distinct from the terms and conditions of service, and Service Tribunals lack jurisdiction over upgradation matters. This decision aligns with previous judgments on the issue of upgradation.

In conclusion, the Supreme Court affirmed that the jurisdiction of the High Court extends to cases of upgradation of civil servants’ posts, as long as the issue is not related to the terms and conditions of service, and it fulfills the necessary conditions for upgradation outlined in the judgment.

A review of the case law from the till the present has shown some recurring themes as follows :

  • Qualification-Based Upgradation: Upgradation often involves an increase in the grade or pay scale of a civil servant’s position based on qualifications, experience, and other relevant factors. Courts consider whether the individual meets the criteria for upgradation, which may include educational attainment, years of service, and other qualifications.
  • Procedural Regularity: Upgradation decisions are expected to adhere to established rules, regulations, and procedures. Competent authorities, such as government committees, are often involved in making such decisions. Courts emphasize that decisions should be made following due process and in accordance with the prescribed rules.
  • Role of Committees: Committees and boards play a role in evaluating the justification for upgradation. Courts may consider the recommendations and findings of these committees when determining whether an upgradation decision is appropriate and justifiable.
  • Substantive Justice: Courts prioritize achieving substantive justice over technicalities. They may focus on the essence of a request rather than its formal label, especially if the intention is clear. The goal is to ensure fair treatment and reasonable consideration of an individual’s circumstances.
  • Finality of Decisions: Once an upgradation decision has been implemented, courts tend to emphasize the finality of that decision. Subsequent attempts to reverse or cancel upgradations may face legal challenges, particularly if individuals have already been appointed or promoted to the upgraded positions.
  • Entitlement vs. Discretion: While some cases establish entitlement to upgradation based on specific criteria, others recognize that upgradation can be a discretionary decision made by competent authorities. The determination of entitlement or discretion may depend on the language of the relevant rules or notifications.
  • Anomalies and Equal Treatment: Courts consider whether there are justifiable reasons for treating certain positions differently in terms of upgradation. Anomalies in pay scales and treatment among similar positions are subject to scrutiny to ensure fairness and consistency.

Case-notes between the 1980’s till 2023 are discussed below:

Citation: 2023 SCMR 418 (Supreme Court)

Appellant: Amanullah Khan

Opponent: Hospital Director, KTH (MTI), Peshawar

In this case, the Supreme Court addressed the distinction between ‘upgradation of post’ and ‘promotion.’ The court clarified that while promotion entails advancement in rank, grade, or a step towards a higher position, upgradation refers to granting monetary benefits through a higher pay scale to alleviate the suffering caused by stagnation. It emphasized that upgradation under a scheme is specific to the incumbents of a particular post who have served a sufficient length of time, and it does not involve any progression or avenue of promotion. Unlike promotion, upgradation maintains the same job responsibilities while offering a higher pay scale to mitigate the adverse effects of stagnation.The court outlined that for the upgradation to be justified, the Government must establish a need for departmental restructuring, reform, or to meet the exigency of service in the public interest. This implies that upgradation should not be arbitrary but based on valid justifications related to the overall functioning of the department and the welfare of the public it serves.The court clarified that upgradation is not a vested right but stems from a policy decision intended for implementation among specific groups of employees according to a scheme outlined in the policy. This distinction is important, as upgradation should not be confused with promotion. Generally, upgradation is extended to all positions within a particular category after completion of a required length of service, as determined by benchmarks set by competent authorities as part of a policy decision.

Citation: 2023 PLC(CS) 182 (Supreme Court)

Appellant: Attaullah Khan

Opponent: Ali Azam Afridi

This case involves the upgradation of a post from BPS-20 to BPS-21 and the violation of the Provincial Government’s upgradation policy. The petitioner, Attaullah Khan, was upgraded thrice, each time in clear violation of the upgradation policy set forth by the Provincial Assembly. The policy explicitly stated that personal upgradation could occur only once during an employee’s entire service period. The petitioner’s three consecutive upgradations were deemed against the policy. Consequently, the High Court rightfully declared the petitioner’s upgradation from BPS-20 to BPS-21 as void and without lawful authority. The petition for leave to appeal was dismissed, and the upgradation was deemed unauthorized.

Citation: 2022 SCMR 797 (Supreme Court)

Appellant: Muhammad Amjad

Opponent: The Director General, Quetta Development Authority

The Supreme Court in this case emphasized the distinction between ‘upgradation of post’ and ‘promotion.’ It clarified that promotion involves advancement in rank, grade, or a step toward higher positions, while upgradation primarily offers monetary benefits through a higher pay scale to alleviate stagnation. Upgradation aims to address the suffering of employees stuck in isolated posts without avenues for promotion, but it cannot be claimed as a matter of right. Instead, it is based on a policy decision by the competent authority for implementation across specific categories of employees who meet the required qualifications, often a particular length of service in a specific pay scale.

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Citation: 2022 SCMR 797 (Supreme Court)

Appellant: Muhammad Amjad

Opponent: The Director General, Quetta Development Authority

This case discusses the scope of ‘upgradation of post.’ The court emphasized that the term “upgradation” differs from “promotion.” Upgradation is intended to alleviate the stagnation of employees in certain isolated posts without avenues for further promotion or lateral appointment. It clarified that upgradation is not a matter of right but is based on a policy decision by the competent authority. The policy outlines specific categories of employees eligible for upgradation based on predetermined qualifications, typically involving a particular length of service in a specific pay scale.

Citation: 2022 SCMR 797 (Supreme Court)

Appellant: Muhammad Amjad

Opponent: The Director General, Quetta Development Authority

This case addresses the scope of ‘upgradation of post.’ The court ruled that upgradation cannot be solely intended to benefit an individual by promoting them to a higher post or providing avenues for lateral appointment, transfer, or posting. The government must establish that the upgradation is necessary due to departmental restructuring, reform, or to meet the exigency of public service. In the absence of these pre-conditions, upgradation is not permissible.

Citation: 2022 SCMR 381 (Supreme Court)

Appellant: Secretary Finance, Finance Division Pak. Secretariat, Islamabad

Opponent: Muhammad Farooq Khan

This case involves the grant of time scale promotion from BPS-17 to BPS-18 without changing the post’s designation. The respondent was granted a premature increment along with the time scale promotion. However, the court held that time scale promotion does not equate to a promotion under the Civil Servants (Appointment, Promotion, and Transfer) Rules, 1973. The Office Memorandums from the Finance Division and the Establishment Division clarified that time scale promotion did not involve upgradation of posts or changes in recruitment rules. The court noted that the respondent had not challenged the notification regarding the nature of the promotion and had not made such a claim before the Service Tribunal. Therefore, the Service Tribunal’s decision to grant a premature increment was not sustainable, and the court set aside the impugned judgment.

Citation: 2022 PLC(CS) 1374 (Supreme Court)

Appellant: Fida Muhammad

Opponent: Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa through Secretary Education, Peshawar

This case emphasizes the scope of ‘upgradation of post.’ The court reiterated that upgradation cannot be claimed as a matter of right. Instead, it is based on a policy decision made by the competent authority and is implemented across specific categories of employees who meet the required qualifications, often involving a particular length of service in a particular pay scale.

Citation: 2022 PLC(CS) 1008 (Supreme Court)

Appellant: Secretary Finance, Finance Division Pak. Secretariat, Islamabad

Opponent: Muhammad Farooq Khan

This case involves the grant of time scale promotion from BPS-17 to BPS-18 without changing the post’s designation. The court ruled that time scale promotion does not equate to a promotion under the Civil Servants (Appointment, Promotion, and Transfer) Rules, 1973. The petitioner’s argument did not establish a legal right enforceable through constitutional means, and the Service Tribunal’s decision was set aside.

Citation: 2022 PLC(CS) 594 (Supreme Court)

Appellant: Muhammad Amjad

Opponent: The Director General, Quetta Development Authority

This case reiterates the distinction between ‘upgradation of post’ and ‘promotion.’ It clarified that promotion involves advancement in rank, grade, or a step toward higher positions, while upgradation primarily offers monetary benefits through a higher pay scale to alleviate stagnation. Upgradation aims to address the suffering of employees stuck in isolated posts without avenues for further promotion or lateral appointment.

Citation: 2022 PLC(CS) 594 (Supreme Court)

Appellant: Muhammad Amjad

Opponent: The Director General, Quetta Development Authority

The court reiterated that upgradation cannot be claimed as a matter of right but is based on a policy decision of the competent authority. Upgradation is intended to alleviate the stagnation of employees stuck in isolated posts without avenues for promotion. It is implemented across specific categories of employees who meet the required qualifications, typically involving a particular length of service in a particular pay scale.

Citation: 2022 PLC(CS) 594 (Supreme Court)

Appellant: Muhammad Amjad

Opponent: The Director General, Quetta Development Authority

This case emphasizes that upgradation cannot be intended to benefit a particular individual by promoting them to a higher post or providing avenues for lateral appointment, transfer, or posting. The government must establish the need for departmental restructuring, reform, or to meet the exigency of public service to justify upgradation. Without these pre-conditions, upgradation is not permissible.

Citation: 2022 PLC(CS) 1239 (Peshawar High Court)

Appellant: Muhammad Rustam

Opponent: Registrar, Peshawar High Court, Peshawar

This case involves the promotion of High Court employees. The court ruled that the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Civil Servants Promotion Policy (2009) could not be extended to be the basis for promotion. There existed a separate policy for upgradation of posts, which was applicable in this context.

Citation: 2022 PLC(CS) 1239 (Peshawar High Court)

Appellant: Muhammad Rustam

Opponent: Registrar, Peshawar High Court, Peshawar

The petitioner sought proforma upgradation to BPS-20 with retrospective effect. The court held that the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Civil Servants Promotion Policy (2009) only provided the minimum length of service for eligibility for promotion. The petitioner’s claim for further upgradation was dismissed as he had already retired and was not entitled to further upgradation without completing the required years of service.

Citation: 2021 SCMR 1979 (Supreme Court)

Appellant: Attaullah Khan

Opponent: Ali Azam Afridi

This case involves the upgradation of a post from BPS-20 to BPS-21 against the policy of the Provincial Government. The petitioner had been upgraded three times consecutively, which was in violation of the upgradation policy that allowed personal upgradation only once during the entire service period. The High Court rightly declared the upgradation as void and without lawful authority. The petitioner’s leave to appeal was dismissed.

Citation: 2021 SCMR 1895 (Supreme Court)

Appellant: Fida Muhammad

Opponent: Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

This case discusses the distinction between ‘upgradation of post’ and ‘promotion.’ Promotion involves advancing in rank, grade, or a step en route to higher positions, while upgradation provides monetary benefits through a higher pay scale to address stagnation. The benefit of upgradation is typically granted to individuals stuck in one pay scale for a significant period without avenues for promotion or progression.

Citation: 2021 PLC(CS) 221 (Karachi High Court – Sindh)

Appellant: Syed Ali Haider

Opponent: Pakistan International Airline Corporation Limited

In this case, employees of Pakistan International Airline Corporation (PIAC) who were promoted/upgraded had the increase in benefits extended by an Administrative Order withdrawn by the Corporation. The court held that the upgradation/promotion of the plaintiffs was not a mistake, fraud, or misrepresentation but a conscious decision that was acted upon lawfully. The court emphasized that employees cannot be demoted without notice and opportunity to be heard.

Citation: 2020 PLC(CS) 1226 (Lahore High Court – Lahore)

Appellant: Arshad Ali

Opponent: WAPDA

This case pertains to time scale upgradation and the non-convening of Time Scale Upgradation Board’s meeting. The petitioner sought time scale upgradation along with pensionary benefits. The court held that the department’s promotion policy, which mandated the holding of the Board’s meeting twice a year, was mandatory. The court directed the authorities to reconsider the petitioner’s plea for time scale upgradation.

Citation: 2020 PLC(CS) 630 (Karachi High Court – Sindh)

Appellant: Muhammad Ali Javed

Opponent: Province of Sindh

This case involves the withdrawal of the upgradation of posts of Accounts Officer in the Finance and Accounts Department of Lyari Development Authority. The post of Accounts Officer was not isolated, and the petitioner had avenues for promotion to higher positions. The upgradation was not based on any scheme or policy and was withdrawn due to a misconception about a Supreme Court order. The withdrawal was held valid, and the High Court declined to interfere in the matter.

Citation(s): 2019 SCMR 622 (Supreme Court), 2019 PLC(CS) 896 (Supreme Court)

Appellant: Abdullah Nawaz Cheema

Opponent: Federal Public Service Commission (FPSC), Islamabad

These cases deal with the allocation of seats under open merit and women’s quota. A female candidate securing sufficient merit to be allocated a group on open merit can opt for a better group available in the women’s quota. The vacant group seat left after such an option is transferred to the women’s quota, maintaining reserved seats for deserving female candidates with higher merit.

Citation: 2019 PLC(CS) 126 (Supreme Court)

Appellant: Muhammad Rashid Bhatti

Opponent: The Director General FIA, Headquarters, Islamabad

This case concerns inter-se seniority in case of supersession and subsequent promotion. The petitioner, a sub-Inspector in the Federal Investigation Agency, was superseded twice and later promoted to Inspector. The court held that the proviso to Rule 17(1) of Fundamental Rules, which addresses wrongful prevention from rendering services in a higher post, was not applicable to the petitioner’s case. The petition for leave to appeal was dismissed.

Citation: 2019 PLC(CS) 83 (Service Tribunal Punjab)

Appellant: Parveen Shad

Opponent: Chief Secretary, Government of the Punjab

This case discusses the scope of regularization of service, which is not considered as initial recruitment but rather confirmation of existing employment. Regularization entitles employees to benefits such as increments, seniority, and upgradation.

Citation: 2019 PLC(CS) 1324 (Karachi High Court – Sindh)

Appellant: Sajjad Hussain

Opponent: Federation of Pakistan

The case pertains to the upgradation of the post of Stock Auditors/Stock Verifiers from BPS-15 to BPS-17 in the Port Qasim Authority. The upgradation was distinct from promotion, and conditions imposed on the upgradation were deemed unjustified and unsustainable. The court held that person-specific upgradation was not permissible, and the vested rights of incumbents should be protected.

Citation: 2019 PLC(CS)N 30 (Karachi High Court – Sindh)

Appellant: Aurangzeb

Opponent: Federation of Pakistan through Secretary Establishment Division

This case involves the adjustment of a Special Library Assistant against the post of Assistant and subsequent promotion to Information Technology Officer in the National School of Public Policy. The court held that upgradation of posts did not automatically upgrade the incumbents, and appointments should follow the prescribed recruitment rules. The promotion of the respondent was set aside, and authorities were directed to fill the upgraded posts according to the regulations.

Citation: 2018 SCMR 1995 (Supreme Court)

Appellant: Muhammad Rashid Bhatti

Opponent: The Director General FIA, Headquarters, Islamabad

This case involves the petitioner, who was a sub-inspector in the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), being superseded by several sub-inspectors on two separate occasions. The petitioner was later promoted to the position of Inspector. The petitioner sought inter-se seniority as an Inspector, which was declined by the Service Tribunal. The court ruled that the proviso to Rule 17(1) of Fundamental Rules, which relates to granting seniority in cases of supersession and subsequent promotion, did not apply to the petitioner’s situation. The court dismissed the petition for leave to appeal.

Citation: 2018 PLC(CS)N 43 (Lahore High Court – Lahore)

Appellant: Ali Fida

Opponent: Federation of Pakistan

In this case, the petitioner-employee, who was appointed as a Field Assistant, challenged the discrimination in the upgradation of his post. The post of Office Assistant was upgraded, but the benefit was not extended to the petitioner. The court ruled that the petitioner had been discriminated against, and the principle of ‘equal pay for equal work’ was invoked. The department was directed to grant the petitioner the same scale as similarly placed employees, dating back to when he became eligible for the upgrade.

Citation: 2018 PLC(CS)N 171 (Karachi High Court – Sindh)

Appellant: Abdul Latif Narejo

Opponent: Employees Old Age Benefits Institution

This case pertains to the promotion of Executive Officers of the Employees’ Old-Age Benefits Institution to the position of Assistant Directors after completing fifteen years of service. The department had committed to placing the matter of upgradation/promotion before the Board of Trustees for decision. The court directed the competent authority to implement a previous order related to this matter within one month.

Citation: 2017 PLC(CS)N 46 (Supreme Court – Azad Kashmir)

Appellant: Shaukat Hussain Awan

Opponent: AJ&K Bar Council through Vice-Chairman, AJK Bar Council, Muzaffarabad

This case involves a dispute regarding the upgradation of the post of Secretary Azad Jammu and Kashmir Bar Council and changes in pay and allowances. The court ruled that the employee’s claim for grade BPS-20 was not valid as the process of upgradation had not been followed correctly. The court emphasized the need for changes in terms and conditions of employees to be made through amendments in the relevant rules and regulations.

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Citation: 2017 SCMR 890 (Supreme Court)

Appellant: Federal Public Service Commission

Opponent: Anwar-ul-Haq (Private Secretary) Islamabad

This case deals with the concept of upgradation of a post. The court clarifies that upgradation is distinct from promotion. It is carried out to address stagnation and frustration of incumbents of isolated posts, providing them financial benefits without creating additional higher-grade vacancies. Upgradation does not necessarily create posts in the relevant scales of pay and is personal to the incumbents of isolated posts.

Citation: 2017 PLC(CS) 1445 (Supreme Court)

Appellant: Federal Public Service Commission

Opponent: Anwar-ul-Haq (Private Secretary) Islamabad

This case reiterates the distinction between upgradation and promotion. Upgradation is intended to address stagnation and frustration of incumbents in isolated posts, while promotion involves advancing to a higher grade with additional responsibilities. The government must establish the need for upgradation based on restructuring, reform, or public service exigencies.

Citation: 2017 PLC(CS)N 1030 (Supreme Court)

Appellant: Regional Commissioner Income Tax, Northern Region, Islamabad

Opponent: Syed Munawar Ali

This case clarifies that the issue of upgradation of a post is distinct from the issue of promotion. Upgradation is not a part of the terms and conditions of service for civil servants.

Citation: 2017 PLC(CS)N 1030 (Supreme Court)

Appellant: Regional Commissioner Income Tax, Northern Region, Islamabad

Opponent: Syed Munawar Ali

The court emphasizes that upgradation of a post must not be used to benefit a specific individual by promoting them to a higher post or providing avenues for lateral appointments, transfers, or postings. Upgradation must be justified by the need for restructuring, reform, or public service exigencies.

Citation: 2017 PLC(CS)N 1030 (Supreme Court)

Appellant: Regional Commissioner Income Tax, Northern Region, Islamabad

Opponent: Syed Munawar Ali

This case underscores that the issue of upgradation of a post falls under the purview of Art. 199 of the Constitution. The High Court can decide matters related to the upgradation of a post in its Constitutional jurisdiction.

Citation: 2017 PLC(CS)N 93 (Peshawar High Court)

Appellant: Sher Badshah

Opponent: The Government of Pakistan through Secretary States and Frontier Regions Division, Islamabad

This case pertains to the upgradation of posts with retrospective effect. The court rules that the benefit of upgradation with retrospective effect is applicable even to retired employees. The court considers it reasonable to grant the same relief to the petitioner as similarly placed employees who were granted such benefits.

Citation: 2017 PLC(CS) 1142 (Karachi High Court – Sindh)

Appellant: Sohail Baig Noori

Opponent: High Court of Sindh

This case involves the appointment of the Chairman Inspection Team of the High Court (Sindh) on a contract basis. The court emphasizes that upgradation must not be used to benefit a particular individual and must be linked with non-availability of a suitable person. The appointment of a retired employee on a contract basis is criticized, and the court sets aside the appointment of the respondent.

Citation: 2017 PLC(CS)N 35 (Karachi High Court – Sindh)

Appellant: Faisal Nisar

Opponent: Province of Sindh through Chief Secretary

This case involves the upgradation of Computer Programmers (BS-16) in the Excise and Taxation Department to BS-17. The petitioners argue that Computer Programmers in other departments have been placed in BS-17, creating discrimination. However, the court rules that each department can decide its own methods of appointments, qualifications, and other conditions. Differences in duties and functions between departments are natural, and placement in different grades is permissible. The court dismisses the case, stating that the petitioners have not made a case for upgradation based on discrimination.

Citation: 2017 PLC(CS)N 58 (Islamabad)

Appellant: Chairman, Federal Board of Revenue, Islamabad

Opponent: Atta Muhammad Mahsud

This case clarifies that upgradation of a post and appointment against such post are distinct and independent of each other. Upgradation does not have a nexus with the grade of the incumbent person, and they do not necessarily benefit in terms of grade.

Citation: 2016 SCMR 859 (Supreme Court)

Appellant: Regional Commissioner Income Tax, Northern Region, Islamabad

Opponent: Syed Munawar Ali

This case reiterates the distinction between upgradation and promotion, emphasizing that the issue of upgradation does not form part of the terms and conditions of service for civil servants.

Citation: 2016 SCMR 859 (Supreme Court)

Appellant: Regional Commissioner Income Tax, Northern Region, Islamabad

Opponent: Syed Munawar Ali

This case underscores that upgradation of a post cannot be made to benefit a particular individual in terms of promoting them to a higher post and providing avenues for lateral appointment, transfer, or posting. The government must establish the need for upgradation based on restructuring, reform, or public service exigencies.

Citation: 2016 SCMR 859 (Supreme Court)

Appellant: Regional Commissioner Income Tax, Northern Region, Islamabad

Opponent: Syed Munawar Ali

This case clarifies that the issue of upgradation of a post can be decided by the High Court in its Constitutional jurisdiction under Article 199 of the Constitution.

Citation: 2016 SCMR 442 (Supreme Court)

Appellant: Government of Pakistan M/o Railways

Opponent: Jamshed Hussain Cheema

This case deals with the upgradation of posts and discrimination. The court rules that policy decisions of the government regarding upgradation of posts cannot be challenged in the constitutional jurisdiction of the High Court on the basis of discrimination. Upgradation of a post is not a vested right.

Citation: 2016 PLC(CS) 816 (Supreme Court)

Appellant: Government of Pakistan M/o Railways

Opponent: Jamshed Hussain Cheema

Similar to Case 47, this case emphasizes that policy decisions of the government regarding upgradation of posts cannot be challenged in the constitutional jurisdiction of the High Court on the basis of discrimination. Upgradation of a post is not a vested right.

Citation: 2016 PLC(CS) 530 (Karachi High Court – Sindh)

Appellant: Abdul Khalique

Opponent: Federation of Pakistan through Secretary, Board of Investment

This case pertains to the upgradation of a Public Relation Officer’s post (BS-16) to BS-17. The petitioner argues discrimination based on the placement of officials with similar roles in other departments. The court rules that for seeking relief based on discrimination, the nature of work being performed must be essentially the same. Differential placement based on different departmental structures is permissible. The court dismisses the case, stating that the petitioner failed to establish a violation of any specific provision of law/Rules for challenging the upgradation on the grounds of discrimination.

Citation: 2016 PLC(CS) 674 (Gilgit-Baltistan Chief Court)

Appellant: Mehmood Ghaznavi

Opponent: Karakoram International University (KIU) through Vice-Chancellor

In this case, the petitioner was initially appointed as a Stenographer in BPS-15, and the post of Stenographer was subsequently upgraded to BPS-16. The petitioner was then transferred to the position of Administrative Officer (BPS-16). The petitioner claims entitlement to promotion to the post of Private Secretary (BPS-17) based on his previous role as a Stenographer. However, the court rules that the promotion to Private Secretary from the post of Stenographer would have been possible only if the petitioner had not accepted the promotion to Administrative Officer. The court finds no discrimination in the promotion process and dismisses the writ petition, clarifying that the dismissal would not prevent the petitioner from pursuing promotion if eligible.

Citation: 2015 SCMR 456 (Supreme Court)

Appellant: Ali Azhar Khan Baloch

Opponent: Province of Sindh

This case emphasizes that for justifying the upgradation of a post, the government must establish the need for restructuring, reform, or to meet the exigency of service in public interest. Upgradation should not benefit an individual by promoting them to a higher post without fulfilling the necessary conditions. The review petition was dismissed, and some civil servants were ordered to be reverted to their substantive ranks/posts due to irregular promotions.

Citation: 2015 PLC(CS) 460 (Islamabad)

Appellant: Khalid Safdar

Opponent: Secretary, Ministry of Finance, Government of Pakistan

In this case, the petitioner’s post of Private Secretary was upgraded to Senior Private Secretary (BPS-19) from BPS-18. The petitioner enjoyed the benefits of the upgrade until it was withdrawn by an impugned memorandum treating the upgrade as a move-over. The court finds that the memorandum was issued without proper consultation, which was required by law. The court sets aside the memorandum, ordering that the upgradation be considered a promotion to avoid financial loss to the petitioners.

Citation: 2014 PLC(CS) 1315 (Lahore High Court – Lahore)

Appellant: Saeed Ahmad

Opponent: Federation of Pakistan through Secretary Establishment Division, Islamabad

This case involves the grant of a 20% Deputation Allowance and upgradation for employees of the education department. The court rules that employees of similar cadre from both Federal and Provincial Governments should be treated alike. The court directs the respondents to remedy the grievances of the petitioners and disburse the deputation allowance as requested.

Citation: 2014 PLC(CS) 1177 (Karachi High Court – Sindh)

Appellant: Syed Azam Raza

Opponent: Sindh Agriculture University

In this case, the petitioner’s post of LAN Technician (BPS-16) was upgraded to Senior Private Secretary (BPS-17). The university argued that the terms and conditions of service were not governed by statutory rules. The court finds that the university’s objection to the maintainability of the constitutional petition was misconceived. The court ordered the petitioner’s upgradation to BPS-17, as he fulfilled the required qualifications and was working against that post.

Citation: 2013 PLC(CS) 1031 (Supreme Court Azad Kashmir)

Appellant: Azad Government through Chief Secretary

Opponent: Raja Habibullah Khan

This case emphasizes that civil service posts are regulated by specific rules, including grades, channels of promotion, and criteria for upgradation. The court clarifies that a civil servant’s claim for upgradation based solely on parity with other departments is not valid without statutory provisions.

Citation: 2013 PLC(CS) 1031 (Supreme Court Azad Kashmir)

Appellant: Azad Government through Chief Secretary

Opponent: Raja Habibullah Khan

The court reiterates that mere nomenclature of a post does not automatically entitle an incumbent to the grade and privileges of the same post in another department. The principle of parity is not recognized by law, and upgradation should be based on proper criteria and background.

Citation: 2013 PLC(CS) 223 (Peshawar High Court)

Appellant: Munsif Shah

Opponent: PEPCO through Managing Director, Lahore

In this case, the petitioner, who was qualified and eligible, sought promotion from the post of Junior Engineer Electrical to Superintending Engineer. The petitioner’s promotion was wrongly withheld due to a penalty. The court orders the petitioner’s upgradation and promotion, along with back benefits, from the date of his entitlement.

Citation: 2013 PLC(CS) 538 (Lahore High Court)

Appellant: Muhammad Saeed Ahmad

Opponent: Secretary to Government of Punjab Health Department

The petitioners, Data Processing Assistants, sought parity with other departments’ employees. The court ruled that discrimination between similarly qualified employees is unjustified. The court orders removal of discrimination and grants the same grade and treatment as similar employees in other departments.

Cases from 2012 and beyond

In case,  2012 PLC(CS) 1149 (Lahore High Court) the petitioner sought upgradation from Basic Pay Scale-11 to 14, claiming parity with a 2006 notification. The court ruled that the petitioner’s position was different and distinguishable, and he cannot claim upgradation based on that notification.

In case  2012 PLC(CS) 87 (Lahore High Court) the court emphasized that if a question of law and facts has been decided by a Service Tribunal or apex court, the benefit should extend to other civil servants with similar grievances. The court upheld consistency and allows the constitutional petition based on the principle of previous judgments.

In case 2012 PLC(CS) 26 (Lahore High Court) the court addressed discrimination in upgradation and emphasizes that similarly placed persons must be treated alike. The court ordered the authorities to remove the cause of discrimination and treat petitioners equally within a specified timeframe.

The case citation “2012 PLC(CS) 362 ISLAMABAD” deals with the issue of discrimination in the upgrading of posts for medical assistants in different regions. The court held that qualifications and nature of duties for the same post were identical in Punjab and Islamabad, thus any differentiation in treatment was not justifiable under constitutional provisions. This case underscores the principle of equality before the law and the prohibition of discrimination.

In “2011 YLR 1222 LAHORE-HIGH-COURT-LAHORE,” the matter of migration for educational institutions is addressed. The court ruled that denial of migration without valid reasons was detrimental to citizens and taxpayers, and authorities were directed to allow the petitioner’s application for migration. This case emphasizes the importance of ensuring fairness and due process in matters of educational opportunities.

In “2010 GBLR 432 SUPREME-APPELATE-COURT-GILGIT,” the issue of upgradation of judicial officers and allowances is discussed. The court highlighted the necessity of treating subordinate judiciary in Gilgit-Baltistan at par with the judiciary in other provinces, emphasizing the principle of fair and equal treatment. This case reflects the pursuit of equitable treatment and the establishment of consistent standards across different regions.

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Similarly, the case “2008 SCMR 317 SUPREME-COURT” centers on the grant of fringe benefits to employees and the authorities’ actions following upgradation. The court observed that the posts in question had already been upgraded by the Federal Government and that contempt proceedings were not warranted. This case illustrates the need for transparent and consistent actions in matters related to upgradation and benefits.

The citation “2007 PLC(CS) 617 SUPREME-COURT” highlights the distinction between post upgradation and promotion. The court held that civil servants do not have an inherent right to claim benefits like pay, allowances, and perks due to post upgradation, which can only be granted upon promotion to a higher grade. This case emphasizes the importance of understanding the differences between these two concepts within the context of employee benefits.

In “2007 SCMR 1900 SUPREME-COURT,” the court examines the issue of discrimination in promotion between different wings of a government organization. The court determined that different rules existed for different wings, justifying the differentiation in treatment. This case underscores the principle of reasonable classification based on the nature of duties and job descriptions.

The citation “2007 PLC 287 NATIONAL-INDUSTRIAL-RELATIONS-COMMISSION” deals with unfair labor practices and the classification of employees as workmen. The court remitted the case for further examination, focusing on whether the employees fell within the definition of workmen based on their job descriptions. This case emphasizes the need for a thorough examination of job roles when determining the applicability of labor laws.

“2006 SCMR 535 SUPREME-COURT” involves the restructuring of the general cadre in an educational institution and addresses the classification of employees in different categories. The court rejected the claim of discrimination, emphasizing that the reorganization applied only to specific categories based on job roles and qualifications. This case highlights the importance of considering the nature of duties and qualifications when determining classification.

In “2006 SCMR 535 SUPREME-COURT” (a similar citation), the court once again discusses the restructuring of the general cadre and the inclusion/exclusion of specific groups. The court emphasizes that the notification related to a specific cadre and did not create a discriminatory classification within that group. This case underscores the distinction between different cadres and the need for equitable treatment based on job roles and responsibilities.

In “2006 PLC(CS) 422 SUPREME-COURT,” the court addressed the claim of discrimination by Directors of Physical Education (DPEs) and Physical Training Instructors (PTIs) who were not included in the reorganizational set-up involving upgradation and re-designation of the General Cadre. The court emphasized that the notification specifically related to the general cadre and did not create any classification within the PTIs’ and DPEs’ category.

Similarly, in “2006 PLC 92 NATIONAL-INDUSTRIAL-RELATIONS-COMMISSION,” the court dealt with the cancellation of upgradation for certain employees. The court held that the upgradation order was an outcome of voluntary settlements reached between parties and thus was not void or illegal. The case underscores the importance of settlements and agreements in determining employment benefits.

In “2004 PLC(CS) 491 SUPREME-COURT,” the court examined the eligibility for an advance increment for elementary school teachers in Punjab based on higher qualifications. The court ruled that teachers without the specified qualifications were not entitled to the advance increment due to the principle of avoiding double benefits.

“2002 SCMR 727 SUPREME-COURT” involves a dispute over the levy of octroi in a certain area. The court granted leave to appeal to examine contentions related to the legality and purpose of the upgradation of a local government entity.

In “2001 SCMR 955 SUPREME-COURT,” the court focused on the upgradation of posts for civil servants serving as Secondary School Teachers. The court emphasized the principle of non-discrimination and granted leave to appeal to examine the denial of upgradation to civil servants despite granting it to others.

  • “2001 SCMR 923 SUPREME-COURT” and “2001 PLC(CS) 849 SUPREME-COURT”: These cases address the issue of locus standi of a retired civil servant who sought the benefit of upgradation after retirement. The Service Tribunal dismissed the appeals, stating that the civil servant had no locus standi to benefit from post-retirement upgradation. The Supreme Court upheld the Service Tribunal’s decision, considering the timing of retirement and the notification of upgradation.
  • “2001 PLC(CS) 804 SUPREME-COURT”: This case involves the upgradation of posts for Secondary School Teachers. The Supreme Court granted leave to appeal to consider whether civil servants could be discriminated against in comparison to untrained graduate teachers/village workshop instructors. The court emphasized the absence of a justified reason for denying upgradation to civil servants.
  • “2000 SCMR 1878 SUPREME-COURT”: These cases pertain to promotion on an acting charge basis and the subsequent withdrawal of such promotions. The Service Tribunal directed the department to decide the matter to avoid discriminatory treatment. The Supreme Court dismissed the appeals, finding no infirmity in the Service Tribunal’s decision.

Cases on Upgradation older than the year 2000

  • “1999 SCMR 755 SUPREME-COURT”: This case deals with the transfer of a civil servant and the conditions associated with it. The court states that transferring a civil servant out of cadre with a mala fide intention to deprive them of post upgradation is not a simple transfer.
  • “1999 PLC(CS) 322 SUPREME-COURT”: This case raises the question of the High Court’s jurisdiction to upgrade posts under its constitutional powers. The Supreme Court granted leave to appeal to consider whether the High Court could upgrade appointments without provincial government approval, especially when it involves financial implications. The appeal was dismissed as the civil servant had already retired, and the High Court’s authority to upgrade posts was upheld.
  • “1999 PLC(CS) 524 FEDERAL-SERVICE-TRIBUNAL”: This case involves the promotion of civil servants and the claim of preferential right based on seniority. The Tribunal rejected the claim, stating that seniority is determined based on posts and cadres, not pay scales. The civil servant’s claim was rejected as he and the co-civil servant belonged to different cadres.
  • “1998 PLC(CS) 1315 SUPREME-COURT”: The case addresses the upgradation of posts and seniority within the Custom and Excise Group. The Supreme Court held that the provision of Section 23 of the Civil Servants Act, 1973, can only be invoked in cases of individual hardship and not for upgrading posts. The appeal challenged the direction of the Service Tribunal to process the cases of upgraded officers for further promotions, which was set aside.
  • “1998 PLC(CS) 258 KARACHI-HIGH-COURT-SINDH”: This case involves the upgradation of Electronics Technicians in the Civil Aviation Authority. The court determined that the upgradation applied only to those who possessed specific qualifications, leading to the rejection of the petitioner’s claim for upgradation.
  • “1997 PLC 406 LABOUR-APPELLATE-TRIBUNAL-PUNJAB”: This case concerns the claim for officiating allowance by an employee who served in a higher position before retirement. The employee’s claim was upheld, and he was entitled to officiating allowance for the period he served in the higher position.
  • “1997 PLC(CS) 767 LAHORE-HIGH-COURT-LAHORE”: This case deals with the upgradation of posts of Readers in the Federal Shariat Court. The Chief Justice’s approval for the upgradation was held to be valid, and the Finance Division’s approval was not required. The Chief Justice’s powers were deemed essential to maintain the independence and dignity of the judiciary.
  • “1997 PLC(CS) 788 FEDERAL-SERVICE-TRIBUNAL”: This case involves the grant of Selection Grade to a civil servant and the claim for promotion to a higher cadre. The Tribunal held that the grant of Selection Grade did not change the civil servant’s cadre and he could not be equated with those regularly promoted to the higher cadre.
  • “1986 PLC(CS) 690 SERVICE-TRIBUNAL-PUNJAB”: The question of res judicata is discussed here. It was held that dismissal of a previous appeal on the grounds of limitation regarding upgradation of status would not bar a subsequent appeal on the question of seniority. Res judicata applies only when a case has been decided on merits, not on technical grounds.
  • “1986 PLC(CS) 255 SERVICE-TRIBUNAL-PUNJAB”: The case involves the discriminatory denial of post upgradation by the Finance Department despite justification. The Tribunal directed the Finance Department to examine the case on its merits and make a decision within a specified time.
  • “1986 PLC(CS) 807 FEDERAL-SERVICE-TRIBUNAL”: This case pertains to the upgrading of Reader posts in the High Court. The Tribunal set aside the Finance Department’s notification and directed the upgrading of Reader posts based on recommendations, acknowledging the arduous nature of duties.
  • “1985 PLC(CS) 501 SERVICE-TRIBUNAL-PUNJAB”: The case addresses seniority issues related to a civil servant appointed as a Junior Research Assistant but paid the salary of an Assistant Oil Demonstrator. The civil servant was entitled to seniority and pay in the cadre of Research Assistant after being re-posted based on post upgradation.
  • “1984 PLC 1282 SERVICE-TRIBUNAL-PUNJAB”: This case concerns seniority on promotion as Officiating Executive Engineers in the context of West Pakistan Irrigation Engineers Service (Class I) Rules. The court held that the raising of status to Class I Junior was equivalent to promotion to that status.
  • “1984 PLC(CS) 1035 SERVICE-TRIBUNAL-PUNJAB”: The issue in this case is the upgradation of status and pay scale for C.T. teachers. The court held that the government is not obligated to increase pay solely based on qualification.
  • “1983 PLC(CS) 1057 SERVICE-TRIBUNAL-PUNJAB”: The case involves the status of a school and its protection of pay for teachers. The Service Tribunal has no jurisdiction to determine the status of a school. The pay of a teacher was protected based on the last drawn salary.
  • “1983 CLC 198 LAHORE-HIGH-COURT-LAHORE”: The case discusses the unauthorized upgradation of teachers’ posts by a Municipal Committee. The court held that such unauthorized upgradation is not based on proper rules and ordered the matter to be decided afresh.
  • “1983 PLC(CS) 119 FEDERAL-SERVICE-TRIBUNAL”: This case highlights that the upgradation of a post does not automatically lead to the upgradation of the incumbent unless formally appointed or promoted.
  • “1980 PLC(CS) 665 FEDERAL-SERVICE-TRIBUNAL”: This case examines the effect of upgradation of a post on penalties imposed. The court held that the upgradation of a post does not automatically render penalties inoperative.
  • “1996 PLC(CS) 776 PESHAWAR-HIGH-COURT”: The court allowed advance increments to petitioners, who were Private Secretaries and Readers, on the basis of educational upgradation. Although not initially entitled, the court found that granting two advance increments for obtaining an LL.B. degree would meet the ends of justice.
  • “1995 SCMR 762 SUPREME-COURT”: The case involves upgradation and fixation of seniority for a civil servant. The civil servant had been reinstated by the Service Tribunal after being removed from service. The court granted leave to appeal, considering whether the civil servant, after reinstatement, was entitled to the benefit of upgradation from a specified date.
  • “1994 SCMR 249 SUPREME-COURT”: The court granted leave to appeal to consider the applicability of the rule of locus poenitentiae to the case of upgradation of posts with retrospective effect.
  • “1993 PLC 615 LABOUR-APPELLATE-TRIBUNAL-NWFP”: This case pertains to the fixation of pay in a higher grade due to upgradation. The employee’s application for “promotion” was treated as a request for fixation of pay, leading to entitlement to Selection Grade B-9.
  • “1991 PLC(CS) 690 LABOUR-APPELLATE-TRIBUNAL-SINDH”: The appellant’s upgradation was initially approved, but later canceled by the Secretary of Karachi Transport Corporation. The court held that an order of upgradation that had been acted upon could not be rescinded without proper authority.
  • “1989 PLC(CS) 355 SERVICE-TRIBUNAL-PUNJAB”: The appellants claimed higher pay-scale equal to their Secretariat counterparts. The Finance Secretaries’ Committee found no anomaly or grounds for upgradation. The appeal was dismissed as no injustice was found in the pay scale fixation.
  • “1989 PLC(CS) 103 SUPREME-COURT-AZAD-KASHMIR”: The case discusses the mode of appointment and upgradation in civil service. The Court deemed it fair to reconsider the appellant’s promotion in light of relevant rules.
  • “1988 PLC(CS) 507 FEDERAL-SERVICE-TRIBUNAL”: The President approved upgradation of posts, and the court held that this decision could not be questioned before the Service Tribunal. The plea that appellants were not automatically upgraded was rejected.
  • “1987 PLC(CS) 207 SERVICE-TRIBUNAL-SINDH”: The status change of posts was considered upgradation, and incumbents did not need to seek fresh appointments to the upgraded posts.
  • “1987 PLC(CS) 144 SERVICE-TRIBUNAL-PUNJAB”: The court emphasized that there is no difference between raising the status to a higher grade and promotion to that grade.

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