A day ahead of the proceedings of a plea challenging the legality of Establishment Division’s Statutory Regulatory Order 1046 in the Peshawar High Court (PHC), Advocate Umer Ijaz Gilani on Monday urged the court to consider persuasive verdict of the Sindh High Court in the matter which recently suspended operation of the SRO about amendments in the country’s civil service structure.
Invoking the jurisdiction of the PHC, a senior officer of KP Provincial Management Service Farat Ullah Khan Marwat, has claimed that the federal government has secretly made an amendment to the Civil Service of Pakistan Rules, 1954 through SRO 1046 of 2020.
Advocate Umer Ijaz Gilani, counsel for Marwat, termed the impugned SRO as an assault on the scheme of administrative federalism laid down in the Constitution of 1973 and reinforced by the 18th Amendment. He contended that the impugned notification has been issued purportedly in pursuance of the Federal Civil Servants Act, 1973.
Advocate Gilani further argued that the SRO travels beyond the mandate of the parent Act whose scope is confined to federal posts only, adding neither the Act nor the Constitution empowers the federal government to make any appointments to any provincial posts or to set rules for this purpose.
“Provincial posts are an exclusively provincial matter”, Gilani contended. Responding to a query of the court the counsel submitted that through the SR0, the Establishment Division has effectively usurped for itself the right to periodically re-determine and possibly reduce the share of seats available to provincial civil servants in the upper echelons of the provincial bureaucracy.
On 20th August, 2021, the SHC was pleased to suspend the operation of SRO 1046, which seeks to bring about major amendments in the country’s civil service structure. Advocate Umer Ijaz Gilani filed the application before the Peshawar High Court on Monday, appraising the SHC has granted a stay order against SRO 1046 of 2020.
The applicant has urged the Court to set aside SRO 1046, which had been issued by the Establishment Division, bringing about major amendments in the Civil Service of Pakistan (Composition and Cadre) Rules, 1954. The petitioner has assailed the delegated legislation on the grounds that it lacks any constitutional foundation whatsoever. Petitioner also claimed that the SRO has been issued without consultation with the Provincial Cabinets and the Provincial Assemblies, which is a prerequisite for any legislation that affects administrative federalism or constitutional principle.
It is pertinent to mention that the petition is fixed for hearing before the bench of Chief Justice of the PHC Justice Qaiser Rashid Khan and Justice Muhammad Attique Shah today (Tuesday).
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