1. Learned counsel for the petitioners submitted that the petitioners were challenging their repatriation to their parent departments primarily on the ground that they, having served as deputationists for more than three years, had developed a legitimate expectation for their absorption/induction in the O.M.G. pursuant to paragraphs 5 and 9(A) of the Establishment Division’s office memorandum dated 27.01.1975; that the petitioners should be considered for absorption/induction against the 10% quota reserved for deputationists in the O.M.G; that several persons serving on deputation in the Federal Secretariat had been absorbed/inducted in the O.M.G.; that between 1985 to 2013, 284 officers in BS-17 and BS-18 have been absorbed/inducted in the O.M.G.; that since the petitioners had served as deputationists for more than three years, it was in the public interest for the Departmental Promotion Committee to consider them for absorption in the O.M.G; and that until the petitioners were considered for absorption/induction in the O.M.G., they had a right to continue serving as deputationists. Learned counsel for the petitioners made submissions in reiteration of their pleadings in the said writ petitions.
2. Learned Assistant Attorney-General submitted that a deputationist has no vested right to continue serving as such for an indefinite period; that a deputationist can be repatriated even prior to the expiry of the period for which he/she was sent on deputation; that there must be exceptional and compelling reasons for a deputation period to be extended beyond the period of five years; that the petitioners never applied for absorption/induction in the O.M.G.; and that the petitioners’ parent departments have not given their consent for the petitioners’ absorption/induction in the O.M.G. Learned Assistant Attorney-General prayed for the writ petitions to be dismissed.
3. I have heard the contentions of the learned counsel for the petitioners as well as the learned Assistant Attorney-General and have perused the record with their able assistance. 42. All the petitioners who are serving as deputationists in the Federal Government, are desirous to be absorbed/inducted in the O.M.G. Since, through the impugned notification dated 17.10.2018, they have all been repatriated to their respective parent departments, they are challenging the said notification. They took the position that since they are eligible to be absorbed/inducted in the O.M.G. against the 10% quota reserved for deputationists, they cannot be repatriated unless they are considered for absorption/induction in the O.M.G.
4. In the year 1975, a new occupational group called the O.M.G. was constituted. This group comprised of (i) all ministerial posts in the Federal Secretariat from Grade 1 to 16, (ii) posts of Section Officers in Grade 17 and 18, and (iii) such other posts, including posts in Grade 19 and 20, as may be specified and included in the said group from time to time. The administrative control over the said group was with the Establishment Division vide office memorandum dated 27.01.1975 issued by the Establishment Division, the strength of duty posts of Section Officers in the Federal Secretariat was fixed at 750, out of which 10% were reserved for appointment on deputation on tenure basis or by transfer of officers in BS-17 and BS-18 from other occupational groups/cadres and provincial civil servants. Paragraph 9(A) of the said office memorandum provided the mechanism for the appointment of Section Officers in the Federal Government. For the purposes of clarity, paragraph 9(A) of the said office memorandum is reproduced herein below:
“9(A) Appointment by Transfer- Civil Servants belonging to other occupational groups, services, cadres and the Provincial Governments, including those serving in the Federal Government on deputation basis, may be appointed as Section Officers in the Federal Government in public interest, on the recommendation of the Departmental Promotion Committee, and with the approval of the competent authority. The consent of the Ministry/Division/Provincial Government and the officer concerned will be obtained before making such appointments.”
5. Now under paragraph 9(A) of the office memorandum dated 27.01.1975 only “civil servants belonging to other occupational groups, services, cadres and the Provincial Governments, including those serving in the Federal Government on deputation basis” could be appointed as Section Officers in the O.M.G. A person who is not a civil servant could not be appointed in the Federal Government under the said office memorandum. The term “including those serving in the Federal Government on deputation” is referable to “civil servants belonging to other occupational groups, services, cadres and the Provincial Governments” only. Therefore, non-civil servants serving as deputationists in the Federal Government could not be appointed as Section Officers in the Federal Government. An absorption/induction of a deputationist in the Federal Government or the O.M.G. would be invalid and in derogation of the requirements of paragraph 9(A) of the said office memorandum if the following perquisites are not fulfilled:
“i. The absorption/induction being in the public interest.
ii. Recommendation of a Departmental Promotion Committee or a Departmental Selection Committee.
iii. Approval of the competent authority.
iv. The deputationist in the Federal Government being a civil servant belonging to other occupational groups, services, cadres and the Provincial Governments.”
6. On 08.09.2010, the Prime Minister approved the following criteria for appointment by transfer/induction in the O.M.G.
Further information regarding the subject matter can be solicited from AUJ LAWYERS. Feel free to contact us in case you need any clarification and/or require legal assistance regarding similar matters.