Seniority of Officers on Deputation Absorbed Permanently in Income Tax Group

Seniority of Officers on Deputation Absorbed Permanently in Income Tax Group Absorbed Permanently in Other Group Case Laws Civil Law Deputation Employment & Incentives Income Tax Knowledge - Civil Law Litigation & Arbitration Public & Admin Law Solutions - Civil Law Supreme Court Supreme Court Review Mr. Justice Sh. Azmat Saeed in his judgment has decided the issue regarding seniority of officers on deputation absorbed permanently in income tax group in Civil Review Petitions No. 43-K of 2012 etc.

1. Through this judgment, it is proposed to decide Civil Review Petitions Nos.43-K to 45-K of 2012, 2-K to 5-K of 2013, 6-K & 7-K of 2014, C.M.A. No.2238 of 2014 in CRP No.NIL of 2014 in Civil Appeal No.189-K of 2011, C.MA. No.2242 of 2014 in CRP No.NIL of 2014 in Civil Appeal No.190-K of 2011, C.M.A. No.2246 of 2014 in CRP No.NIL of 2014 in Civil Appeal No.191-K of 2011, which are directed against the Judgment of this Court dated 06.11.2012, whereby Civil Appeals No.189-K to 191-K were allowed.

2. The brief facts necessary for adjudication of the lis at hand are that in the year 1993, the Federal Board of Revenue (the then Central Board of Revenue) in an effort to expand its Income Tax Administration decided to increase the strength of its Income Tax Assessing Officers through posting of suitable Officers in BPS-17 on deputation from other Departments. Consequently, at the initiative of the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), the Establishment Division issued a letter dated 18.12.1993 to the Secretaries of the various Departments seeking Officers from other Occupational Groups to be initially appointed on deputation under Section 10 of the Civil Servants Act, 1973 with the FBR. It was also notified that such Officers were likely to be considered for induction in the Income Tax Group. Apparently, in this behalf, options were invited from various Officers. It appears that the private Respondent Iqbal Hussain Sheikh, who was originally inducted in service in 1986 through 14th CTP (Common Training Program) in the Postal Group, private Respondent Dr. Abdul Lateef inducted in 1990 through 18th CTP in the Information Group and the private Respondent Abdul Hameed Anjum also inducted in 1990 through 19th CTP in the Information Group exercised their options and were among the 72 Officers whose cases for posting on deputation in the Income Tax Group were considered by a Joint Committee constituted in this behalf. The said Joint Committee vide Order dated 19.02.1994 decided that such Officers would undergo intensive Professional Training at the Directorate of Training (Income Tax), Lahore, for a period of four to six months; pass Departmental examinations within two years after completing the training; would continue to have their lien in their parent Departments for a maximum period of five years; and shall rank lowest viz-a-viz the Officers of the Income Tax Group in BPS-17. However, their inter se seniority in their own Cadre and Group would be maintained in their parent Departments. The said decision was approved by the Establishment Division vide Order dated 22.02.1994. Consequently, private Respondents (Iqbal Hussain Sheikh, Dr. Abdul Lateef and Abdul Hameed Anjum) were placed at the disposal of the FBR vide Notification dated 19.03.1994 and posted as Assistant Commissioners of Income Tax (Under Training) in the Directorate of Training, Lahore.

3. In the years that followed the question of permanent induction of the Officers from other Groups into the Income Tax Group remained unresolved, though it appears, various communications were exchanged. Eventually, on 19.12.2000, the FBR made the offer to the Officers on deputation for their induction into the Income Tax Group. Such offer was required to be accepted by or before the end of December, 2000. The private Respondents (Iqbal Hussain Sheikh, Dr. Abdul Lateef and Abdul Hameed Anjum) exercised their options for their permanent induction in the Income Tax Group. However, no formal Order, in this behalf, was passed. In the above backdrop, the said private Respondents (Iqbal Hussain Sheikh, Dr. Abdul Lateef and Abdul Hameed Anjum) along with other Officers similarly placed invoked the Constitutional Jurisdiction of the learned High Court of Sindh on 15.01.2002 seeking their induction in the Income Tax Department. The said Constitutional Petitions were dismissed by the learned High Court of Sindh vide judgment dated 10.05.2002. Aggrieved, the private Respondents (Iqbal Hussain Sheikh, Dr. Abdul Lateef and Abdul Hameed Anjum) along with others filed a Civil Petition for Leave to Appeal before this Court, which was converted into Appeal i.e. Civil Appeal No.1745 2002 and was allowed vide judgment dated 29.09.2009, reported as Abdul Hameed Anjum and others v. Federation of Pakistan and others (PLD 2010 SC 857).

The aforesaid judgment of this Court was given effect to, whereafter the seniority of the present Respondents (Iqbal Hussain Sheikh, Dr. Abdul Lateef and Abdul Hameed Anjum) was fixe d vide Notification dated 11.8.2010 and their seniority was reckoned from 01.01.2001. The said private Respondents filed Departmental representations, which were rejected on 08.10.2010 whereafter they filed Service Appeals bearing No.153(K)CS to 155(K)CS of 2010 before the learned Federal Service Tribunal, Karachi, which were dismissed vide judgment dated 01.02.2011. Aggrieved, the said private Respondents (Iqbal Hussain Sheikh, Dr. Abdul Lateef and Abdul Hameed Anjum) filed Civil Petitions for Leave to Appeal No.264-K to 266-K of 2011 before this Court against the aforesaid judgment of the learned Service Tribunal in which leave to appeal was granted vide Order dated 29.02.2011 and the same were converted into Appeals i.e. Civil Appeals No.189-K to 191-K of 2011. This Court vide judgment under review dated 06.11.2012 allowed the said Civil Appeals and directed the FBR to notify 26th March 1994, as the date from which the seniority of the Appellants would be reckoned.

4. Civil Review Petitions Nos.43-K to 45-K of 2012 have been filed by the Chairman, FBR against the aforesaid judgment, while Civil Review Petitions Nos.2-K to 5-K of 2013 and 6-K & 7-K of 2014 have been filed on behalf of the Officers of the Income Tax Group, who were not a party before this Court in Civil Appeals Nos.189-K to 191-K of 2011 but whose seniority was likely to be affected, as a consequence of the judgment under review.

5. It is contended by the learned counsel for the Review Petitioners that by way of the judgment under review, the provisions of Rule 4 of the Civil Servants (Seniority) Rules 1993, hereinafter referred to as “the Rules of 1993” applicable to the facts of the case have been misinterpreted and misapplied. It is added that the judgments of this Court, the dicta whereof were not attracted to the facts and circumstances of the case have not only been relied upon incorrectly but also misinterpreted. Furthermore, the judgment under review runs contrary not only to Rule 4 of the Rules of 1993 but also to the law as laid down in various judgments of this Court, hence is liable to be reviewed. In support of their contentions, the learned counsels relied upon the judgments reported as (1) S. Habib Haider v. The Secretary, General Ministry of Interior, Islamabad and 14 others (1991 SCMR 1505), (2) Major Retd Muhammad Matlub Khan, Deputy Director, Intelligence Bureau, Islamabad etc v. Government of Pakistan etc (NLR 1993 Service 33), (3) Muhammad Arshad Sultan Section Officer, Cabinet Division, Islamabad and another v. Prime Minister of Pakistan, Islamabad and others (PLD 1996 SC 771), (4) Mehr Sher Muhammad and others v. Federation of Pakistan (1999 SCMR 185), (5) S. M. Farooq and others v. Muhammad Yar Khan and others (1999 SCMR 1039), (6) Din Muhammad v. Director-General, Pakistan Post Office, Islamabad and 20 others (2003 SCMR 333), (7) Hamid-ul-Hussain and others v. Federation of Pakistan through Secretary, Establishment Division and others (2006 SCMR 832), (8) Justice Khurshid Anwar Bhinder and others v. Federation of Pakistan and another (PLD 2010 SC 483), (9) Abdul Hameed Anjum and others v. Federation of Pakistan and others (PLD 2010 SC 857), (10) Captain (R) Khalid Zaman v. Government of Pakistan through Secretary, Establishment Division and others (NLR 2011 Service 38)/(2011 SCMR 99), (11) Iqbal Hussain Sheikh and two others v. Chairman, Federal Board of Revenue and another (2013 SCMR 281), (12) Contempt Proceedings against Chief Secretary, Sindh and others (2013 SCMR 1752), and (13) Ali Azhar Khan Baloch and others v. Province of Sindh and others (2015 SCMR 456).

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