Civil servants bound to obey only lawful orders: CJP

Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad ChaudhryISLAMABAD: Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry has said civil servants are bound to obey only the lawful orders and directed them to follow the law and adhere to the legal provisions of the constitution, and observed that when officers followed the law, they faced resistance, humiliation, transfer and baseless inquiries.

Referring to recent incidents, the chief justice said Sargodha DPO Dr Rizwan was transferred to Gilgit-Baltistan for taking action against Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) MPA Aslam Midhana, who had tortured a schoolteacher. The court directed the Punjab IG to look into the matter personally, as the DPO had been transferred out of the province. The IG was also directed to submit a report in two weeks.

The apex court was hearing the Waheeda Shah case regarding the slapping of polling staff during the recent by-elections in Tando Muhammad Khan. The Supreme Court directed the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) and the trial court to proceed without being influenced by the matter pending in the Supreme Court.The ECP has disqualified Waheeda Shah for contesting future elections for two years, ordering holding of by-elections afresh in the Tando Muhammad Khan constituency.

A three-member bench headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry and including Justice Khilji Arif Hussain and Justice Tariq Pervaiz as members, heard the suo motu case.The court directed that the letter of Anita Turab, a bureaucrat, should be treated as a constitutional petition. Turab, in her letter, had complained that influential people had been treating government employees as their personal servants.

Regarding shoulder promotions in Sindh, the court observed that such promotions should not be allowed and said that the court expected that the IGP and the Sindhy chief secretary would take immediate action against the officers who were given such promotions. The court observed that shoulder promotions discouraged merit.

The court also noticed that there were frequent transfers and postings contrary to rules and regulations in various government departments. The apex court further observed that protection of fundamental rights of civil servants was given in various judgements of the Supreme Court. Mehmood Akhtar Naqvi, a human rights activist, told the court that a considerable number of officers in the province were given shoulder promotions.The apex court also directed the Establishment Division secretary, chief secretaries of all the provinces and Islamabad commissioner to file a reply regarding the protection of civil servants. – Dailytimes