A couple of years ago, on a pleasant morning of acceding spring, I attended the court proceedings appertained a case on civil service. During the proceedings, it was revealed by the legal representative of the Establish Division that civil service of Pakistan, famously known as CSP was not established by an enactment rather on an agreement supposedly contracted between Federation & the provinces. The sudden revelation raised a number of legal and moral queries in my mind as a student of law. How could an elite service like CSP be raised on an agreement?
Then, even an ordinary student of law simply realizes the law regime of an organic law. The Constitution is the supreme law followed by the legislation if that corresponds to the constitution. Delegated or executive legislation is not law. Nevertheless, executive legislation is administratively competent as long as this corresponds to the legislation deriving it. Besides, the alignment among these tiers is essential for the legitimacy of legal proposition. The very idea of civil service being without an organic law and constitutional provision was indigestible for me as a student of law, therefore, I decided to dig out the existence of agreement to comprehend the contents of it.
Out of extreme inquisitiveness, I filed a representation to Establishment Division to provide me with a certified copy of the agreement of CSP. Accordingly, I was replied that all the information regarding agreement was available in the federal Estacode. Hurriedly, I searched each and every page of the Estacode but failed to find out the agreement. So, with more curiosity, I decided to exercise my fundamental right under Article 19A regarding right to information and filed an appeal before the office of information commissioner, Islamabad. Article 19A provides that very citizen shall have the right to have access to information in all matters of public importance subject to regulation and reasonable restrictions imposed by law. Consequently, proceedings were initiated on my application and establishment division was asked to provide the certified copy of the agreement. At my wits end, the Establishment Division replied that the impugned agreement was made classified by the then Prime Minister happened also to be the Minister in charge of the Establishment Division. The reply developed an unaffordable suspicion for me. Significantly, Prime Ministers are often become the Minister in charge of the establishment division and this is here, federal bureaucracy influences most of the prime minister. Henceforth, this was even more surprising to know how could honorable prime minister have classified the agreement of a service?
Information Act, 2013 categorically provides a citizen a fundamental right to access to information of public interest. Is provision of an agreement contracting the civil service of Pakistan CSP not an information of public interest? Is this agreement a national secret? How can an agreement be classified forming a civil service? Ironically, the agreement was classified but all the rules were available. The denial to access to agreement creates more apprehensions. Even, the sensitive documents are de-classified after a lapser of specific period according to RTI, Act 2013. But, this is not the case with the enigmatic agreement that is still classified even lapsed by 65 years.
Consistently, I pursued the case before the information commissioner Islamabad. Meanwhile, I approached the honorable Islam Abad high court to direct the parties to de classify the agreement under law & also hand me over the desired certified copy of agreement. So, Information commissioner allowed my appeal and ordered the Secretary, Establishment Division Islamabad to declassify the agreement and subsequently hand me over the agreement. Yet, even after lapse of four months, certified copy of the agreement has not been provided.
Civil service in colonial India was established on the scheme called reservation of posts for central services. Impugned scheme was inserted in the Indian constitution of 1935 through specific Articles of 246 and 261. Article 246 provided the constitutional support to reserve posts and Article 261 provided the support to contract an agreement for raising a service between federation and provinces. However, this colonial scheme was expunged through section 10 of the Indian Independence Act, 1947 due to the intervention by revered Muhammad Ali Jinnah. Nevertheless, centralists re-launched the same scheme by an agreement. It is assumed that neither Bengal nor Sindh endorsed the scheme being opposite to the cannon of Objectives Resolution. Under these legal gaps, the deleted articles of 261 & 246 of the first interim constitution of Pakistan were deployed to form a civil service through an agreement by reserving provincial posts. Even, this constitutional gap is less shocking than the idea that the agreement might have not been singed. There are serious apprehensions that the impugned agreement was not contracted.
Coming back to the availability of impugned agreement, I wrote to the honorable Prime Ministers of Pakistan to direct Establishment Division to provide the certified copy of original agreement but so far I am not provided the agreement. As a citizen of Pakistan, now, I am less interested in the legal organization of the agreement than provision of it. How can elite Civil Service of Pakistan be raised on a suspicious agreement? All suspicion around it shall be removed if Establishment Division provides the agreement.
Agreement is a public document and must be provided to the general public of the Pakistan. Civil service is a permanent part of executive and holds the vital position among the organs of state. Constitutional and moral organization of the civil service is key to the morality of civil service. Against all odds, my quest to find out the original agreement of CSP is unflinching and I hope the Establishment Division shall provide the certified copy of the agreement to shun all suspicion hovering around the legal and moral foundation of the mighty civil service of Pakistan. I do also humbly request all to help me out in acquiring the agreement.