P L D 1960 SC 195




Superior Courts competent to deal with matter involving interpretation of Seniority Rules—Fit subject for Reference under Article 162, Constitution of Pakistan (1956).

The question raised in the writ petition in High Court was oine affecting the petitioner’s proper seniority in the gradation list of officers of the Police Service of Pakistan and involved the interpretation of Police (Regulation of Seniority) Rules 1936.

Held, that it was impossible to concede the objection raised by the Attorney-General to the competence of the superior Courts to deal appropriately with such a matter.

Every officer in a graded service has a vested right to a proper place in the seniority list. This is of the highest importance to the officer, as well as to the maintenance of proper discipline and order within the service, and consequentially to the public interest which is deeply involved in the maintenance of a proper spirit of order and discipline within the service.  Therefore, the giving by the High Court of a considered interpretation of the Rules by which the somewhat complex question of placement, upon the same list of officers who entered that list through different channels, so far from being an inconvenient interference with the day-to-day control of that service by the Government was indeed in action calculated to assist the Government in exercising such control peacefully and harmoniously.

The question raised in the petition was one which had been agitating the mind of the Central Government for a number of years, and was of such importance that, being question of interpretation of statutory rules and therefore a question of law, it would have been a proper subject for a reference to the Supreme Court under Article 162 of the Constitution of 1956. [pp.198, 199]

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