A female civil servant who lost her job after failing to clear the Final Passing Out Examination (FPOE) challenged her termination on Saturday, on the grounds that she was denied the opportunity to defend herself.
Husna Jamil filed a departmental appeal against her termination as assistant collector (probationer) of Pakistan Customs Service (BS-17). She argued that the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) discharged her from service without serving her a show cause notice, as required by law.
“The law requires that I be issued a show cause notice, followed by the opportunity for a personal hearing, but this was not done,” Husna said in her appeal. “I have been treated illegally and unfairly by the department.”
She also argued that her termination order was not passed by the competent authority and was dealt with at a junior level.
Husna pointed out the case of a Foreign Service probationer, who she said was treated beneficially by the president and awarded 2.5% grace marks, and sought equal treatment. She added that four other officers were granted exemption from FPOE and demanded their records be examined as well.
“Although failure to pass FPOE renders a civil servant liable to removal from service… no officer has actually been removed from service on this ground alone to date,” Husna said in her appeal. “There is, in fact, a plethora of precedents of officers remaining in service despite failing FPOE … hence, the need to prevent miscarriage of justice due to utter discrimination in my case.”
It is the first time in the country’s history that a civil servant has been sacked for failing to clear FPOE.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 1st, 2014.