Abu Naser, Mohsin Hossain and others v Bangladesh and others [‘BCS Forestry’ Case]

Writ Petition No. 1145/1997

High Court Division of the Supreme Court of Bangladesh


Facts: Five graduates from the Institution of Forestry of Chittagong University (IFCU) along with the Bangladesh Professional Forestry Students Association and the Bangladesh Professional Forestry Graduate Association, filed a writ petition challenging the decision of the Ministerial Committee of the Ministry of Establishment in denying appointments for the post of Assistant Forest Conservator to be made exclusively from among B. Sc. (Forestry) graduates. Earlier the provision for appointments to the post had been extended to B. Sc. (Forestry) graduates by the Bangladesh Civil Service Age, Qualification and Examination for Direct Recruitment Rules 1982 (BCS Recruitment Rules). However, no exclusive reservation had been made for appointment only of such graduates, and this was sought to be justified by the shortage of such graduates. Several representations were made to the Government to reserve the posts exclusively for B. Sc. (Forestry) Degree holders. The Ministry of Forest and Environment made recommendations to the Ministry of Establishment to that effect in 1988. After a series of consultations, in the final hours, the Senior Appointment, Promotion and Service Structure Ministerial Committee on 28.04.1994 decided that the B.Sc (Forestry) course was a non-professional and non-technical course and therefore students of all disciplines would be eligible for the Public Service Commission (PSC) qualifying examinations.

Argument: The petitioners argued that the decision of the Ministerial Committee without consultation with the PSC was in contravention of the provisions of the Public Service Commission Ordinance, 1977 . They also challenged the BCS Recruitment Rules of 1982 as discriminatory, inasmuch as while exclusive reservation was made for all professional cadres, access to the Forestry Cadre was allowed to graduates from other disciplines also. Finally, they argued that the impugned action was in violation of their fundamental rights to equality before the law and treatment in accordance with law guaranteed under articles 27 and 31 of the Constitution.

Order: The High Court issued a Rule Nisi calling upon the respondents to show cause why the impugned decision of the Ministerial Committee of the Ministry of Establishment should not be declared to have been made without lawful authority.

Status: Pending for hearing.

Laws Cited: Constitution, Articles 27 and 31; National Forest Policy; Bangladesh Civil Service Age, Qualification and Examination for Direct Recruitment Rules 1982; Public Service Commission Ordinance, 1977.


 

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