The High Court today declared keeping the government employees as officer on special duty (OSD) for more than 150 days illegal.
The court came up with the declaration saying that the government circular issued in 1991 does not permit keeping any officer OSD for more than 150 days.
Delivering verdict on a writ petition, the court ordered the government to take the officials who have been kept OSD for more than 150 days back to their original posts immediately after receiving its copy.
The HC also directed the public administration secretary to form a committee headed by a senior secretary to determine the legal fate of the OSD officials who will be taken back to the offices and to submit a report to this court through its registrar within 90 days after receiving the copy of the judgement.
Petitioner’s lawyer Barrister Annek R Haque told The Daily Star that the government will promote the OSD officials who will deserve promotion under the recommendation of the committee which will be formed led by a senior secretary and will take appropriate legal action against them who will be found guilty by the committee.
He said the government has submitted a report to the HC in April last year saying that a total of 964 government employees have been kept OSD.
The lawyer, however, could not say details about the tenures of their OSD status.
Meanwhile, Deputy Attorney General Amit Dasgupta told this correspondent that the then ministry of establishment (now public administration) has issued the circular on October 3, 1991 saying that a government employee can be kept OSD for maximum 150 days.
The HC has delivered the verdict in line with the circular, he added.
The bench of Justice Zubayer Rahman Chiwdhury and Justice Sashanka Shekhar Sarkar came up with the verdict following a writ petition filed by former secretary Mohammad Asafuddowla in June 2012 challenging the existing system of keeping officials OSD without any reason for unlimited period.
During hearing, petitioner's counsel Aneek R Haque told the court that paying salaries to the OSD officers are unconstitutional, since nobody can enjoy unearned money as per the article 20(2) of the constitution.