No government official can be kept on OSD(on special duty) for more than 150 days, says the High Court in its full verdict responding to a writ petition challenging the validity of keeping an official on OSD for an uncertain period of time.
According to the verdict published on the website of the Supreme Court recently, the investigation into the allegations against the OSD officer must be completed within 150 days.
If an officer is posted as OSD, the government must form a probe committee to ascertain the authenticity of the allegations against the officer without any delay, reads the verdict.
If the inquiry committee finds the allegations true, the government should take necessary actions against the official concerned.
The 21-page judgment was signed by Justice ZubayerRahmanChowdhury and Justice SashankaShekharSarkar.
The High Court has directed to send the copies of the verdict to the cabinet secretary, senior secretary of the Ministry of Public Administration and Public Administration Training Centre.
Earlier, on 8 January, it issued a summary judgment declaring the provision of keeping OSD of government officials for more than 150 days illegal.
At the same time, the court directed to reinstate the government officials, who had been on Special Duty for more than 150 days.
The Ministry of Public Administration was also directed to form a committee headed by a senior secretary.
In 2012, former secretary Mohammad Asafuddowla filed the writ petition with the High Court.
According to a circular issued by the public administration ministry on 3 October, 1991, the minimum number of days an officer can be assigned to special duty is 45 days while the maximum is 150 days.
The writ challenged the existing system of keeping officials OSD without any reason for unlimited period of time.
Barrister Aneek R Haque was represented the petitioner while Deputy Attorney General stood for the state at the hearing.
A report submitted to the court by the Ministry of Public Administration on 13 May, 2019, said that 3,605 officers had been made OSD in the past nine years.