departmental promotion committee (DPC) or Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC). “If such an officer is found suitable, promotion will be given effect after the currency of the penalty is over,” the OM said.
It’s believed that in some cases, officers manipulate and all relevant documents are not placed before the DPC or ACC which decide on promotion.
The DoPT further said that DPCs have been adopting varying criteria in assessment of officials undergoing penalty that are not consistent with the existing instructions, for e.g., downgradation of grading in ACR/APAR, denying promotion for specified number of years, etc.
In fact, there is nothing dramatically new to the new office memorandum if earlier guidelines are taken into account. Let’s have a look into the guideline dated April 10, 1989. It said: “…before making the overall grading after considering the CRs for the relevant years, the DPC should take into account whether the officer has been awarded any major or minor penalty or whether any displeasure of any superior officer or authority has been conveyed to him as reflected in the ACRs.”
Further, an OM dated December 15, 2004 said that a government servant, on whom a minor penalty of withholding of increment etc. has been imposed, should be considered for promotion by the departmental promotion committee. If the officer is still considered fit for promotion, the promotion may be given effect after the expiry of the currency of the penalty, the OM issued almost a decade ago, said.
Here are two court jugdements:
1. AK Narula case (AIR 2007 SC 2296): Supreme Court has observes: “the guidelines give a certain amount of play in the joints to the DPC by providing that it need not be guided by the overall grading recorded in the CRs, but may make its own assessment on the basis of the entries in the CRs. The DPC is required to make an overall assessment of the performance of each candidate separately, but by adopting the same standards, yardsticks and norms. It is only when the process of assessment is vitiated either on the ground of bias, malafide or arbitrariness, the selection calls for interference. Where the DPC has proceeded in a fair, impartial and reasonable manner, by applying the same yardstick and norms to all candidates and there is no arbitrariness in the process of assessment by the DPC, the court will not interfere”.
2. Union of India vs. KV Jankiraman case (AIR 1991 SC 2010). Supreme Court in this case takes cognizance of the role of DPC the case of an officer on whom a penalty has been imposed and held that: “An employee has no right to promotion. He has only right to be considered for promotion. The promotion to a post and more so, to a selection post, depends upon several circumstances. To qualify for promotion, the least that is expected of an employee is to have an unblemished record. That is the minimum expected to ensure a clean and efficient administration and to protect the public interest. An employee found guilty of misconduct cannot be placed on par with the other employees, and his case has to be treated differently. In fact, while considering an employee for promotion his whole record has to be taken into consideration and if a promotion committee takes the penalties imposed upon the employee into consideration and denies him the promotion, such denial is not illegal and unjustified.”