Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Run-Up to Promotions: Ministries are advised to place documents including chargesheets against officers

THE government on Monday issued an office memorandum (OM) advising ministries and departments to place all documents including penalties or chargesheets, if any, against an officer whose name comes up for promotion before…
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.”


  1. No matter how many guidelines DoP&T may issue ground reality will not change. UPSC holds DPC meetings outside Delhi. The Departments offer to make arrangements of stay, sightseeing etc & foot the bill. whatever is submitted is signed, no scrutiny by the Members, no questions, no discussion, no dissent nothing at all. Everyone initials and that's all. If the Secretary of a Department wants to oblige a particular officer even if he/she has a charge sheet pending, the name gets cleared. The tainted officer is happy, no one raises questions. The rules also favor tainted officers. If a tainted officer has received 2-3 minor/major charge sheets and subsequently punished but has Very Good or Outstanding grading then his name gets cleatred by DPC. If an honest officer has a clean record, received numerous appreciation letters or awards but has been graded as Good, then DPC does not clear that officer. Therefore scrutiny by DPCs are inadequate, farcical and rewards the tainted officers. Therefore message is clear take bribes, misuse position do whatever you like, if you get caught and awarded penalty ensure two things first try to get issue of charge sheet delayed to after DPC, promotion orders and joining. secondly ensure that boss is kept happy, shower gifts on his wife and children. you are earning so much on the sly therefore investing on boss is essential. Get outstanding ACRs no one not even God can stop you from promotion. Members of the DPC are mere robots, they never read contents or remarks of ACRs. In fact it is the lower officials who scrutinize the ACRs. The Members just ask, "Sab theek hae?" Once they get an affirmative reply everyone merely initials and get back to enjoying themselves. This is the problem when you start appointing pygmies against crucial posts the integrity and dignity of institutions will fall.

    1. Very true. well said.

  2. "Rules are for Fools," this is what one senior Babu had said to me when I went to DoP&T a few years back. As is evident there is no dearth of rules but the problem is of implementation. I had brought to noitice of the Officer blatant violation of rules of DoP&T but the officer shrugged off saying he can do nothing. DoP&T makes rules, it is not super Ministry and has no means to enforce rules. Dejected I left. I wrote to UPSC but received no reply, tired of sending reminders, follow up on telephone with tired officials, not interested in other persons problem. I approached CAT, won case had to file contempt and it was after that I got justive within a week of contempt notice. All this agony could have been avoided if DoP&T or UPSC as an instituion rose to the occassion, called for the case file, checked facts mentioned in my application, checked the rules and gave objective fair decision. Nothing of the sort happened. I even approached the Minority Commission. The fellows appeared disinterested & very grateful that they had bagged post retirement parking slots. No one cared and anyway no one is afraid of Courts. CAT is also not very assertive. Now in such a scenario who cares about issue of another order. It will not matter or make difference. The whole system has become sick, gone comatose.

  3. Its a matter of 10-15 days only. Don't worry "ab acche din aane wale hain". We will have a lion heading the Government, his roar will be enough to send corrupt persons underground. Honest officers will get their due, the corrupt officers should start packing their bags and follow the mouse into oblivion.