THE issue of sealed cover procedure — in case, a government servant has been acquitted but appeal is being contemplated or pending— is dated back to 1991 Supreme Court judgement (Union of India versus KV Jankiraman etc.) and then the judgements including Bank of India and another vs. Degala Suryanarayana, Appeal (Civil) of 1997. In consultation with department of legal affairs, the following has been clarified by the DoPT in an office memorandum issued last week:1. Where the recommendation of DPC (departmental promotion committee) has been kept in sealed cover solely on account of pendency of the criminal case, the sealed cover may be opened in case of acquittal of the government servant provided it has not been stayed by a superior court.
2. In the order of promotion a mention may however be made that the promotion is provisional subject to the outcome of appeal that may be filed against, the acquittal of the government servant.
3. The promotion thus will be without prejudice to the action that may be taken if the judgement of the trial court acquitting the government servant is set-aside.
4. What if, on appeal the government servant stands convicted? In that case, the provisional promotion shall be deemed non est, and the government servant shall stand reverted.
5. And in case of the government servant being sentenced to imprisonment exceeding 48 hours, he will be deemed to be under suspension.
6. The government in the meantime has asked all ministries and departments to bring the aforesaid instructions to the notice of all concerned and take action accordingly.