HC takes strong view against incharge promotions

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Taking a strong view against promotions made on incharge basis, the High Court of J&K dismissed a related petition and sought details of all such promotions made in various departments.

A bench of Justices Rajesh Bindal and Rajenesh Oswal while dismissing the petition against an order of Central Administrative Tribunal observed that the practice of making promotions on incharge basis was being followed in J&K despite strict observations made against it by the Supreme Court in 2000 in the case of Suraj Parkash Gupta.

Underscoring that a high level committee was directed to be appointed to examine the entire issue, the court said the report of the committee so appointed be also placed before it.

The court directed all the departments to furnish details about the total sanctioned cadre strength in each of the cadres, the notified service rules governing the post, number of posts to be filled up from different sources– direct, promotional, deputation etc.

Seeking details about number of actual employees working in each of the  cadres, the court  directed the departments to inform whether the incumbents holding the posts are regularly  recruited or promoted as per rules or given charge of  the post concerned.

It also sought details of the seniority list of each cadre, as on which date and when the same was circulated before finalization.  “If any of the seniority lists are still under finalization, reasons for delay”.

The practice of incharge promotions, the court said, is prevalent more in Engineering Department.

“This course adopted by the different departments is generating avoidable litigation,” the court said, adding that such a course also demoralizes other employees in the department.

“This is resulting in adhocism in the working of different departments of the government. The duties, which are required to be discharged by senior and experienced persons is being handed over to the juniors”.

“With this practice being followed, the very object of having fresh talent at different levels in the department is defeated”.

The court ordered that a copy of its order be sent to the Chief Secretary and Secretary, General Administration Department for filing their response in the matter.

The court said for this purpose the matter may be listed on September 4 before a bench to be constituted by the Chief Justice.

The court issued the directions after dismissing a petition by an in-charge Executive Engineer who was deputed in Urban Local Bodies and finally transferred to Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC). The government had reverted him to the post of AEE and a bench of CAT at Jammu had refused him interim relief against the government action.

He challenged the CAT order before High Court saying he could not have been reverted to the post of AEE without affording him an opportunity of hearing.