EVERY ENTRY IN ACR OF A PUBLIC SERVANT MUST BE COMMUNICATED TO HIM WITHIN A REASONABLE PERIOD IS LEGALLY SOUND AND HELPS IN ACHIEVING THREEFOLD OBJECTIVES: TELANGANA HIGH COURT
The High Court of Telangana passed a judgment on 24.04.2023 stating that every entry in ACR of a public servant must be communicated to him within a reasonable period is legally sound and helps in achieving threefold objectives .It was stated in the case of Y.Lakshmana Rao v. The Union of India (WRIT PETITION No.15979 of 2019 ) which was passed by the single judge bench comprising of HONOURABLE JUSTICE N. TUKARAMJI
FACTS OF THE CASE:
Petitioner joined Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) as Technical Assistant-B in 1988. In the course of his service, he was promoted to the rank of Scientist/Engineer SD in the year 2004. He was due to be promoted as Scientist/Engineer SE in the year 2008 but was not considered by the Screening Committee/Departmental Promotion Committee (DPC, for short) till the year 2014. On 01.07.2014, petitioner was promoted as Scientist/Engineer SE. Petitioner made several representations seeking his promotion with effect from 01.07.2008. As his request was not considered, he had filed the original application before CAT. 4 4.1. Respondents had filed objection by contending that petitioner was accommodated at Advanced Data Processing Research Institute (ADRIN), Secunderabad in 1996 on request transfer from Bangalore. In the course of his service career, he was given due promotion. He was due for promotion from Scientist/Engineer SD to Scientist/Engineer SE in the year 2008 after completing residency period of four years as Scientist/Engineer SD. At the time of his consideration, his service details were placed before the Screening Committee as to whether case of the petitioner should be recommended for consideration by DPC. As the petitioner could not measure up to the requirement standards, he could not clear Screening Committee till 2011. Though he could clear Screening Committee in 2011 and 2012, he did not fare well in DPC. Hence, he was not promoted. Ultimately, he was screened by the selection committee and on recommendation to DPC he was cleared by the DPC in the year 2014, whereafter he was promoted to the rank of Scientist/Engineer SE with 5 effect from 01.07.2014. Stand taken was that according to the scheme of ISRO, once an employee completes the residency period, he would be considered for promotion based on Annual Performance Appraisal Report (APAR) and other performance parameters. It was only when the petitioner was found fit for promotion that he was selected by DPC and ultimately promoted with effect from 01.07.2014.
JUDGEMENT OF THE CASE
In consideration of the case of the petitioner by the Screening Committee and DPC stood vitiated on account of acting on the uncommunicated remarks in the ACRs/APARs of the petitioner for the relevant period. Case of the petitioner for promotion to the post of Scientist/Engineer SE from an anterior date is therefore required to be reconsidered by the DPC either by ignoring the uncommunicated remarks in the ACRs for the related residency period or by giving an opportunity to the petitioner to represent against such ACR gradings. If the petitioner represents against such ACR gradings, the same may be considered and based on such consideration or in the event of ignoring the uncommunicated remarks, case of the petitioner may be placed again before the DPC to reconsider promotion to the post of Scientist/Engineer SE with effect from 01.07.2008. Ordered accordingly. Let the entire exercise be completed within a period of six months from the date of receipt of a copy of this order. Since the petitioner has already superannuated from service, the benefits accruable to the petitioner, in the event of successful reconsideration, would be notionally fixed only for the purpose of retirement benefits. Consequently, order dated 26.04.2019 of CAT is set aside. 27. Writ petition is accordingly allowed to the extent indicated above.
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JUDGEMENT REVIEWED BY ROSHNI SABU, KERALA LAW ACADEMY LAW COLLEGE.