The task of filling up vacancies for top railway posts is getting more curious, with the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) having “stayed” the railways proposal to issue orders for filling up the post of Member (Traffic).
In a petition filed by senior officer NC Sinha, the CAT Bangalore branch awarded an “interim stay” on Wednesday. The CAT order has evidently upset the railways plans to appoint Devi Prasad Pandey as Member (Traffic), since Sinha has now emerged as a candidate for the post.
The Railways will now need to get the CAT order vacated before issuing orders to fill up the post.
With CBI naming suspended Railway board member Mahesh Kumar as an accused in the cash-for postings scam on Tuesday, process of filling up the vacancy to the post of Member (Staff) also needs to be initiated.
Kumar will have to be adjusted against a “super numerary” (specially created post) for enabling his salary to be charged against the post, while the process of finding a full-time member (staff) can begin”, a senior official said.
Four of the seven posts in the Railway Board are vacant, with three of these on additional charge at present.
Member(mechanical) Arunendra Kumar assumed additional charge as Chairman Railway Board (CRB) on Monday, but hectic lobbying persists for top posts.
Railway guidelines are that an officer having one year experience as an open line general manager, with two years of residual service can assume charge as the CRB. Going by these criteria, RS Virdhi (general manager, Northeast Frontier Railway) remains the front-runner for the top job.
But if the norms for promotion as the CRB are revised, Kulbhushan (member, electrical) stands a chance – being the senior-most among the existing members at present.
In the allocation of additional duties on Monday, Kulbhushan was overlooked for CRB’s job ostensibly because of being under the scanner in Central Bureau of Investigation’s Preliminary Enquiry – even as he has been handed additional charge as Member (Traffic).
“If the CBI case did not come in his way of assuming additional charge as member (traffic), how could it have become an impediment for elevating him as the additional CRB”, asked an official.