In a move that has ruffled feathers of many, the Punjab State Industrial Development Corporation (PSIDC) has made an officer’s 2010 promotion as general manager (GM) effective from February 2002. And the GM’s further promotion as executive director (ED) is also being fast-tracked now.
Behind this decision to retrospectively promote Jagat Jit Singh — first promoted as GM in November 2010 — is the PSIDC’s contention that the National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC) has been wielding the baton while a Punjab Vidhan Sabha committee too has been pursuing the case pro-actively after Jagat alleged bias in the promotion process.
The matter does not end here. Jagat has actually sought promotion as GM to be effective from 1998, so the matter still remains open effectively.
As per official records that HT has accessed, the decision — to make the GM posting effective from 2002 — was taken on September 9, just hours before Punjab Vidhan Sabha Welfare Committee (SC, ST & BC) was slated to meet at 11.30am to discuss the issue with the secretary for industries and commerce.
The case picked up such a breakneck speed that a day before being promoted retrospectively, the PSIDC on September 8 also gave nod to promote him as ED with immediate effect. “An undertaking be obtained from him that he shall not approach any court of law on the aforesaid issue (promotion as ED) and grievances, if any, stands settled accordingly,” reads the September 8 detailed note of the PSIDC.
“We have corrected an error. He (Jagat) has been given his due. When we examined the case we realised that injustice was done with the GM. This is a notional promotion. Now he is eligible to become ED,” Raminder Singh, managing director (MD) of the PSIDC, told Hindustan Times. The MD in his two-paged note recommending the retrospective promotion has said that Jagat was “unnecessarily denied promotion for a very long period.”
This retrospective promotion will be effective towards fixation of pay only, and will not entail accrual of arrears of pay on this account.
After joining the PSIDC as manager on September 17, 1986, Jagat was promoted as assistant general manager on September 18, 1989, deputy GM with effect from September 18, 1993, and was re-designated as senior deputy GM from May 18, 1998, then promoted as GM on November 10, 2010.
As per PSIDC official documents, on May 18, 1998, three GMs were re-designated as senior GMs as per policy, while “Jagat did not fulfil the eligibility conditions”. However, the corporation re-designated him as senior deputy GM with effect from May 18, 1998.
Thereafter, no promotion to the post of GM was made in the PSIDC till November 2010 when Jagat was promoted as GM.
The contention of Jagat is that he became eligible for GM promotion with effect from September 19, 1998. On the other hand the PSIDC initially took the stand that “promotion beyond deputy GM is not a matter of right of an officer, merely on fulfilling the eligibility conditions”.
After being promoted as GM, Jagat petitioned the National Commission for Scheduled Caste (NCSC) seeking promotion with retrospective effect from September 19, 1998.
Senior officers of the industries department appeared a number of times before the NCSC, which in April 2013 stated: "it is advised that PSIDC management may submit the case of petitioner before the Board of Directors of PSIDC and promotion of petitioner may be considered from 18-09-1998.”
As the promotion matter was deferred, NCSC again began summoning principal secretary (industries) and other senior officers to appear in person in Delhi before Dr Raj Kumar Verka, vice-chairman, NCSC. Yet again Verka summoned principal secretary (industries), secretary of the department of social welfare, and the MD of PSIDC to hold discussions on January 20, 2014 at his New Delhi office. Later, the GM's case also reached the Punjab Vidhan Sabha committee.