An outstanding grade in the Annual Confidential Reports (ACRs) is not a guarantee for officers — working on deputation at the Intelligence Bureau (IB) — to get absorbed into the country’s premier intelligence agency.
An officer of the Jammu and Kashmir Police — posted on deputation at the IB — learned this the hard way when he was asked to go back to parent organisation although he got “outstanding” grade in his ACRs for his services to the borrowing organisation.
The officer claimed that despite earning 9 and 9.5 points in his ACRs for the years 2010-11 and 2011-12 respectively, the Screening Committee found him “unfit” for permanent absorption.
Alleging the organisation of “cherry picking”, he moved the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT).
The tribunal, however, dismissed his plea saying that there are “several other points” that need to be considered while making permanent absorption of a person into the IB which do not necessarily get reflected in ACRs.
“Such qualities can only be judged by persons who have spent years in the organisation in positions of responsibility and can be equated to a knack or sixth sense,” it said adding that the Screening Committee were competent to judge the “functional utility of a deputationist in the long run”.
“Had absorption been made on the basis of ACRs alone, it would have become a clerical exercise for which no Screening Committee would have been required to apply its mind,” the tribunal said.
It also took note of IB’s submission that once a person has been considered and his case for permanent absorption has been rejected, the organization should not be “compelled to absorb the applicant against its better judgment”. While absorbing a person on permanent basis, IB takes into consideration, the service records of the person, his potential for the intelligence work, and his capability to shoulder higher responsibilities keeping in view the promotion, which he is likely to earn.
Noting that it cannot tinker with the policy of the agency, the tribunal said, “To our mind these principles are non-negotiable and must be followed in the interest of the organization and in the larger interest of the country”.
“The tribunal cannot step into the shoes of the Screening Committee,” it said adding that the IB — being a sensitive internal security agency — has to have “certain priorities” while retaining officers in their organisation.