The Chandigarh bench of the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) has directed the Punjab government to prepare a fresh panel of eligible officers of the state civil service, on the basis of annual confidentil reports and other records, for possible promotion to the Indian Administrative Services (IAS).
The CAT was acting on an application filed in September last year by Sanjay Popli, a Punjab Civil Services (PCS) officer, seeking promotion to IAS. Claiming that he was eligible for IAS against vacancies from the state services quota, he complained that the state had not empanelled him, on the basis of records produced by him.
The officer had said the government had not submitted his original ACR to the UPSC, thus he could not be promoted. While he got the original ACR through a Right to Information (RTI) and it showed he was marked “very good”. He had claimed that, on the other hand, there were seven PCS officers who had cases against them but were promoted to the IAS cadre.
The state, through the chief secretary, had denied the allegations and prayed for the plea’s dismissal. The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC), which convened the departmental promotion committee for the IAS vacancies, had filed a separate statement wherein it was pleaded that the review selection committee meeting (RSCM) was held, and that the name of the applicant (Popli) was considered. But he was found “unfit” due to his average-grading ACRs for 2007-08, it said.
The CAT, in its order, observed that “what cannot possibly be disputed here is that the [Punjab government] has recorded ‘No Report Certificate’ of the applicant for the year 2007-08, which was adversely considered by the UPSC”. It was also stated that the “penalty of censure was stated to have been converted into advisory warning by the competent authority”. Accordingly, Popli claimed that no disqualification was attached to his candidature.
Therefore, the CAT, in its order further stated that it had “no option but to direct the state of Punjab to prepare a fresh panel of eligible officers, on the basis of the true reflection of their ACR/record and then to send the names of the eligible persons to the UPSC for convening a review DPC for induction of PCS officers into IAS cadre”.