Can ACRs be downgraded without consulting employees?
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Last Updated: Tuesday, January 05, 2010, 19:57
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday decided to examine the question whether the authorities can downgrade the Annual Confidential Reports of an employee without prior notice or assigning reasons to the aggrieved person.

A bench of Justices V S Sirpurkar and Mukundakam Sharma decided to examine the validity of such procedures on a special leave petition filed by an army man challenging the government's decision to downgrade his ACR.

The apex court granted four weeks to the Chief of the Army Staff and Defence Ministry to explain their position on the issue on a petition filed by Ashok Kumar through counsel Varinder Kumar Sharma.

The petition has alleged that before downgrading his ACRs, no notice was issued to him nor was any reason assigned for the same.

The apex court would examine whether it was mandatory to inform an employee about his ACRs downgrading and, if so, whether such downgrading can be done without assigning any reason.

The case of Ashok Kumar enrolled in the Army on May 6, 1985, was that despite having an "unblemished" track record for 24 years, he was denied promotions after his superior officer with a "malafide" intention downgraded his ACRs, thus depriving him of due promotion.

In his petition, Kumar said he was enrolled as an operator and owing to sheer hardwork and dedication promoted to the rank of a Naik and thereafter as havildar on February 1, 1994. He also served in the "Det Mtn Sig Regt Kargil brigage" during 2003 and was consistently awarded ranking of "above average" in the ACRs.

However, on July 6, 2004, after being posted to the Delhi Area Sig Coy and inspite of his best peformance his ACR was suddenly downgraded for 2004-2005. His subsequent ACRs for 2006-2007 were also downgraded to "below than average" despite the fact that he obtained a "bravo grading" in qualifying test conducted on February 9, 2008, he said.

The petitioner alleged the downgrading was done by his superior officer Capt Sanjay Kumar "due to personal reasons" to deprive him further promotion.

Ashok Kumar submitted the downgrading was done without any prior notice and even upon his enquiries no reasons were assigned by the authorities.

The aggrieved army man had challenged the downgrading before the Armed Forces Tribunal, New Delhi, which dismissed his plea, following which he filed the appeal in the apex court.


First Published: Tuesday, January 05, 2010, 19:57

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