Can ACRs be downgraded without consulting employees?

Last Updated: Tuesday, January 5, 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.

PTI



First Published: Tuesday, January 5, 2010 - 19:57

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