Centre must carry out govt employees’ cadre review: SC

Last Updated: Wednesday, March 24, 2010 - 18:15

New Delhi: The Supreme Court has ruled
that a Government employee has a fundamental right to be
considered for promotion and it is mandatory for the Centre
and States to carry out cadre review of eligible officers for
promotion to the Indian Administrative Service (IAS).

"The right of eligible employees to be considered for
promotion is virtually a part of their fundamental right
guaranteed under Article 16 (Equality of opportunity in matter
of public employment) of the Constitution," a bench comprising
Justices R V Raveendran and A K Ganguly held in a recent
judgment.

The apex court passed the judgment while directing
the Centre and the UP Government to consider the promotion of
two State cadre officers-Hemraj Singh Chauhan and Ramnawal
Singh to the IAS.

"We hold that the statutory duty which is cast on the
State Government and the Central Government to undertake the
cadre review exercise every five years is ordinarily mandatory
subject to exceptions which may be justified in the facts
of a given case," the bench said.

Both the Centre and the UP government had challenged
the direction of the Delhi High Court to consider the two
officials` promotion due to them in 2003 since the cadre
review exercise was undertaken by the State government only in
2005. This was done despite repeated reminders from the
Centre.

"The guarantee of a fair consideration in matters
of promotion under Article 16 virtually flows from guarantee
of equality under Article 14(Equality before Law) of the
Constitution," the apex court said while upholding the high
court`s judgment.

The apex court ruled that state governments are under
obligation to recommend names of its administrative officers
every five years to the Centre for their promotion to the IAS
and pulled up the the UP government for failing to do so
despite several reminders from the Union Government.

The court said that a government cannot deny an
eligible state officer from being promoted due to the delay on
its part in conducting such exercise and pulled it up for
"lethargic" approach resulting in two state officers being
denied promotion.

"It is clear that legitimate expectations of the state
officers of being considered for promotion has been defeated
by the acts of the government and if not of the Central
Government, certainly the unreasonable inaction on the part of
the state government stood in the way of the officers` chances
of promotion," the court said.

"The Court is satisfied that in this case for the
delayed exercise of statutory function the Government has not
offered any plausible explanation. The state officers cannot
be made in any way responsible for the delay," the court
added.

PTI



First Published: Wednesday, March 24, 2010 - 18:15

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