Relative assessment during promotion should be disclosed: CIC



New Delhi: The relative assessment with peers which becomes the basis of promotion for a government employee should be disclosed under the RTI Act, the Central Information Commission has held.

"The relative assessment being the key to the decision of the Departmental Promotion Committee in an activity in which the comparative merits of different candidates for promotion are made with full gravity and reflection, it will surely will be the right of every candidate to know as to how he stands assessed at the time of his consideration," Chief Information Commissioner Wajahat Habibullah said.

"...This will enable him to represent on the basis of fact and not conjecture," he added.

Habibullah said such an assessment cannot be held as exempt from disclosure under the transparency law.

The panel considered a number of Supreme Court decisions while deciding on the plea of RTI applicant Babban Singh, a Jharkahand Police officer who was denied promotion to elite Indian Police Service (IPS).

Singh filed a number of RTI applications with Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) seeking a copy of the proceedings of selection committee meeting regarding promotion in IPS.

The UPSC provided the minutes after severing the areas where relative assessments with others considered for the promotions were made.

Not getting the information, Singh reached the Central Information Commission which directed the UPSC to provide him with copies of the original relative assessment.

It quoted the Supreme Court decision in Dev Dutt Vs OUI and others which said, "We are developing the principles of natural justice by holding that fairness and transparency in public administration requires that all entries (whether poor, fair, average, good or very good) in the Annual Confidential Report of a public servant, whether in civil, judicial, police or any other State service (except the military), must be communicated to him within a reasonable period so that he can make a representation for its upgradation.

"The objective of a DPC decision cannot be to recommend promotions in a clandestine manner or behind a veil. We agree that if such disclosure is made, at a time when the DPC is under process or even when its recommendations have not been finally accepted, such disclosure could conceivably affect the competitive position of third parties," Habibullah said.

PTI