Concerned over pending disciplinary cases against government officials, the Ministry of Personnel has issued fresh guidelines regarding promotion of officials waiting for charges to be settled by the competent authority.
Taking cognisance of varying criteria adopted in assessment of officials undergoing penalty, and subsequent consultation with Department of Legal Affairs, the Ministry of Personnel in a letter said the Departmental Promotion Committee (DPC) needs to assess every proposal for promotion on a case-to-case basis and it must take into account the circumstances leading to imposition of the penalty.
The latest move will provide major relief to babus against whom cases are pending for years as the DPC will be empowered to devise its own methods to conduct objective assessment of officials under the scanner.
In cases where disciplinary proceedings or criminal prosecution against the bureaucrats is pending for more than two years, the DPC can extend ad-hoc promotion. “The DPC after due consideration has authority to assess the officer as unfit for promotion. However, where the DPC considers that despite the penalty the officer is suitable for promotion, the officer will be actually promoted only after currency of the penalty is over,” the ministry’s letter said.
While assessing the suitability of the officer against whom a penalty has been imposed, the DPC will take into account the circumstances leading to the imposition of the penalty and decide whether in light of general service record of the officer and the fact of imposition of penalty, the officer should be considered for promotion.
The Ministry of Personnel said there is no illegality in denying promotion during the exposure of penalty but if it happens after the period is over, it will violate Article 20 of the Constitution, which provides protection to every citizen in respect of conviction for offences.
“The Departmental Promotion Committee should not be guided merely by the overall grading recorded in annual confidential reports but should also make its own assessment on the basis of entries in the confidential reports,” the ministry said.
‘Denial amounts to Art 20 Violation’
In a letter, the Ministry of Personnel said there is no illegality in denying promotion to a government official during the exposure of penalty but if it happens after the period is over, it will violate provisions of Article 20 of the Constitution, which provides protection to every citizen in respect of conviction for offences.