77 Karnataka officers got promotions sans Cabinet nod

Official sources said despite the tribunal order, the promotion list has not been prepared.
77 Karnataka officers got promotions sans Cabinet nod

BENGALURU: Promotions of more than 70 officials in the Industries and Commerce Department now seem to be in jeopardy. After the Karnataka Administrative Tribunal (KAT) declared their promotion in 2016 as void, a section of employees in the department are now demanding the State Government implement the tribunal order directing a redo of the promotion list.

In the last five years, 77 junior officials in the department were allegedly given promotions, not once, but twice, without getting cabinet clearance. The 77 Industrial Promotion Officers (C-cadre) were promoted as Assistant Directors (B-cadre) in 2016 and, 70 of them were promoted again as Deputy Directors (A-cadre) in May 2021. When the matter went to KAT, it termed the promotions void.

In 2016, 77 IPOs were merged with 51 Assistant Directors, raising the number of posts of Assistant Directors to 128. Sources in the department said this was done through an executive order where both the cadres were merged with certain conditions like new Assistant Directors having to work under the existing ones.

“Firstly, one cannot be promoted through just an executive order, it has to be placed before the cabinet. Secondly, they did not follow their own conditions till 2020. Only in October 2020, an executive notification was issued before preparing a seniority list for promotions,’’ a source said.

Again, in 2021, based on the 2016 promotion posting, 70 out of 77 officers were made Deputy Directors. Along with them, seven other Assistant Directors (recruited directly in 2016), who were eligible for promotion, were also promoted as Deputy Directors. But these seven eligible officers went to KAT questioning the promotion of the 70 officers who were promoted twice even though they were not eligible, sources said.

In November 2021, the KAT passed an order stating, “We have held that the executive order of merger is untenable under law, being violative of the 1978 Act and hence, is void ab-initio. The cause of action arose when the order was given effect to by amending the C&R Rules and specifically by giving retrospective effect and also preparing the revised seniority list based on the impugned notification.’’ It also directed the government to redo the seniority list.

Official sources said despite the tribunal order, the promotion list has not been prepared. “They are getting the same salary of Deputy Director which is almost double that of an Assistant Director. They even got their salaries in December. Officials concerned have to take action,’’ a source said.

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