CUTTACK: The Orissa High Court has recalled its order imposing restrictions on promotion to section officer (SO) posts in the State Secretariat without taking permission of the court. With it, the roadblock to fill up vacancies in the post of SOs has been cleared.
The division bench of Chief Justice S Muralidhar and Justice SK Panigrahi recalled the court’s March 18 interim order on petitions raising dispute over promotion of Assistant Section Officers (ASOs) after the government filed an application for it.
While seeking permission to fill up the vacant posts of SOs, the government said the interim order has brought the promotion to a complete halt. There are 476 vacancies in SO posts in various departments and 90 anticipated vacancies during the current year. Due to non-availability of SOs, the work in all the 41 departments is being impeded, the government said.
When the affidavit was considered by the court on July 14, Advocate General Ashok Parija submitted that the promotions to the numerous vacant posts cannot be held up at the instance of a few petitioners and the government is facing tremendous hardship. Three writ petitions involving 18 petitioners have been filed. The government is prepared to keep 18 posts of SOs vacant and should be permitted to fill up the remaining vacancies, he submitted.