19 Jan 2121

Public Service Commission has to look into the overall assessment of service for promotion - Gauhati High Court

Case : UPSC v. Brahmananda Patir and Ors. Writ Petition No. 4931 of 2020

Court : Gauhati High Court

Bench : Justice Sudhanshu Dhulia

Decided on : 19 Jan 2121

Relevant Statutes

Regulation 3, 5(4) (3-AA) of Indian Forest Service (Appointment by Promotion) Regulations, 1966

Brief Facts and Procedural History

1. Respondent is a Forest officer in the state Forest Service and the Petitioner is Union Public Service Commission.

2. The selection committee of the Union Public Service Commission did not recommend the respondent’s name for promotion to the Indian Forest Service (IFS Cadre) for the year 2015.

3. Since it is a promotion relating to an All India Service, the promotion exercise was done by the Public Service Commission, where a Selection Committee is appointed in terms of Regulation 3 of the Indian Forest Service (Appointment by Promotion) Regulations, 1966.

4. The Selection Committee did not recommend the promotion of the respondent for the year 2015, so the respondent filed an appeal before the Central Administrative Tribunal, Guwahati Bench, which was disposed of by the Tribunal vide order dated 28.11.2019 and the tribunal gave directions to the Union Public Service Commission to hold Review Selection Committee meeting within a period of two months from the date of receipt of a copy of the said order.

6. The review selection committee thus appointed did not recommend the promotion of the respondent.

7. The respondent then filed an appeal again before the Central Administrative Tribunal which was not in favour of the petitioner. Thus, the petitioner filed a writ petition before the High Court of Gauhati.

The Issue of the Case

Whether the respondent is eligible to be promoted by the Public Service Commission?

The Observations of the Court

1. The Honourable High Court of Gauhati observed that the Review Committee did not do the overall assessment of service of the applicant and has applied its mind only on the upgraded Annual Confidential Report (ACR) of the applicant, as should have been under 5(3AA) of the Indian Forest Service(Appointment by Promotion) Regulations, 1966.

2. As per the guidelines of the Union Public Service Commission, which were in force at the relevant time, i.e. on 27.03.2017, assessment has to be done of the performance of the officer for the last 5(five) years which the Review Committee did not do.

The Decision Held by the Court

The Honourable High Court of Gauhati was in favour of the Central Administrative Tribunal’s decision which was that the review committee should look into the overall assessment of the service of the applicant and thus dismissed the writ petition filed before it.

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