Government employees cannot be denied the opportunity to appeal against adverse Annual Confidential Reports (ACRs), on the grounds that such reports would not be ignored while considering them for promotion, the Delhi High Court has ruled. A bench of Justice Pradeep Nandrajog and Justice MC Garg reversed the Central Administrative Tribunal's (CAT) directive to a departmental promotion committee to ignore the adverse ACRs of five Indian Revenue Service (IRS) officers while considering them for promotion. The order came on five petitions filed by the Centre against the CAT's orders asking that some ACRs be ignored, while considering IRS officers Krishna Mohan Dixit, K. Hari Prasad Rao, R. Bala Naik, Devinder Singh Choudhary, Ravindra Kumar Rai for promotion. The CAT wanted the adverse ACRs (below benchmark of "very good") to be ignored, as they were not communicated to the IRS officers in question at the relevant time. Some of the ACRs were three years old at the time of holding the committee and could not be taken into account in view of the May 11, 1990, Memorandum of the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT). The CAT said there was no point in making any representation in view of the retirement of reporting and reviewing officers. However, after analysing the Supreme Court judgments in the cases of UP Jal Nigam, Dev Dutt and Avijit Ghosh Dastidar, the HC said: "The question of ignoring adverse ACRs instead of giving a chance of making representation does not arise." The Bench said, "All ACRs are to be communicated to the incumbent." It said in the case of ACRs being below the benchmark, the affected person could make a representation that would be considered by the relevant authorit, which would be superior to the authority, which gave the adverse ACR. The high court said the May 11, 1990 DoPT Memorandum, was issued before the recent SC rulings. A new memorandum has already been issued on April 13, 2010, which made it mandatory to communicate to the employee an adverse ACR.
Source: Hindustan Times