QUASHING THE letters issued by the Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) seeking annual performance appraisal report (APARs) of employees under reserved category, the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) on Monday asked the BSNL to consider the applicant for promotion who is senior to the said employees.
The tribunal asked the respondent to consider the applicant within the zone of consideration for promotion from the post of SDE(T) to the post of AGM/DE(T) without applying the principle of reservation in promotion. The applicant, Sukhwinder Singh, divisional engineer, general manager, stated in the application that he had joined Department of Telecom (DOT) as junior telecom officer (JTO) in 1989 and was promoted to the post of sub-divisional engineer (SDE) on December 7, 2001. However, BSNL was incorporated from October 1, 2000. The applicant was to be promoted from SDE to the post of AGM/Divisional Engineer which is governed by BSNL Management Services Recruitment Rules, 2009. The BSNL follows the instructions of Government of India in the matter of reservation for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.
He stated in the application that according to the catch-up rule, if junior employee is promoted on the basis of reservation and general category senior employee is promoted later, the senior general category employee catches up his seniority over the reserved category employee. Consequently, there can be no reservation in promotion. On the contrary, the respondents have promoted some junior employees from the post of SDE to the post of AGM/DE(T) without applying the catch-up rule.
The grievance of the applicant is that the BSNL has again initiated the process to promote SDEs, who are junior to the applicant as per the latest seniority list, by granting reservation in promotion. For this purpose, a letter dated June 3, 2015 was issued calling for APARs of applicants, junior SDEs of reserved category for promotion by way of reservation in promotion, followed by letters dated July 22, 2015, August 4, 2015, August 24, 2015 and September 18, 2015.
Submitting their reply, the BSNL officials defended their action on the basis of Department of Personnel & Training (DoPT) regarding reservation for SCs, STs and OBCs in services. It has been pleaded that reservation in promotion is being granted as per DoPT instructions.