The Central Administrative Tribunal Tuesday vacated the stay on the post of Member (Traffic) in the Railway Board,paving the away for a formal appointment. While the case is not yet over,there is no restriction on the appointment any more and sources said the appointment was likely to take place Wednesday.
Devi Prasad Pande,general manager of South Central Railway,is set to take over the post of MT as the seniormost eligible officer of the Traffic cadre. The Member (Traffic) oversees all train operations and earnings in the Indian Railways. In the absence of a full-time Member (Traffic),the job is now being looked after by Member (Electrical) Kulbhushan.
Thanks to the alleged appointments-related scam that came to light in May,formal appointments of Railway Board members have been hanging fire. Pandes appointment was delayed by the CAT stay order because of a case filed by his senior in the Traffic cadre,N C Sinha,Chief Operations Manager in South Western Railway.
It is believed that in normal course of career progression,Sinha would have become the Member (Traffic) this year after serving as GM of a zonal railway for over a year. But Sinhas career was slowed down because of a vigilance case. In the long-drawn case while Railways had finally exonerated him,the Central Vigilance Commission had differed with the Railways. The CAT vacating the stay means the question of Sinhas career progression is now separated from the appointment of an MT.
Sources said the Railways Ministry was waiting for Railways Minister Mallikarjun Kharge to return from Gulbarga Tuesday evening to make the appointment.