Union of India and Ors. Versus G.R. Meghwal

Union of India and Ors.  Versus G.R. Meghwal Case

Landmark Cases of India / सुप्रीम कोर्ट के ऐतिहासिक फैसले



REPORTABLE
IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
CIVIL APPEAL NO. 2021 OF 2022
Union of India and Ors. …Appellant(s)
Versus
G.R. Meghwal …Respondent(s)
J U D G M E N T
M.R. SHAH, J.
1. Feeling aggrieved and dissatisfied with the impugned judgment
and order passed by the High Court of Judicature for Rajasthan at Jaipur
in DBCWP No. 740 of 2016 by which the High Court has dismissed the
said writ petition preferred by the appellants and has confirmed the
judgment and order passed by the learned Tribunal allowing the O.A.
No. 430 of 2011 by directing the Department to call for a review meeting
of the Screening Committee to re-assess his suitability for the purpose of
grant of SAG and while doing so to exclude the ACR of 2007-2008,
Union of India and others have preferred the present appeal.
2. The facts leading to the present appeal in a nutshell are as under:-
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2.1 The respondent herein, who belonged to the cadre of Indian
Telecom Group A was sent on deputation to BSNL. He was posted as
Deputy General Manager, BSNL, Sikar. His ACR grading was “Very
Good” for the years 2005-2006 and 2006-2007. However, for the year
2007-2008, his ACR grading was only “Good”. The below benchmark
grading for the year 2007-2008 was communicated to him vide letter
dated 13.05.2010. The respondent was informed that if he was not
satisfied with the same, he may submit his representation to the General
Manager, Telecom, Rajasthan Circle, Jaipur. The respondent
accordingly submitted a representation on 19.06.2010. It was the case
on behalf of the respondent that he got ACR grading as “Very Good” for
the years 2005-2006 and 2006-2007, however, for the year 2007-2008,
he got ACR grading as only “Good”, despite the fact that in all the three
years, the reporting officer and the reviewing authority was same. It was
also the case on behalf of the respondent that despite there being no
deficiency or inefficiency in performance of his work, the Reviewing
Officer erroneously rated him “Good” in the ACR of the year 2007-2008,
instead of “Very Good”, as was given to him in ACRs of previous two
years.
2.2 His representation came to be turned down/rejected vide
communication/order dated 01.10.2010. That thereafter the meeting of
the Departmental Promotion Committee (hereinafter referred to as the
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“DPC”) was held on 28.12.2010 to consider the grant of NFU in SAG.
The respondent was not found eligible by the DPC on the ground that in
the year 2007-2008, his ACR was “Good”. Therefore, the respondent
preferred O.A. No. 430 of 2011 before the Central Administrative
Tribunal.
2.3 Before the Tribunal, it was the case on behalf of the respondent
that his grading as “Good” in the year 2007-2008 and rejection of his
representation against the below benchmark was arbitrary and
unjustified in as much as no shortcomings in his work during the period
in question were ever brought to his notice.
2.4 The Tribunal opined that the remarks entered for the year 2007-
2008 were clearly adverse, which warranted communication to the
officer concerned within the time limit prescribed. This was to enable
him to submit his representation but no such opportunity was given to
the officer. Considering the fact that in the earlier two years his ACRs
were found to be “Very Good” and the subsequent ACR for the year
2007-2008 though was by the same reporting officer, the same was
“Good”, the same was arbitrary. The Tribunal hence set aside the
rejection of the representation and directed to review the case of the
respondent ignoring the below benchmark “Good” for the year 2007-
2008 and to reconsider the case of the respondent accordingly.
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2.5 Feeling aggrieved and dissatisfied with the judgment and order
passed by the learned Tribunal, the Union of India and others preferred
the writ petition before the High Court. By the impugned judgment and
order, the High Court has dismissed the said writ petition, the Union of
India and others have hence preferred the present appeal.
3. Ms. Madhavi Divan, learned ASG has vehemently submitted that in
the present case before the DPC met, an opportunity was given to the
respondent to make his representation against the below benchmark
ACR of the year 2007-2008. It is submitted that the same was in
accordance with the O.Ms. dated 14.05.2009 and 13.04.2010, which
were issued after considering the decision of this Court in the case of
Dev Dutt Vs. Union of India and Ors., (2008) 8 SCC 725. It is
contended that the High Court as well as the learned Tribunal have erred
in directing to ignore the below benchmark ACR for the year 2007-2008
mainly and solely on the ground that prior to writing the below
benchmark ACR, no opportunity was given to the respondent officer. It is
submitted that the aforesaid view has been taken relying upon the
decisions of this Court in the case of Dev Dutt (supra); Abhijit Ghosh
Dastidar Vs. Union of India & Ors., (2009) 16 SCC 146 (in this case
view taken in Dev Dutt (supra) was approved by this Court) and the
decision of this Court in the case of Sukhdev Singh Vs. Union of India
and Ors., (2013) 9 SCC 573.
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3.1 Learned ASG appearing on behalf of the appellants has submitted
that though it was held by this Court in the case of Sukhdeo Vs.
Commissioner Amravati Division, Amravati and Anr., (1996) 5 SCC
103 that downgrading by the Reviewing Officer in comparison to his
previous grading without opportunity of hearing to the concerned
employee is illegal, however, this Court in the subsequent decision in the
case of High Court of Judicature at Allahabad Vs. Sarnam Singh
and Anr., (2000) 2 SCC 339 has explained the decision in the case of
Sukhdeo (supra) and this Court has not accepted the view that before
an adverse entry was recorded in the character roll, an opportunity of
hearing was, by any principle, required to be given to the officer.
3.2 It is submitted that in that view of the matter and when the
respondent was having below benchmark ACR, i.e., “Good” in the year
2007-2008, which was considered by the DPC, the respondent was
rightly denied the functional upgradation in the SAG of ITS Group-A in
the pay band-4 of Rs. 37,400-67,000 with grade pay of Rs. 10,000/-.
3.3 It is further submitted by Ms. Divan, learned ASG that merely
because in the earlier years, the respondent achieved “Very Good”, only
on that ground, it cannot be held that awarding “Good” in the subsequent
year was arbitrary and/or mala fide. It is submitted that the quality of
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work performance of any employee may differ during the different period
even under the same reporting officer/reviewing authority. It is only upto
the reporting officer and reviewing authority to judge his performance
and give suitable grading.
3.4 It is submitted that in the present case, the subsequent
representation against the below benchmark was considered by a duly
constituted committee consisting of expertise on the subject. It is
submitted that after considering the grading of 2007-2008 and material
on record, the Committee rejected the representation of the respondent
herein. Reliance was placed upon the decision of this Court in the case
of Dalpat Abasaheb Solunke and Ors. Vs. Dr. B.S. Mahajan and Ors.,
AIR 1990 SC 434. It is submitted that as held by this Court whether a
particular candidate is fit for a particular post or not, has to be decided by
the duly constituted committee, which has expertise on the subject. It is
submitted that as observed, the Court has no such expertise and the
decision of the selection committee can be interfered with only on limited
grounds, such as illegality or patent material irregularity in the
constitution of the committee or its procedure vitiating the selection or
proved mala-fides affecting the selection etc.
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3.5 Now, so far as the reliance placed upon the decision of this Court
in the case of Dev Dutt (supra); subsequent decision in the case of
Abhijit Ghosh Dastidar (supra) and in the case of Sukhdev Singh
(supra) is concerned, it is submitted by Ms. Divan, learned ASG that
none of the aforesaid decisions shall be applicable to the facts of the
case on hand. It is submitted that in fact after the decision of this Court
in the case of Dev Dutt (supra), the department issued two O.M.s dated
14.05.2009 and 13.04.2010 and the opportunity to the employee/officer
against the below benchmark ACR was given. It is submitted that even
otherwise in the aforesaid decisions, either the ACRs were not
communicated at all or it was found that adverse remarks suffer from
inconsistency or lack of bona fides.
3.6 Making the above submissions and relying upon the decision of
this Court in the case of Sarnam Singh (supra) and on the O.Ms. dated
14.05.2009 and 13.04.2010, it is prayed to allow the present appeal and
quash and set aside the orders passed by the High Court as well as the
learned Tribunal.

4. Present appeal is vehemently opposed by Shri Mukesh Kumar
Sharma, learned counsel appearing on behalf of the respondent officer.
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4.1 It is vehemently contended by the learned counsel appearing on
behalf of the respondent that considering the fact that in the earlier years
2005-2006 and 2006-2007, the respondent’s ACRs were “Very Good”
and in the year 2007-2008, the very reporting officer/reviewing authority
gave the below benchmark “Good” and before giving the below
benchmark ACR – “Good”, no opportunity was given to the respondent
to improve himself against the proposed below benchmark ACR, both,
the learned Tribunal as well as the High Court have rightly directed to
review the case of the respondent ignoring the below benchmark ACR of
the year 2007-2008.
4.2 Relying upon the decisions of this Court in the case of Dev Dutt
(supra), Abhijit Ghosh Dastidar (supra) and Sukhdev Singh (supra),
it is urged that as observed and held by this Court an opportunity to
make representation against the adverse remarks/below benchmark has
to be given within a reasonable time. That in the present case, such an
opportunity was not given within a reasonable time and even otherwise
on facts also when the very reporting officer/reviewing authority gave
“Very Good” in the previous years and in the subsequent year all of a
sudden gave below benchmark “Good”, it is rightly directed to ignore the
below benchmark “Good”.
5. Heard the learned counsel for the respective parties at length.
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6. In the present case, the learned Tribunal as well as the High Court
have directed the department to review the case of the respondent by
ignoring the below benchmark of “Good” in the year 2007-2008 mainly
on the following grounds:- (i) that in the earlier years, the very reporting
officer/reviewing authority awarded “Very Good” for the years 2005-2006
and 2006-2007 and the very reporting officer/reviewing authority has
given below benchmark “Good” for the year 2007-2008 and therefore the
same is arbitrary and there is no basis to award the below benchmark –
“Good”; (ii) that before the below benchmark ACR “Good” for the year
2007-2008, no opportunity was given to the respondent officer to
improve himself and no deficiency was pointed out; and (iii) that no
opportunity was given to the respondent officer to make representation
against the proposed below benchmark ACR of the year 2007-2008.
While giving the aforesaid findings and while arriving at the aforesaid
final conclusion, the Tribunal as well as the High Court have heavily
relied upon the decisions of this Court in the case of Sukhdeo (supra);
Dev Dutt (supra); Abhijit Ghosh Dastidar (supra) and Sukhdev
Singh (supra). However, on considering the aforesaid decisions, it
emerges that in the aforesaid cases, the adverse ACRs either were not
communicated at all and/or on facts found to be inconsistent and
suffering from lack of bona fides.
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6.1 In the case of Dev Dutt (supra), this Court has held in paragraphs
36 and 37 as under:-
“36. In the present case, we are developing the principles
of natural justice by holding that fairness and
transparency in public administration requires that all
entries (whether poor, fair, average, good or very good) in
the annual confidential report of a public servant, whether
in civil, judicial, police or any other State service (except
the military), must be communicated to him within a
reasonable period so that he can make a representation
for its upgradation. This in our opinion is the correct legal
position even though there may be no rule/G.O. requiring
communication of the entry, or even if there is a rule/G.O.
prohibiting it, because the principle of non-arbitrariness in
State action as envisaged by Article 14 of the Constitution
in our opinion requires such communication. Article 14 will
override all rules or government orders.
37. We further hold that when the entry is communicated
to him the public servant should have a right to make a
representation against the entry to the authority
concerned, and the authority concerned must decide the
representation in a fair manner and within a reasonable
period. We also hold that the representation must be
decided by an authority higher than the one who gave the
entry, otherwise the likelihood is that the representation
will be summarily rejected without adequate consideration
as it would be an appeal from Caesar to Caesar. All this
would be conducive to fairness and transparency in public
administration, and would result in fairness to public
servants. The State must be a model employer, and must
act fairly towards its employees. Only then would good
governance be possible.”
6.2 In the instant case, the respondent was graded as “Very Good” in
the ACRs for the years 2005-06 and 2006-07. However, in the year
2007-08 he was graded only “Good” despite the fact that for all the three
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years, the reporting and reviewing officer were same. In the case of Dev
Dutt Vs. Union of India - [(2008) 8 SCC 725], it was observed that all
entries in the ACR of a public servant must be communicated to him
within the reasonable period so that he can make a representation for
his upgradation despite there be no rule or government order to that
effect. Pursuant to the judgment in Dev Dutta (supra), OMs dated
14.05.2009 and 13.04.2010 were issued by the appellant herein. The
same are extracted as under:
“ANNEXURE P-2
No. 2101 1/1/2005-Estt (A) (Pt-II)
Government of India
Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions
(Department of Personnel and Training)
North Block, New Delhi, 14th May, 2009
OFFICE MEMORANDUM
Subject:- Maintenance and preparation of Annual
Performance Appraisal Reports-communication of all
entries for fairness and transparency in public
administration.
The undersigned is directed to invite the attention of the
Ministries/Departments to the existing provisions in regard
to preparation and maintenance of Annual Confidential
Reports which inter-alia provide that only adverse
remarks should be communicated to the ‘officer reported
upon for representation, if any. The Supreme Court has
held in their judgment dated 12.5.2008 in the case of Dev
Dutt vs. Union of India (Civil Appeal No. 7631 of 2002)’
that the object of writing the confidential report and
making entries is to give an opportunity to the public
servant to improve the performance. The 2nd
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Administrative Reforms Commission in their 10th Report
has also recommended that the performance appraisal
system for all services be made more consultative and
transparent on the lines of the PAR of the All India
Services.
2. Keeping in view the above position, the matter
regarding communication of entries in the ACRs in the
case of civil services under the, Government of India has
been further reviewed and the undersigned is directed to
convey the following decisions of the Government:
(i) The existing nomenclature of the Annual
Confidential Report will be modified as Annual
Performance Assessment Report (APAR).
(ii) The full APAR including the overall grade and
assessment of integrity shall be communicated to
the concerned officer after the Report is complete
with the remarks of the Reviewing Officer and the
Accepting Authority wherever such system is in
vogue. Where Government servant has only one
supervisory level above him as in the case of
personal staff attached to officers, such
communication shall be made after the reporting
officer has completed the performance assessment.
(iii) The section entrusted with the maintenance of
APARs after its receipt shall disclose the same to
the officer reported upon.
(iv) The concerned officer shall be given the opportunity
to make any representation against the entries and
the final grading given in the Report within a period
of fifteen days from the date of receipt of the entries
in the APAR. The representation shall be restricted
to the specific factual observations contained in the
report leading to assessment of the officer in terms
of attributes, work output etc. While communicating
the entries, it shall be made clear that in case no
representation is received within the fifteen days, it
shall be deemed that he/she has no representation
to make. If the concerned APAR Section does not
receive any information from the concerned officer
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on or before fifteen days from the date of disclosure,
the APAR will be treated as final.
(v) The new system of communicating the entries in the
APAR shall be made applicable prospectively only
with effect from the reporting period 2008-09 which
is to be initiated after 1st April, 2009.
(vi) The competent authority for considering adverse
remarks under the existing instructions may
consider the representation, if necessary, in
consultation with the reporting and/or reviewing
officer and shall decide the matter objectively based
on the material placed before him within a period of
thirty days from the date of receipt of the
representation.
(vii) The competent authority after due consideration
may reject the representation or may accept and
modify the APAR accordingly. The decision of the
competent authority and the final grading shall be
communicated to the officer reported upon within
fifteen days of receipt of the decision of the
competent authority by the concerned APAR
Section.
3. All Ministries/Departments are requested to bring to the
notice of all the offices under them for strict
implementation of the above instructions.
(C.A. Subramanian)
Director
ANNEXURE P-3
No. 21011/1/2010-Estt.A
Government of India
Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions
Department of Personnel & Training
North Block, New Delhi
Dated the 13th April, 2010
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OFFICE MEMORANDUM
Subject: Below Benchmark gradings in ACRs prior to
the reporting period 2008-09 and objective consideration
of representation by the competent authority against
remarks in the APAR or for upgradation of the final
grading.
The undersigned is directed to say that prior to the
reporting period 2008-09, only the adverse remarks in the
ACRs had to be communicated to the concerned officer
for representation, if any to be considered by the
competent authority. The question of treating the grading
in the ACR which is below the benchmark for next
promotion has been considered in this Department and it
has been decided that if an employee is to be considered
for promotion in a future DPC and his ACRs prior to the
period 2008-09 which would be reckonable for
assessment of his fitness in such future DPCs contain
final grading which are below the benchmark for his next
promotion, before such ACRs are placed before the DPC,
the concerned employee will be given a copy of the
relevant ACR for his representation, if any, within 15 days
of such communication, it may be noted that only below
benchmark ACR for the period relevant to promotion need
be sent. There is no need to send below benchmark
ACRs of other years.
2. As per existing instructions, representations against the
remarks or for upgradation of the final grading given in the
APAR (previously known as ACR) should be examined by
the competent authority in consultation, if necessary, with
the Reporting and the Reviewing Officer, if any while
considering the representation, the competent authority
decides the matter objectively in a quasi-judicial manner
on the basis of material placed before it. This would imply
that the competent authority shall take into account the
contentions of the officer who has represented against the
particular remarks/grading in the APAR and the views of
the Reporting and Reviewing officer if they are still in
service on the points raised in the representation vis-à-vis
the remarks/gradings given by them in the APAR. The
UPSC has informed this Department that the Commission
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has observed that while deciding such representations,
the competent authorities sometimes do not take into
account the views of Reporting/Reviewing Officers if they
are still in service. The Commission has further observed
that in a majority of such cases, the competent authority
does not give specific reasons for upgrading the below
benchmark ACR/APAR gradings at par with the
benchmark for next promotion.
3. All Ministries/Departments are therefore requested to
inform the competent authorities while forwarding such
cases to them to decide on the representations against
the remarks or for upgradation of the grading in the APAR
that the decision on the representation may be taken
objectively after taking into account the views of the
concerned Reporting/Reviewing Officers if they are still in
service and in case of upgradation of the final grading
given in the APAR, specific reasons therefore may also be
given in Inc order of the competent authority.
(C.A. Subramanian)
Director”
On perusal of OM dated 14.05.2009, it is noted that the new
system of communicating the entries in Annual Performance
Assessment Report (APAR) provides that the same should be
communicated within a period of fifteen days from the date of receipt of
the entries in the APAR. The new system is applicable prospectively
with effect from the reporting period 2008-09, which is initiated after
01.04.2009.
6.3 Further as per OM dated 13.04.2010, it has been stated that
the question of treating the grading in the ACR which is below the
benchmark for next promotion has been considered by the Department
15
and it has been decided that if an employee is to be considered for
promotion in a future DPC and his ACRs prior to the period 2008-09
which would be reckonable for assessment of his fitness in such future
DPCs contain final grading which are below the benchmark for his next
promotion, before such ACRs are placed before the DPC, the concerned
employee will be given a copy of the relevant ACR for his representation
if any, within fifteen days of such communication and only below
benchmark ACR for the period relevant to promotion need be sent.
There is no need to send below benchmark ACRs of other years.
7. In the instant case, the below benchmark ACR reporting the period
from 01.04.2007 to 31.03.2008 was communicated to the respondent
vide communication dated 08.06.2010 in respect of which representation
was made by the respondent on 19.06.2010. The same was rejected as
per the communication dated 01.10.2010. According to the respondent,
the reviewing officer was due for retirement on 31.03.2008 and the
respondent submitted self-appraisal report on 15.04.2008 for the period
01.04.2007 to 31.03.2008 and reporting officer graded as “Good” on
17.04.2008. Further, reviewing officer signed and accepted the same
without any date in spite of fact that he had retired on 31.03.2008 as per
Annexure A-6 to the application filed by the respondent before the
Tribunal. According to the respondent, his representation was not being
objectively considered. In the circumstances, Departmental Screening
16
Committee subsequently assessed him unfit for grant of promotion i.e.,
grant of NFU in SAG of ITS Group-A.
8. The Tribunal on perusal of Annexure A-4/being ACRs for three
years i.e., 2005-06, 2006-07 and 2007-08 has noted that for the year
2007-08 highly damaging remarks have been recorded by the same
reporting authority and endorsed by the same reviewing authority. The
remarks are totally opposite to those entered by the same authority
previous years. The comparison of the remarks made in the ACRs for
the year 2007-08 and for the years 2005-06 and 2006-07 have been
made and extracted in paragraphs 4 and 5 of the order of the Tribunal.
The same are extracted as under:
“4. We agree with the respondents that an officer need
not earn the same grading every year and the grading
could be different each year based on his performance. If,
this was not the case, the whole purpose of an annual
assessment would stand defeated. However, a careful
perusal of the copies of ACRs produced by the applicant
at Annexure A/4 for the 3 years i.e. 2005-06, 2006-07 &
2007-08 shows that in the year 2007-08 highly damaging
remarks have been recorded by the same reporting
authority and endorsed by the same reviewing authority.
Even in regard to matters which could be regarded as
personal attributes as different from performance
parameters – such as communication skills, capacity for
appraisal, ability to weigh pros and cons before taking a
decision, organizing capability, domain knowledge in
respect of the area of work etc. the remarks appear to be
virtually the opposite of those entered by the same
authority in the previous years. To illustrate, the reporting
17
authority had entered the following remarks in his ACR of
2005-06, 2006-07 and 2007-08 :-
ACR comments for the year 2005-06:
He has very good knowledge of technical field.
Also level of application of related instructions
was also very good. He has very good
knowledge of administrative matters and his level
of application related instruction was very good.
He was willing to assume responsibility. He has
very good organizing capability, motivating ability
and timely and proper guidance giving capability.
He has very good capacity/resourcefulness to
anticipate problems in advance and to take
action to handle such situations as well as
unforeseen situations. He has very good quality
of decision making and is able to weigh pros and
cons of alternatives. He has good capability of
communication and present arguments in oral
and written way. He has very good skill and
capacity of evaluating and recording
performance of subordinates in an impartial and
objective manner.
ACR Comments for the year 2006-07:
He has very good technical knowledge. He has
very good administrative knowledge. He has very
good capacity to set targets. He can anticipate
change, understood environment and contributed
new ideas. He was generally willing to assume
responsibilities. He has very good organizing
capacity and was able to motivate and provide
timely and proper guidance to subordinates. He
could handle unforeseen situations at his own
and was willing to take responsibility. He has
good skill and capacity in evaluating and
recording performance of subordinates in an
impartial and objective manner.
5. As against the aforesaid remarks, ACR of the officer for
the year 2007-08 contains following remarks recorded by
the same authority:
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Technical knowledge is good. Financial
knowledge is poor. Administrative knowledge is
very poor particularly in tender work/rulings
application. He was always have to be chased to
set targets for himself and subordinates. He
hardly understood the environment in anticipating
change and contributing new ideas/methods of
work he was just average. He was never willing
to assume responsibility, had poor organizing
capacity and was average in motivating/providing
timely and proper guidance to staff. He was
incapacitated and very poor in anticipating
problems and handle unforeseen situations on
his own. He was never willing to take additional
responsibility and new areas of work. He had
very poor decision making quality and also very
poor in weighing pros and cons of alternatives.
He has average ability to communicate and
present arguments in written and poor in verbal.”
6. It would be clear from remarks entered for the year
2007-08 that they were clearly adverse which warranted
communication to the officer within the time limits
prescribed to enable him to submit his representation.
Many of the remarks were the exact opposite of the
positive attributes found in him in the previous years by
the same authority. Admittedly, remarks were not
communicated to the applicant within the time limits
prescribed for such communication under the prevailing
rules governing ACRs. There is also no evidence of the
attention of the officer being drawn during the year itself
to his falling standards along with necessary
caution/advice so as to give him a chance to improve.”
8.1 The Tribunal has also noted that adverse remarks were not
communicated to the respondent herein within the time limits prescribed
for such communication under the prevailing rules governing the ACRs.
Further attention of the officer was not drawn during the year itself, to
supposed falling standards along with necessary caution/advice so as to
19
give him a chance to improve. The Tribunal has further noted that it is
not the case of below benchmark grading but a case of recording
adverse remarks in the extreme. That the representations made by the
respondent were not considered objectively, dispassionately, and fairly
as there were contradiction in the qualities or attributes communicated in
the said ACRs which were wholly contradictory to each other. In the
circumstances, the Tribunal held that “adverse remarks made for the
year 2007-08 were sweeping, extreme, and inconsistent with the
previous remarks. Hence it was held that the rejection of the
representation was unjustified and the same was set aside. It was
further observed by the Tribunal that the assessment of 2007-08 were
clearly arbitrary and inconsistent and ought not to be allowed to stand in
the way of proper assessment of the respondent by the Screening
Committee for his suitability to be promoted to a higher grade. Hence, a
direction was issued to the Screening Committee to consider and
reassess the suitability of the respondent herein for the purpose of grant
of SAG by excluding the ACR of 2007-08 and if the respondent was
found suitable for grant of consequential benefits. Against the order of
the Tribunal the Union of India, the appellant herein preferred a writ
petition before the High Court, which reiterated what had been observed
by the Tribunal in paragraph 6 of its order and dismissed the writ
petition.
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9. On perusal of what has been extracted by the Tribunal from the
ACRs of 2005-06, we note that the respondent has been graded as
“Very Good” since he has very good knowledge in technical field as well
as of administrative matters; willing to assume responsibility; has good
organizing capability; motivating ability and timely and proper guidance
giving capability. The respondent has the capacity/resourcefulness to
anticipate problems in advance as well as unforeseen situations. He has
very good quality decision-making ability and is able to weigh pros and
cons of alternatives and good capability of communication and present
arguments in oral and written manner and good skill and capacity of
evaluating and recording performance of subordinates in an impartial
and objective manner.
Similarly in the remarks for the year 2006-07, it has been written
that the respondent has very good technical knowledge as well as
administrative knowledge. He has very good organizing capacity and
was able to motivate and provide timely and proper guidance to
subordinates. He has good skill and capacity in evaluating and
recording performance of subordinates in an impartial and objective
manner.
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As against the aforesaid favourable remarks for the previous two
years, in the year 2007-08 it has been stated that though the technical
knowledge of the respondent is good, his financial and administrative
knowledge is poor; that he has hardly understood the environment in
anticipating change; that he was never willing to assume responsibility,
and had poor organising capacity and cannot anticipate problems and
unforeseen situations and does not take additional responsibility and
has poor decision-making quality and average ability in communication
and presenting case problems.
10. Therefore, in view of the above and in the facts and circumstances
of the case and considering the fact that though the respondent was
graded as “Very Good” in the ACRs for the years 2005-2006 and 2006-
2007 and was graded only “Good” in the ACR for the year 2007-2008 by
the very same reporting and reviewing officer, despite the fact that
specifically the respondent was given the opportunity against the ACR
for the year 2007-2008. However, no valid reasons are given for
rejecting the representation, we are of the opinion that in view of the
aforesaid facts and circumstances, the learned Tribunal and the High
Court have not committed any error in directing the Department to call
for a review meeting of the Screening Committee to re-assess the
suitability of the respondent for the purpose of grant of SAG and while
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doing so to exclude the ACR for the year 2007-2008. Therefore, in the
facts and circumstances of the case, no interference of this Court is
called for.
In view of the above and for the reasons stated above, present
appeal fails and the same deserves to be dismissed and is accordingly
dismissed.
………………………………….J.
 [M.R. SHAH]
NEW DELHI; ………………………………….J.
SEPTEMBER 23, 2022. [B.V. NAGARATHNA]
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