Central Administrative Tribunal
Principal Bench, New Delhi.
New Delhi this the 7th day of July, 2006.
Honble Mr. Shanker Raju, Member(J)
Honble Mrs. Chitra Chopra, Member(A)
1. Sh. Ashok Maitreya,
S/o Sh. S.R. Maitreya,
R/o 10/169, Lodhi Colony,
2. Sh. A.K. Mishra,
S/o Sh. Hare Ram Mishra,
R/o 256/C, Pocket-C,
Mayur Vihar, Delhi-91. . Applicants
(through Sh. VSR Krishna, Advocate)
1. Union of India through
Ministry of Information & Broadcasting,
Government of India,
2. The Chief Executive Officer,
Prasar Bharati (B.C.I.),
II Floor, P.T.I. Building,
3. The Director General,
Broadcasting Corporation of India,
4. The Director General,
All India Radio,
Broadcasting Corporation of India,
New Delhi. . Respondents
(through Sh. A.K. Bhardwaj, Advocate)
Honble Mrs. Chitra Chopra, Member(A)
This application has been filed against the impugned order No. 11019/22/2005/S-III(Pt.) dated 24.6.2005 vide which the applicants, who were working on the post of Programme Executives on ad-hoc basis have been reverted to the post of Production Assistants purportedly in pursuance of orders issued vide D.G., AIRs Order No. 16/2005/SI(B) dated 25.02.2005. It is submitted that juniors to them in the grade of Transmission Executives are being promoted on ad-hoc basis to the post of Programme Executives, which is in violation of the statutory Recruitment Rules as also without conducting any DPC or assessing their suitability for the posts. It is further submitted that before reversion no show cause notice has been issued to them and as such the impugned order is illegal and bad in law. It is further submitted by them that Government cannot substitute one set of ad-hoc employees with another set of ad-hoc employees. Therefore, the impugned action of the respondents is discriminatory, arbitrary and mala fide and is in violation of Articles 14 and 16 of the Constitution of India.
2. Brief factual matrix of the case is that both the applicants were regularly appointed as Production Assistants during the years 1982-84 and on the recommendations of a duly constituted DPC they were promoted as Programme Executives on ad-hoc basis. Next promotion from the post of Production Assistant is to the post of Programme Executive and in terms of Rule 4A (1)(f) of the amended Rules of the All India Radio (Group-B Posts) Recruitment Rules, 1962 as amended in the year 1984, officers of both programme cadre as also that of the staff artists i.e. Production Assistants are eligible to be appointed. The applicants were appointed on ad-hoc basis as Programme Executives and have now been reverted to the post of Production Assistants vide the impugned order dated 24.6.2005.
3. Both the applicants possess the requisite qualifications and experience to be regularly promoted and vacancies were also available. However, the respondents, without convening any DPC, had illegally and arbitrarily promoted persons from the cadre of Transmission Executives on ad-hoc basis. It has been further contended that the persons sought to be promoted are very much junior to the applicants as the lists contained names of Transmission Executives who were regularly appointed only as late as in the year 1991 or even in 1992.
4. It has been further submitted that no show cause notices have been issued to the applicants before effecting the reversions.
5. Reliance has been placed on the decision of Apex Court in the case of State of Haryana Vs. Piara Singh (1992(4)SCC118) wherein it has been held that one set of ad-hoc promotees cannot be replaced by another set of ad-hoc promotees. Applicants have also cited decision in the case of Y.V. Rangiah Vs. J. Sreenivasa Rao (1983 SCC (L&S) 382) wherein it is held that respondents are expected to convene DPCs in accordance with the Recruitment Rules available at the time of availability of vacancies.
6. It is also clear from the record that some of the Production Assistants had earlier filed OA-420/1997 before the Jaipur Bench of the Tribunal and was referred to a Full Bench of that Bench. The Full Bench vide its order dated 7.7.2003 quashed Rule 4A()(f) of the All India Radio (Group-B) Recruitment Rules, 1962 and respondents were directed to re-draft the same in accordance with law.
7. Learned counsel for applicants has contended that the respondents, without making any amendment to the Rules, are now seeking to promote Transmission Executives to the post of Programme Executives on ad-hoc basis dehors the Recruitment Rules.
8. In the counter-affidavit, learned counsel for respondents has submitted at the outset that the Programme Executives of All India Radio and Doordarshan were reverted to their substantive post of Production Assistant/Transmission Executive vide order dated 25.2.2005 issued from Directorate General, All India Radio on the ground that DOP&T had not granted extension of ad-hoc promotion of the applicants/Programme Executives beyond 31.12.2004. Later on, however extension of ad-hoc promotion was granted only upto 30.6.2005.
9. Learned counsel for respondents contended that the applicants had not submitted any representation against the impugned promotion order dated 25.2.2005 and had thus not exhausted departmental remedies. While strongly opposing the claim and contention of the applicants he has submitted that there is a major difference in the recruitment of Transmission Executives and Production Assistants. By way of factual position of the rules, it is submitted that the Transmission Executives in All India Radio/Doordarshan Kendras are recruited on the basis of open competitive examination conducted by Staff Selection Commission and their seniority are to be determined and maintained in order of merit secured by the selected candidates as per provisions contained in DOP&T O.M. No.22011/7/86-Estt.(D) dated 3.7.1986. This was also directed by this Tribunal that the seniority lists of Transmission Executives be redrawn as per Staff Selection Commission and DOP&T guidelines, which was duly complied with. Whereas the Production Assistants are locally recruited by the Head of Office of All India Radio stations and Doordarshan Kendras and as such there is no involvement of the UPSC/SSC in their recruitment.
10. Prior to 6.3.1982, Production Assistants were engaged on contract basis and they belonged to Staff Artists category. These Production Assistants were made eligible for promotion to the post of Programme Executives by the Recruitment Rules notified on 23.10.1984 on the basis of their year to year strength. As posts of this category became vacant due to non-induction after 1984 and these posts were added to the strength of Transmission Executives, reducing cadre of Production Assistants to a dying Cadre with the number diminishing due to their promotion in higher grade of Programme Executives. However, the factum of diminishing ratio of Production Assistants was not taken into consideration and consequently they got unjustified advantage by way of promotion over the Transmission Executives. The entire matter had to be rationlized and this required detailed and thorough examination The respective strength of the Production Assistants and Transmission Executives in position as on the date of the subsequent ad-hoc promotion was taken into consideration. Adoption of this ratio would invariably entail reversion of some ad-hoc promotees who did not come within the ratio. Learned counsel further contended that the aforementioned exercise was not only necessary to safeguard the abolition of posts but had to be adopted with a view to cater for promotion of both the cadres to JTs grade as both the cadres happen to be feeder cadre for promotion to the post of Programme Executives.
11. Learned counsel has further submitted that so far as re-drafting of the Recruitment Rules is concerned, it is an independent and separate exercise, whereas the prayer of the applicants in OA-420/1997 is concerned, the Tribunal did not allow the same but directed rationalization of the Recruitment Rules. The direction of the Tribunal is as under:-
11. During the course of the arguments, it was admitted by the learned counsel for the applicants that the applicants have also been given promotion. It has, however, not come on record from which date the applicants have been given promotion to the post of P.Ex. and from which date the private respondents were given promotion on adhoc basis. What is stated in O.A.No. 420/97 at para 4.(iv) is that, Shri Bohra was given promotion on adhoc basis vide order dated 24.02.94. The dates of adhoc promotion of other private respondents have not been given. In any case, the applicant have not challenged the order dated 24.02.94 or any order giving promotion to the private respondents on adhoc basis. Even in the relief clause it has not been prayed that the applicants should be given promotion from a particular date. Therefore, the applicants cannot succeed in getting promotion with effect from 24.02.94.
12. We have carefully considered the rival contentions of the learned counsel for the parties and have perused the material placed on record. It would be appropriate at the outset to observe that according to the All India Radio (Group-B Posts) Recruitment Rules, 1984 the post of Programme Executive is to be filled up in the following manner:-
(i) 25% by promotion failing which by direct recruitment.
(ii) 75% by direct recruitment.
Note 1: For a period of first 5 years from the date of commencement of these rules, the promotion quota shall be 40% and direct recruitment quota 60%.
Note 2: The vacancies against (ii) above will be filled on the basis
of language requirements of posts and recruitment will be made in
accordance with the scheme of examination/selection test as prescribed by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting in consultation with the Union Public Service Commission from time to time.
13. Various categories of Assistant Editors as well as Transmission Executives and Production Assistants constitute the feeder cadre for promotion to this post. As both these cadres constitute feeder cadre for the higher post, it is necessary that some ratio according to the respective cadre strength in the lower posts be maintained so as to retain parity between both the categories for promotion to the higher post. It is not the intention in any rule where promotion to a post is made from a number of sources, that anyone cadre should get undue advantage over the other one. To this extent the exercise adopted by the respondents for promotion to the post of Programme Executives on the basis of respective cadre strength appears to be justified and in order.
14. In so far as reversion of the applicants is concerned, it is not in dispute that they were granted ad-hoc promotion. It is also settled law that ad-hoc promotion does not confer any right to be regularized. We are, therefore, unable to agree with the contention of applicants that their reversion was unjustified. It is apparent that once a ratio is being adopted for promotion from both the channels/cadres, the applicants would no doubt get their promotion according to their respective seniorities and in their due turn.
15. In view of the above discussion, we find no merit in the contentions of applicants. Accordingly, the present Original Application is dismissed. No costs.
(Chitra Chopra) (Shanker Raju)