Hon’ble Supreme Court of India has pronounced the Judgment order dated 28.01.2022 in Jarnail Singh vs Lachchmi Narain Gupta in the issue relating to reservation in promotion for SCs & STs.
The Supreme Court on Friday delivered the judgment on the issue relating to reservation in promotions. The Centre and States had urged the Hon’ble Supreme Court to settle the confusion regarding the norms for reservation in promotions saying that several promotions/appointments have been stalled due to ambiguities. A Bench of Hon’ble Justices L Nageswara Rao, Sanjiv Khanna and B.R.Gavaihad reserved judgment on October 26, after hearing the matter. As per report, the bench made following pronouncements today:
- Court cannot lay down any yardstick to determine inadequacy of representation.
- State is obligated to collect quantifiable data regarding adequacy of representation.
- Cadre should be unit for collection for quantifiable data for reservation. The collection cannot be with respect to the entire class/class/group, but it should be relatable to Grade/Category of post to which promotion is sought. Cadre should be the unit for collecting quantifiable data. It would be meaningless if collection of data is w.r.t. the entire service.
- The Nagaraj Judgment of 2006 would have a prospective effect.
- The conclusion in BK Pavitra (II) approving the collection of data on the basis of groups and not cadres is contrary to the dictum in Jarnail Singh.
With the recognition of ‘cadre’ as the unit for collection of quantifiable data, the court set aside its earlier judgment in the B.K. Pavithra case.
“As far as B.K. Pavithra case is concerned, we have held that the conclusion of this court approving the collection of data on the basis of groups and not cadres is contrary to the law laid down by the Supreme Court in Nagaraj and Jarnail Singh judgments,” Justice Raopronounced. The court further left it to the State to assess the inadequacy of the representation of SCs and STs for promotional posts by taking into account the relevant factors.
A review had to be conducted regarding the data for the purpose of determining the inadequacy of representation in promotions, the court ordered. The court left it to the Union government to fix a “reasonable” time for the States to conduct the review.
AIGETOA writes to the CMD BSNL for immediate discontinuation of Look After arrangements and issuance of only Regular Promotion in all Grades/Streams. The letter highlights that if reservation applicability is a matter sub judiceas per management, which is stopping the regular promotions in these grades, then Look After Arrangements in AGM/DGM grades should also be stopped immediately as Reservation in Promotion Guidelines are similarly applicable on look after arrangements also. Otherwise, Regular Promotion in AGM/DGM grades should also be issued using the same methodology as being done in case of Look After arrangements.
The matter of AGM(Telecom) Promotion is lingering since long time due to reservation issue as stated by the management and there is no definite time frame for its solution. So, the only gradeas a onetime measure by using combined strength of AGM/DGM in Telecom and meeting shortfall through creation of few more posts and by introduction of stagnation criteria of 8 years in SDE/AO equivalent grades. This will overcome the legal hurdle of reservation in promotion and it will meet the requirement of the department as well as it will motivate these executives to further give their best, which will ultimately result in overall improvement in productivity of the organisation. Merger discussion of BBNL in BSNL is also in advance stage and so the promotion in AGM(T) grade will become very useful for smooth takeover of the vast network of BBNL as well as its monitoring and maintenance. Further this merger of BBNL will require creation of additional number of posts also to take over the operational requirements. So this Promotion in AGM(Telecom) grade will be a win-win situation for both the employees as well as management.
Accordingly, the association demanded immediate discontinuance of Look After arrangements and issuance of only regular promotions across all Grades/Streams. The Association also demanded immediate initiation of activities for promotion of all Eligible SDEs to AGM (T) and AOs to CAO grades to overcome the legal hurdle of reservation and give adequate career progression to BSNL Executives.
AIGETOA Demanded immediate conduction of supplementary DPC and issuance of Promotion Order with the same date notionally of the left out candidates in various categories as per available Roster Positions in JTO to SDET grade for the recently issued SDET Promotion Orders dated 30.12.2021. This matter was raised immediately after issuance of the promotion order on 30th Dec, 2021 with authorities after getting inputs from field units. It is important to note that JTO to SDE(T) promotion for 945 JTOs under 67% DPC Quota was issued on 30.12.2021 for the vacancies upto January-2020 but it was found that some cases have been left over as per roster position and the same was taken up with the management. It was apprised to us that these cases will be look into and addressed after completing formalities of pending documentation. More than three weeks have been passed since then and all the documents have now also been made available. Hence we have taken up the issue to complete the process and issue the order without further delay.
AIGETOA has demanded immediate conduction of LDCE against 33% Quota for the promotion in JTO to SDE(T) grade against all pending vacancies upto current date to allow all aspirant JTOs to appear in the exam for SDE (T) promotion.
The association has also taken up the issue for conduction of LICE for the promotion from JE to JTO(T) which is pending since Vacancy Year 2018-19 and creating serious demotivation in the JE Grade.
AIGETOA also writes to the Director HR for central collection of relevant data of all Rule-8 Transfer Cases of JTOs/JAOs along with the sanction strength, Excess and Shortfall in the Circle through Online Portal. After collection of the data, a central instruction should be issued for clearance of all Rule 8 Cases and the shortfall if any in the any Circle can be met out by calling of volunteers for that Circle.
Flash News: As requested by AIGETOA, BSNLCO is seeking the status of Rule 8 cases from all the circles. The letter for Rule 8 cases wrt JEs has been issued today. The letter with regard to status of Rule 8 cases pertaining to JTOs is also being issued in a day or two.
With this initiative pendency in the rule 8 waiting List is definitely going to be reduced.
GS AIGETOA writes to CMD BSNL regarding non-payment of ex-gratia and other terminal benefits at the pretext of vigilance clearance owing to pending personal cases (Other than departmental) in the court of competent jurisdiction.
Click here for letter
Total 55 cases payment of GTI for Executives and 10 Non executives have been approved by LIC and fund has been transferred to BSNL account. Bsnl HQ has credited the same into nominee account through concerned circle finance team.
Apart from it 19 cases of executives and 26 cases of non executives are pending at LIC end. LIC will provide the fund corresponding to them in coming days.
It’s time to Change the Thought Process and shed the EGO
As SNEA preferred to part way from the Forum of Executives Association and went ahead ignoring the decisions taken and signed with MoU with AIGETOA. Still, we never uttered anything negative against them in view of the larger cause associated with united struggle. Despite themselves negating the coalition ethics as usual, we were respectful towards their call , but recent updates on their website clearly proves the fact that the political interests stand much ahead of executive fraternity’s need and interests.
Let us have a close check on the difference of stand and the present status.
Time bound Functional Promotions to executives:
The matter which AIGETOA has been demanding from 2007-08 onwards as a contemporary CPSU hierarchy and in fact AIGETOA only has coined this term in BSNL. We in fact were the prime contributors in 2018 also with respect to the finalisation of the CPSU CH proposal and drafted the practical and acceptable solutions, however at the end, these practical suggestions were watered down by some vested interests to keep their ill motives of keeping BSNL Recruits away from promotions. We warned in advance about the inherent lacunae of the proposal and if not cleared , the policy implementation was bound to get stalled after the very first date of implementation. The same has been proved true as neither DoT nor management could move ahead with the implementation of the policy till date. AIGETOA always advocated for refinement of these proposals by making it compliant to DoP&T norms related to Reservation issue, inclusion of E2 as starting pay scale, removal of 12 years clause as residency period, inclusion of internal fast track mechanism etc in the proposal which was totally ignored and negated by the majority association at that time. We always maintained a stand that if these issues are not included, the implementation of the proposal can never occur and maintained the same stand in charter of demands also.
In the recent minutes issued to Joint forum, the non-viability of the implementation of BEPPRR-2018 is clearly and non-ambiguously mentioned by management. AIGETOA stand has been very clear while drafting the charter of demands that Reservation Guidelines, pay scales and internal fast track mechanism, need to be taken care of and provision for following Govt/ DoP&T guidelines on Reservation, protecting the Constitutional rights needs to be incorporated in the policy. It may also be noted that approved draft proposal of BEPPAAR -2018 have the mention that reservation cannot be extended, a point which was never highlighted by SNEA earlier.
Since the management has categorically stated that they can’t implement CPSUCH in its earlier approved form, alternate method proposed by AIGETOA for ensuring the Time bound Promotion was to go ahead with incorporation of the Maximum Stagnation criteria in all the RRs which will take care of the reservation guidelines as well as making the promotion time bound. This will cover all eligible executives promotion by filling up the available vacancies and the remaining persons once the vacancies are filled up being covered through maximum stagnation criteria. It also maintains the sanctity of reservation rules as executives are personally upgraded to the higher position by carrying their existing post in the higher grade.
Management accepted to explore this option of introducing the maximum stagnation criteria in AGM/CAO/Equivalent grade and also agreed to explore the option of reducing the stagnation criteria in SDE/equivalent grade as a part of the RR modification exercise. This exploration of the alternate method was also part of the agreed MoU between AIGETOA and SNEA but SNEA preferred to backtrack on the same. Our Sister Association is not at all ready to accept the alternate method which is more practical and feasible to implement and want to keep running behind the earlier approved proposal which has not moved even an inch forward.
The previous regime has already wasted 3 and half years in running after this CPSU CH mirage and putting everything to a halt and the only sufferer group were the BSNL Recruits and relatively young competitive quota people from the group absorbed from DoT. AIGETOA after assuming the charge has started with practical and acceptable methods and the result is slowly and steadily visible to all. We requested management to explore the options of executing the promotions in a time bound manner in the ambit of existing framework and we have succeeded in convincing the management for the same. We wanted to keep everyone on united platform while this change and future was re-written, however that unity was perhaps not acceptable to out sister association SNEA.
AIGETOA stand is very clear “ A Bird in hand in better than two on the bush “. Hence AIGETOA is always open to explore practical alternative methods and the results is very much in front of all executives: More than 4500 JTO executives got promoted to SDEs in Telecom ,civil, electrical and Architecture grades in just 6 months (reducing the JTO(T) stagnation from 21 years to 8 years barring few executives). This was being stopped in the name of CPSU CH for more than three years and was still tried to be derailed by them. Having accomplished one major milestone, now we have moved on to the next batches and very soon we will accomplish that. We want to remain practical and don’t want to build castle in the air like what our previous regime was doing.
Now we are moving towards executing the promotions in other grades of SDE/AO/DE/AGM/CAO/DGM equivalent and very soon we will achieve that also. We further reassure that nobody will be left behind and we will make all efforts to achieve the promotions for all the eligible ones.
Response from BSNL Management on the charter of demands and if implemented, the impact which it can make on the career of executives:
After discussion on the various demands raised by the forum, management has responded towards the demands as below:
a. Time bound promotions – The proposal of BEPARR-2018 is not feasible due to reservation matter – a categorical and unambiguous statement by management. Management agreed to consider reducing the stagnation period in JTO grade and incorporation of the stagnation criteria in other grade RRs as a part of the RR modification Exercise in consultation with the association.
If this stagnation criteria is implemented in line with what we envisage, the promotions for all existing as well as future batches will become time bound without violating the reservation guidelines. Through stagnation criteria, the existing post is carried forward to next grade through personal upgradation. As the executive carries his own roster position to the higher grade, the representation as per constitutional guidelines remains intact. Hence the post based and time bound promotion goes hand in hand and the sanctity of the constitutional provisions and government guidelines are also maintained.
Now it’s for executives to decide, which one is better – A policy which is more implementable, carries the same advantages as CPSU but is in line with government and DoP&T norms of reservation or a Policy which has not moved an inch forward despite presence of same board and same majority association for almost 2 years and still almost 4 years after approval with new board.
b. Restructuring Roll back – Instead of rolling back management agreed to consider the career progression aspect by agreeing for introduction of maximum stagnation criteria after discussion with association.
c. Implementation of Standard E2 and Standard E3 pay scales for JTO/JAO and SDE/AO Equivalent – The need is well accepted by management and management agreed to aggressively pursue with DoT to ensure E2 for JTO/JAO/Equivalent and E3 for SDE/AO/Equivalent grades. CMD BSNL Firmly agreed to pursue with DoT for early implementation. A positive result is expected in sight as this anomaly will be a big show stopper for BSNL/MTNL merger.
The Sister Association must explain how they propose to take care of the scale part by agreeing on CPSU CH. They have accepted E1 for JTO/JAO in CPSU policy and have also agreed to keep Sr SDE post at E3. If they say that E1 will be replaced by E2 for JTO/JAO/Equivalent and E3 for SDE/AO/Equivalent, are they asking for cascading effect with presence of Senior SDE post at E4 etc which will derail the whole process of resolution of standard pay scale issue for initial two scales. Hence it is quite clear that scale part cannot be resolved if the CPSU CH is implemented in its current form.
It seems our Sister Association once again wants to derail the Pay Scale issue in the name of this CPSU CH proposal. (It is worth mentioning here that they celebrated the victory of JTO scale degradation to E1 through JTO RR-2014 and agreed E1 Scale incorporation in BEPPAR-2018 ). Earlier, they agreed for E1A and E2A instead of E2 and E3 for JTO and SDE grades just to have their pie of securing pension liability from government. They tried to befool BSNL Recruits by telling that they have been able to secure EPF in lieu of this for BSNL Recruits while it is well known fact that EPF is statutory liability and BSNL Could have never avoided it. After this they again dumped the standard scales for JTO/JAO and SDE/AO Equivalent scales and 30 percent SAB at the time of implementation of 2nd PRC.
It was AIGETOA which kept the hopes alive, both through legal means as well as through organisational means. It was AIGETOA which challenged against degradation of scales and got a stay from Ernakulam. It was AIGETOA which won the standard pay scales case for BSNL Recruits at Chandigarh and ensured that benefits of E2 cannot be denied to them. It was AIGETOA which forced management to agree for E2 scales for JTO/JAO Equivalent and it is AIGETOA which has again brought the pay scale issue back to focus not only at BSNL but also at DoT.
If E2 scale is approved, majority of Pay issues will be resolved and the newly recruited and promoted JTOs/JAOs will be immensely benefitted.
We fail to understand why our sister association wants to derail the pay scale issue also in the quest of this non feasible CPSU CH.
d. Internal Fast track promotion & No lateral Entry above JTO/JAO – The need of internal fast track promotion was agreed upon by the management. They even have shown their affirmation to replacement of DR DGM Recruitment also by Internal Fast Track Mechanism by creating few more posts in internal fast track quota for reaching to DGM post.
AIGETOA is pursuing a firm and clear career progression plan for executives which envisages each and every BSNL executive to aspire for higher posts of SAG/HAG levels. If our young batches get the opportunity of becoming DGM on fast track basis, definitely they can reach to GM/CGM level with sufficient age on their side and can also aspire to BoD posts.
But it seems same is not very comfortable for our Sister Association SNEA as they want to continue with the existing MT RRs as requested by their CHQ OB in the forum meeting with management.
e. Regular DGM promotions & relaxations to CAO promotions, No LA/Adhoc etc
Management informed that the complexities involved in the regular promotions at CAO/AGM/DGM level because of pending SLP at Hon SC , the regular promotions can be feasible only after the judgment.
We suggested certain alternative course which can be taken to ensure these promotions and the methods by which an amicable settlement can come within the ambits of the legal restrictions. Management agreed to explore the possibility by seeking the legal opinion possibility for extending promotions in these grades at the earliest. The onetime relaxation for CAO promotion can be checked after such decision/ judgement as Management Committee is empowered to decide on amendments in the policy.
It seems that the same is also not acceptable to our sister association SNEA and the only song which they are singing is BEPPAR-2018 on 01-07-2018 ( Though the tune is changed now) despite knowing fully well that it cannot be implemented in the current form.
f. Settlement of SDE Reversal issue:
The matter will examined for early settlement through out of court discussions.
Perhaps this also was not acceptable to SNEA and that’s why instead of pursuing, they drifted away.
We would like to once again affirm and assure all the executives that we have made much greater inroads on to the career progression plan, pay issues resolution and the 30% sab. We sincerely hope that results of our efforts will be visible to all very soon. We do understand our responsibility and the fact that in case of any deviation from agreed decisions by management, we will immediately react with full vigour.
Claimants may be many but actual work is always done by us – THE AIGETOA and its followers.