Staff Reporter

BANGALORE: A section of engineers under the general category in the Public Works Department has approached the Karnataka Administrative Tribunal against the notification of the seniority list for promotion of Assistant Executive Engineers (Division 1) in the department under the Reservation Act also known as Karnataka Act 10 of 2002.

The State Government, after securing the nod of the Election Commission, notified the list on March 23, much to the dismay of many engineers of general category who now fear demotion. More than 100 engineers belonging to the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes category across all cadres in PWD are likely to be promoted while an equal number of general category engineers fear demotion.

When the Karnataka Act 10, known as Determination of Seniority of the Government Servants Promoted on the Basis of Reservation (to the posts in the civil services of the state) Act 2002, has been challenged in the Supreme Court, the Government should not have notified the list, they say.

“Once the list is given effect, either the existing engineers have to be demoted or government has to create additional posts, which will increase the financial burden. Deployment of personnel would also be a problem,” M. Nagaraj, president of Karnataka Government Engineers’ Association told The Hindu. “We are not against reservation in promotion. But, we are only questioning the Act, which provides for excessive representation of SC/ST in all promotional cadre,” he added.

The engineers, in their petition before the tribunal, have stated that the State Government has arbitrarily taken a decision in a hasty manner to publish the seniority list. The application stated that many are working as executive engineers from the last five years, and if the notified seniority list is operated not only would the rankings assigned to the applicants in the earlier list would be altered but also have the effect on the promotion affecting conditions of service.

Pending final decision of the applications, the engineers have sought quashing of notification of final list. Meanwhile, the Principal Secretary Public Works, Ports and Inland Water Transport Department has filed a caveat in KAT in this regard.