Today's Paper

Govt. implements SC order on seniority list

At least 50,000 employees will see changes in designation

In a move that implies major shifts in bureaucracy, the State government has asked its departments to implement the seniority list as directed by the Supreme Court. This would mean that while thousands of general category employees will be promoted, many employees belonging to the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes will have to be demoted to accommodate the general category employees.

According to sources in the government of the about six lakh government employees, at least about 50,000 will see changes in their designations --- either with a promotion or a demotion. The departmental promotion committee will now screen the eligible candidates for promotion. The government has also sought a list of those to be demoted to see how the issue can be handled. The government had sought extension of time to implement the seniority list after the Supreme Court, in February 2017, struck down the provision of consequential seniority (which ensured reservation in promotions to SC/ST employees). Since then, the government had sought time from the Supreme Court thrice. The court had on March 20 set a one-month deadline to implement the order.

Circular

On Tuesday, the Department of Personnel and Administrative Reforms issued a circular asking departments to notify seniority list and also collate list of officials who will have to be demoted. In the same circular, it also withdrew the order that had asked departments to withhold any fresh promotions.

The issue over consequential seniority had taken a political turn with government introducing a Bill to prevent any demotion of SC/ST employees, citing a committee report that favoured continuation of the scheme to bring a balance in bureaucracy. Both the Houses of the legislature had passed the Bill unanimously. The Governor has referred the Bill to the President for his assent, which is yet to happen.

“The Chief Secretary was asked by the Supreme Court to implement the order within one month on March 20,” said a source. The Election Commission has also been informed about the development since the model code of conduct is in force, added the source.

The concept of consequential seniority has been followed in the State since the late 1970s to give adequate representation to SC/STs in various cadres.

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