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Indian Forest Service officer challenges Gujarat's adverse ACR

Monday, 2 April 2012 - 3:49pm IST | Place: Ahmedabad | Agency: dna

A bench of CAT asked the state government to decide within eight weeks whether it intended to expunge the adverse remarks made in the ACR.

A bench of the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT), on Friday, asked the state government to decide within eight weeks whether it intended to expunge the adverse remarks made in the Annual Confidential Report (ACR) of Indian Forest Service (IFS) officer, KS Randhava. The 1993-batch officer is currently Deputy Conservator of Forests (DCF) in Bhavnagar.

Randhava had moved CAT against the adverse remarks made in his ACR of the year 2006-07 by the then Municipal Commissioner of Ahmedabad, IP Gautam. Randhava was then on deputation to the civic boy and was Deputy Municipal Commissioner (DyMC).

Randhava was twice denied promotion because of the adverse remarks in his ACR, though a departmental enquiry was conducted against him only after the adverse remarks were entered in his ACR.

When Randhava was with the civic body, Gautam had issued him a show-cause notice as he had disposed of 556 files in three days by dividing them into groups dealing with work worth Rs 25,000. Incidentally, Rs 25,000 is the financial limit for bills which can be sanctioned by a DyMC-level officer.

Gautam had asked him how he had divided the files into groups of Rs25000, and cleared 556 files in just three days. Randhava had replied to the show cause but Gautam did not find his reply 'satisfactory' and had entered adverse remarks in his ACR. The remarks had blocked the officer's promotion.

"We moved CAT in 2010 when the government did not pay heed to our repeated representations and sought that the adverse remarks in Randhava's ACR be expunged and the forest officer be given promotion," said KG Pillai, counsel for the IFS officer who appeared with senior counsel, Mukul Sinha.

"The CAT has directed the government to decide the matter within eight weeks and give him all consequential benefits," Pillai said.

Earlier, the counsels had submitted before the tribunal that the Reporting Officer (Gautam) cannot enter adverse remarks in the ACR merely on the basis of a show-cause notice. Even the departmental inquiry had not been initiated against him till then.

The allegations are baseless and without any material evidence, the lawyers had argued. He had done all the work according to the powers delegated to him and had not committed any irregularities, the counsels said, adding that the municipal commissioner had acted against him merely on assumption and presumption.

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