CAT quashes order rejecting promotion and directs reconsideration

Jammu, Oct 11: In a significant order, a Bench of Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) at Chandigarh comprising Sanjeev Kaushik (Member Judicial) and P. Gopinath (Member Administrative) has quashed Govt. Order No.355-FST of 2012 dated September, 12, 2012 whereby the Government of Jammu and Kashmir in Forest Department had rejected the case of IFS Officer Ruplal Bharti the then Chief Wildlife Warden (J&K) and Former Member PSC for his promotion to the level of Principal Chief Conservator of Forest (PCCF), J&K Government.
After hearing Advocate Sheikh Shakeel Ahmed appearing for the petitioner whereas Advocate Rohit Seth appearing for the State of J&K and Senior Central Government Standing Counsel Ram Lal Gupta appearing for the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Govt of India, a Bench of CAT headed by Sanjeev Kaushik (Member Judicial) while allowing the review petition filed by former PSC member Ruplal Bharti directed the State of J&K to accord reconsideration to the case of the petitioner for his promotion to the level of PCCF by passing a speaking /reasoned order in terms of Rule 4(2) of IFS Cadre Rules, 1966.
Advocate S S Ahmed further submitted that the petitioner has rendered requisite 30 years service in IFS Cadre as on 01.01.2006 and had made several representations to the Government of J&K for his promotion to the next higher post of the PCCF.
Advocate Ahmed further submitted that the petitioner was inducted as Member of the J&K Public Service Commission on 29.05.2006 and at that time the petitioner was serving as Additional PCCF/Chief Wildlife Warden J&K and had more than one year service in IFS cadre.
He further submitted that the State Government under Rule 4(2) of IFS Cadre Rules, 1966 is fully competent to create a supernumerary post for according the pay scale of PCCF in favour of the petitioner.
When the Review Petition filed by Former PSC Member came up for hearing, Advocate S S Ahmed appearing for the petitioner submitted that an error has crept in the Judgment dated February, 16 2018 passed by a Bench of CAT Chandigarh then headed by Justice M S Sullar (Member Judicial) since retired and Parveen Mahajan (Member Administrative) whereby instead of Govt. Order No.355-FST of 2012 dated September, 12, 2012 the CAT had quashed communication No.FST/Ser/304/78-199-IFS-R-I dated March, 3, 2010 (Annexure-E) and the instant review petition is seeking correction of the order so that Annexure-F i.e. Govt. Order No.355-FST of 2012 dated September, 12, 2012 is quashed whereby plea of the petitioner for his promotion to the level of PCCF had been rejected by the J&K Government.
Advocate S S Ahmed also invited the attention of the Bench to the prayer made in the original application and the Bench headed by Sanjeev Kaushik (Member Judicial) put a specific question to the Senior Central Government Standing Counsel Ram Lal Gupta regarding the error crept in the Judgment who candidly admitted that review petition deserves to be allowed as Govt. Order No.355-FST of 2012 dated September 12, 2012 needs to be quashed instead of Annexure-E i.e. Communication No.FST/Ser/304/78-1999-IFS-R-1 dated 03.03.2010.
After considering the submissions of both the sides, a Bench of CAT headed by Sanjeev Kaushik (Member Judicial) accepted the review petition filed by Former PSC Member and quashed Govt. Order No.355-FST of 2012 dated September, 12, 2012 and further directed State of J&K to accord reconsideration to the case of the petitioner in terms of Rule 4(2) of IFS Cadre Rules, 1966 for promotion to the next level of PCCF within a period of two months from the date of receipt of the certified copy of this order.
With these observations and directions the CAT disposed of the review petition filed by the petitioner Ruplal Bharti. (JNF)