Communicate all ACRs to staff: HC - ECAS Punjab

Communicate all ACRs to staff: HC

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Saurabh Malik

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 25

In a significant judgment that could change the

way annual confidential reports (ACRs) are communicated to employees, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has made it clear that all reports, including average, were required to be communicated.

Petitioner's contention

  • The petitioner claimed he was graded "average" in the ACRs for relevant years but the reports were never communicated "on account of instructions in vogue at that time".
  • He contended that the ACRs were used to deny him the benefit of placement in the higher pay scale under the assured career progression scheme.

The ruling by Justice Anil Kshetarpal came in a case where the employee claimed he was graded "average" in the ACRs for relevant years but the reports were never communicated "on account of instructions in vogue at that time".

In his petition against the State of Punjab and other respondents, Dr Harinder Kumar's counsel Gagneshwar Walia contended that the ACRs were used against the petitioner to deny him the benefit of placement in the higher pay scale under the assured career progression scheme. As the ACRs were not communicated to the petitioner, these could not be used against him to deny him the scheme's benefit, Walia contended.

Referring to a Supreme Court judgment, Justice Kshetarpal asserted it was considered appropriate by the apex court to allow the entries to be communicated to the appellant and give him/her an opportunity to make a representation in this regard.

It was noticed that only adverse remarks in the ACR were being communicated, as per relevant instructions/rules prevalent at that time. As such, directions were issued that all reports, including excellent, very good, good, average or adverse, should be communicated.

Justice Kshetarpal further added that the petitioner's claim for placement in the higher scale on the basis of the scheme was entirely dependent upon the remarks in ACRs for the relevant years. Unless those remarks were revised and upgraded, the petitioner could not claim entitlement to any relief.

As such, the court was of the opinion that the writ petition deserved to be disposed of by granting the petitioner the liberty to make a representation to the Principal Secretary, Department of Health and Family Welfare, Punjab, demanding copies of the uncommunicated ACRs used against him. The ACRs, if any, would be communicated within a month from receiving the representation. If he, in turn, made a representation against the entries, the Principal Secretary would decide it within two months thereafter, Justice Kshetarpal concluded.



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