Friday, November 4, 2011

Circular dt. 1.11.2011 on Promotion related matters

                                                           Dated: 1.11.2011
Dear Comrades,            
     A broad look at the issues delaying promotions and the stand of  ITEF

    Many of Our members are waiting for their long over due promotions and there seems to be no end to their wait with the never ending litigations. Through this circular our endevour is to place before our members in correct perspective the chronology of events, the stand of the ITEF and efforts made to overcome the situation created by the court cases so as to have a clear idea of the situation in which we are placed today.

   As you are aware the Mumbai CAT through its order in the month of January, 2011, directed the department to implement the OM dated 10.8.2010 within 4 months and stayed all promotions till then.  On the issue of consideration zone CAT also stayed the promotion for 29 vacancies of ITO. However, the Board issued a circular and clarified that the OM of August, 2010 is not applicable to Income Tax Department against which a fresh OA was filed in Mumbai CAT in the month of March. In the meanwhile after consistant pressure put by the ITEF the Mumbai administration filed MA for vacation of stay in the month of May. The CAT however ruled that vacation of stay is not required as the case is in the final stage of hearing. In the month of July, 2011 the hearing in the Original appeal was completed and CAT, Mumbai reserved the order and hence the stay continued.

   In the meanwhile, the Federation demanded that ad-hoc promotions should be issued in the post of ITO in the light of the ongoing litigations and stay on promotions. However, inspite of series of negotiations, the administration was reluctant to accept our suggestion. In the light of  the negative attitude of the Mumbai   admn.  the ITEF decided to embark on agitation from the month of July, 2011 along with other 14-point demands. The Mumbai CCIT referred the matter to the CBDT even though the Federation was of the view that this was unnecessary. However,  after the agitation was commenced the admn. deputed officers to get a direction from the CBDT for effecting ad-hoc promotions. In the background of the agitation the CCIT had a full- fledged meeting with the Federation representatives on 4th August, 2011. In the meeting it was informed that the admn. has got a favourable legal opinion and the CBDT has also approved the proposal for ad-hoc promotion to the post of ITO and on other issues too the outcome was positive. You may recall that on the basis of this development the agitation was called off in the month of August.

   However, when the department was in the process of going ahead with effecting ad-hoc promotions the CAT, Mumbai delivered its judgment in August itself directing the department to implement the OM within 2 months and avoid further promotions till then, bringing  to naught our efforts to get at least ad-hoc promotions to the cadre of ITO.

   We have always been taking the consistent stand that all vacancies should be filled up whatever way the department feel it can be done as per the rules. When the CAT decision came our efforts was to ensure that the implementation of OM from 1997 was expedited. In this regard we met the CCIT on various occasions and suggested that additional man power may be posted in the office of Addl.CIT(HQ)Pers. so that the data from 1997 to 2001 can be prepared as the data from 2002 to 2007 was already available. By the time the addlCIT(HQ)pers.  was in the final stages of  compilation of the data another development in the form of the Judgement of Punjab & Haryana High Court came.  The Punjab & Haryana High Court quashed the OM dated 10.8.2010.  When we met the CCIT after this development there seems to be no clear stand on the issue. The CCIT was of the view that since it was having an all India ramification the CBDT should give some direction.

   Since no direction was forthcoming from the CBDT, we requested to the CCIT to go ahead with the implementation of OM as per the CAT, Mumbai direction so that promotions can take place. Subsequently, the data was finalized by the Addl.CIT(HQ)Pers and given to the Addl.CIT(HQ)Admn. Office.  In the meanwhile, the Board directed the Mumbai CCIT to challenge the penalty imposed by CAT in the High Court after taking legal opinion. The dept. counsel gave opinion to challenge the CAT order in toto.    
  In view of this development in the month of October, 2011, as per the direction of the CBDT the Mumbai CCIT filed a Writ Petition in the Mumbai High Court challenging the order of CAT, Mumbai and the admn. seems to be going slow on the issue of implementation of the CAT order.  The ITEF on the basis of our understanding of the situation, through a letter demanded that the promotions should be effected either by implementing the OM or holding regular DPC in par with promotions effected during the last 3 years on which there was no dispute. We had also given an ultimatum to the CCIT, Mumbai to issue promotion in all cadres before 31.10.2011 failing which we will be forced to go on agitation from the 1st of Novemer. The CCIT in turn assured us that promotion orders will be issued before Diwali.

   However, in a surprise development another stay order on promotions came from the CAT on 21.10.2011. But the DPC for promotions for the post of LDC, NS, DB, Peon, SCD etc had already taken place on 20.10.2011. But uncertainty prevailed over the promotion to the post of Inspector etc eventhough the DPC meeting was to take place on 24.10.2011. The Federation had a clear-cut view on this issue which was conveyed to the Addl.CIT(HQ)Pers. and we are happy that the admn. has held DPC and issued promotion order to the post of Inspector today (1.11.2011.) We are of the considered opinion that bringing stay on promotions is un-called for as it will have adverse affect on the career advancement of our members only. Moreover, any judicial pronouncement can be implemented at any point of time by holding review-DPC. In the present scenario this legal battle may prolong and settle only in the Supreme Court and the ITEF cannot subscribe to the stand that till such time no promotion should take place.

   The  Admn. filed MA before the CAT for vacating the stay on  promotion on the same day i.e. 21.10.2011 which was fixed for hearing on 31.10.2011. However, the matter was subsequently adjourned for 14.11.2011. The writ filed by the department is also coming up for hearing in the Mumbai High court on 8.11.2011. This is as far as the legal developments are concerned.

   From the above it can be seen that the ITEF has taken a consistent and principled stand on the issue of promotions that promotion should be effected in time and as per rules. We have always tried to take all sections of our members along in the struggle we waged till date. The promotion is an issue of importance for the members waiting for their promotions for years, irrespective of which region, religion etc they belong. However it must be understood that this is only a passing phase. The regular promotion every year brings relief to a limited number of people.  As happened in 2001, if today the situation has to undergo a change and bring about large scale promotions, it can only be achieved through the cadre restructuring which is still pending with the Govt.  The cadre restructuring is expected to create large number of posts triggering promotions which can  wipe out the long waiting lists. In order to achieve this task we have to have strong organization and a sustained and militant struggle in the days to come.

   Therefore, we caution all our members to guard against elements that are waiting for an opportunity to disrupt our Unity. ITEF is not a one issue organization. We have many issues concerning our members that calls for sustained struggles. A strong and united organization alone can spearhead the struggle in the coming days for a better career in the department. The endeavor of each and every one of us in this situation is not to be carried away by misinformation campaign being spread by vested elements, but stand united beyond caste, creed, religion and region under the banner of Income Tax Employees Federation which alone can take you to a better future. In conclusion we can assure you that our efforts for getting promotions and other issues achieved will continue in right earnest. We seek the co-operation and support of each and every member of our Federation so that we can succeed and march forward unitedly with resolute determination to win many more battles ahead.

With greetings,
                                                                                               Yours fraternally,
                                                                                             Ravindran B Nair)
                                                                                            General Secretary.

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