Tuesday, September 2, 2014

F.No. AICEIA/Study Group/HRD/2014/13                       Date:01.09.2014                               
Shri Sanjai Srivastava,
The AAD (Policy),
DGHRD, Central Board of Excise & Customs,
409/8, Deep Shikha, Rajendra Place,
New Delhi-110 008.

         Sub: - Acute Stagnation in Group ‘B’ Executive grades:-Analysis of various options
                     available to address the problem - Reg.
Sir, Please refer to the minutes of the meeting held on 31.07.2014 issued vide letter F.No.8/B/194/HRD (HRM)/2013/3091 dated 21.08.2014.

                In the said meeting dated 31.07.2014, we had submitted our representation vide letter F.No. AICEIA/Study Group/HRD/2014/09 dated 31.07.2014 (copy enclosed). During the meeting, all the suggestions mentioned in our representation were discussed in very clear and convincing manner and many of them were accepted and agreed upon but the same have not been incorporated in the said Minutes.  We repeatedly requested thorough our various letters and categorically requested in the meeting to give some interim relief/report and the same was agreed by the department side but we do not find the same in the said minutes.  Further, we also requested the Study Group many times vide our letters even no. 07 dated 15.07.2014 and 09 dated 31.07.2014 (copies enclosed) and also requested during the meeting to submit the recommendations of the study group before the implementation of the same before Cadre Restructuring is rolled out in CBEC and if CR is rolled out without following the recommendations of the Study Group, there will be no meaning of the Study Group.  The Study Group has been formed by the CBEC pursuant to AICEIA taking up the matter with Revenue Secretary, Govt. of India who subsequently directed CBEC to address the problem of stagnation and regional disparity. Since, the CR has been rolled out without even waiting the recommendations of the Study Group, there are chances that problems of stagnation & regional disparity do not get redressed this time.  Hence, the very essence, spirit and efforts of the authority to constitute the Study Group will suffer and there is no meaning of the Study Group.

We had also requested to draw a detailed minutes, in which all of our submissions along with the views/actions required from the department side should be incorporated whether they are possible or not.   If any of our points is not practical, the reason of its impracticality must be incorporated in the minuets.  By going through the said minutes, it is crystal clear that some of our points have not found any place in the said minutes whether the same was agreed upon or not. 

It has been noticed that the said minutes is incomplete and appears as more of a brief based on memory than minutes of the said meeting. It is quite evident from the fact that our submissions like not to change the residency period for Inspectors of Central Excise for promotion to the Grade of Superintendent of Central Excise have no reflection in the said minutes.  Hence, it is requested to draw a fresh Minutes of the meeting held on 31.07.2014 in the office of DGHRD, Saket, New Delhi with the following points (with detailed views of department on every points), which were already discussed during the meeting and presented in written also:-

1.    Filling up of vacancies of the post of Superintendents of Central Excise arising out of the ongoing Cadre Restructuring exercise in the CBEC must be done in a manner which permanently removes the disparities among the 15 Cadre Control Zones in promotions of Inspectors to the Superintendent of Central Excise.
2.    Seniority of Inspectors must be drawn on All India basis: - On 9.12.1996 Hon’ble Apex Court pronounced the judgement in case of Radhey Shyam Singh & Others Vs Union of India & Others and quashed the Zonal Selection Process and directed to Conduct the examinations on All India Basis and thereby make selection on the basis of All India Merit List.  Hence, an All India Seniority of Inspectors must be adopted effective 1996 before implementation of Cadre Restructuring, which is also mandated by the DoPT’s OM dated 1986 (copy enclosed).  Further, the following points are important while deciding All India Seniority of Inspectors:-
i.                     The first batch of Inspector so selected by SSC belongs to 1996, who were selected after Re-examination taken by SSC based on the above said judgement of the Hon’ble Supreme Court and none of them have not got promotion in any zone, so far and thereby providing the hassle-free opportunity to the Board for implementing All India Seniority of Inspectors from 1996.
ii.                   CBEC had provided “All India Transfer Liability” to the Inspectors of Central Excise appointed on the basis of Combined Graduate Level Examination 2003, vide Board’s letter F.No. A. 32022/19/2008 - -Ad.III.A dated 19.11.2010 (copy enclosed). Accordingly, the OFFICE MEMORANDUM (appointment letter) issued to the Inspectors (CE) had been amended whereunder the Clause (xi) of the OFFICE MEMORANDUM (Appointment letter), as mentioned above, has been superseded by the following clause: - (xi) He/She is granted the provision of “All India Transfer Liability”.
iii.                  CBEC also provide “All India Transfer Liability” to the Inspectors of Central Excise appointed on the basis of SSC Graduate Level Examination, 2005 vide Board’s letter F. NO. A-12034/SSC/2/2008-AD.III(B) dated 28.07.2008 (copy enclosed).
iv.                 It is worthy to mention here that the above mentioned Terms & Conditions shall necessarily be treated as a part of their service condition and thereby a part of the Recruitment Rule for the said post, which has not been framed so far, in a long span of almost 12 Years.

v.                   It is to submit that, vide Board’s letter F. No. C 18013 /100 /2003   AD. III. B dated 24.10.2007, the post of Inspector (C. Ex.), Inspector ( P.O.), and Inspector ( Examiner)  under CBEC in the pay scale of  6500-10500 re-classified as Group ‘B’ Non- Gazetted w.e.f. 11.12.2003 but, no Recruitment Rule was made for the newly up-graded post of  Inspector (CE) (Gr. – B Non-gazetted), so far. The RR for the post of Inspector CE as Gr-B (NG) should have been made within 03 months in terms of DoPTs guidelines (Ref:-GUIDELINES ON FRAMING / AMENDMENT / RELAXATION OF RECRUITMENT RULES – issued by DOPT)

vi.                 The DoPT has also mandated the All India Seniority by way of deleting para 3.5 of the OM dated 03/07/1986 which provided the loss of seniority on Zonal Transfer. It was done by the DoPT vide OM dated 11.11.2010.

vii.                It is noteworthy to mention here that on the personnel policy matters, DoPT being nodal Department is required to be consulted by all administrative Ministries / Departments before issuing any instructions / guidelines relating to personnel policy matters of Central Government Employees. Thus, the OMs/guidelines issued by the DoPT may please be referred to, which legally and statutorily mandates the All India Seniority for the Inspectors CE, selected based on All India Merit list drawn by the selecting agency, i.e. SSC, in the light of Hon’ble Apex Court’s judgment dated 9/12/1996.

viii.              It is pertinent to quote here that Para 2.1 of D.O.P.T. O.M. Dated 03.07.1986 stipulates that in accordance with MHA O.M. No. 9/11/55-RPS Dated 22.12.59 “The relative seniority of all direct recruits is determined by the order of merit in which they are selected for such appointment on the recommendations of the UPSC or other selecting authority, persons appointed as a result of an earlier selection being senior to those appointed as a result of a subsequent selection”.
ix.                 From the same, it is quite clear that for all the direct recruits, selected by same exam, there has to be a single seniority list.  Also in the light of guidelines on Seniority Policy under DOPT’s O.M. No. 35014/2/80-Estt.(D) dated 7.2.1986 & O.M. No 22011/7/1986-Esstt. Dated 03/07/1986, no junior in selection made through ‘All-India-merit-list’ should be promoted before his/her senior of the same list. For the same, Seniority of Inspectors must be drawn on All India basis, effective 1996.
x.                   Promotion of any Inspector recruited under the All India Merit List, without taking into account of OMs/guidelines issued by the nodal Department may lead to flood of litigation and court cases all along.

In view of above, All India Seniority of Inspectors CE since 1996 batch (joined in 2003) is the only legitimate and judicious way out to eradicate intra-cadre disparity in promotion of Inspector CE to the post of Superintendent CE among different CCAs. This can easily be done by way of promoting all the Inspectors CE who belongs to Zonal-Selection process i.e. appointed prior to the above said judgement and for the All India Selection batches, All India Seniority can be done, without creating any administrative and statutory/legal crisis.

3.                   Suggestions on the Revision of Recruitment Rules of Superintendent of Central Excise and IRS (C&CE) was sent vide Association’s letter Ref. No. AICEIA/CBEC/RR/2014 dated 11.02.2014 (copy enclosed) should be considered before implementation of Cadre Restructuring.  The key point of the suggestions on revision of RR of IRS (C&CE) are as under, for ready reference:-
i.                     To address the regional disparity in promotion- The seniority of the officers in the eligibility list (for promotion to IRS) shall be prepared on the basis of combine length of service in the grades of Inspector of Central Excise and Superintendent of Central Excise or Inspectors and District Opium Officers/Intelligence Officers/Superintendent (Executive) in the Narcotics Department.  Since, the issue of stagnation is exceptional among all service, to check this issue exceptional remedies are needed.
ii.                   To improve the number of vacancies available for promotion at the lowest functional level of IRS (C&CE) and addressing the problem of Stagnation-Twenty five percent of vacancies in the Grade of Assistant Commissioner of Customs & Central Excise shall be filled by direct recruitment and seventy five percent of the vacancies shall be filled by promotion.  This is in line with the recruitment rule of India Postal Service and would increase the promotion prospects of Group-B cadres due to increase in the number of posts to be filled by promotion, as well as protect the direct recruits from stagnation.
4.                   A new organized service be created under the CBEC, for a start even with just Group “B” executives as part of it, if it is not considered possible immediately with Group “A” posts also in the new service to tap the vast pool of skilled and specialized work force available in the CBEC and to ensure time-bound promotions to these cadres also.
5.                   Promotion of all Inspectors, who have completed eight years of service: - We seek upgradation as Superintendent of Central Excise of all Inspectors in the country who have completed eight years of service.  This measure will not entail any significant burden on the exchequer since in any case Inspectors get entitled for salary of a Superintendent by way of MACPS on completion of 10 years of service.  As far as functional issues are concern, it is an undeniable fact that in almost all formations of the department there is practically no difference in the work of a Superintendent and Inspectors of Central Excise.  It is also pertinent to mention that in 1996-97, an upgradation of Inspectors to Superintendents was done with the sole purpose of mitigating the condition of stagnation obtaining then, which wasn’t as grave as it is today.  The copy of Board’s letter dated 10.09.1996 is enclosed herewith.
6.                   Merger/Unification of three Group “B” Executive Non-gazetted cadres into one cadre: -   The Director General (HRD), Customs & Central Excise also recommended the same saying that this is the most feasible option, as it has the potential to end forever the problem of inter-cadre disparities in promotional avenues in the said Inspector grade cadres [Copy of letter dated 07.05.2014 issued by the ADG (HRM) enclosed]. Letters submitted by this Association bearing F. No. AICEIA/Merger/HRD/2012/03 dated 19.05.2014 and even no. 02 dated 12.05.2014 is very germane to the issue at hand and the copies of the same are enclosed herewith for consideration accordingly.
7.                   Immediate scraping of any move to reduce Residency Period for promotion of Inspectors to the grade of Superintendents of Central Excise before All India Seniority for Inspector is brought in and all regional disparities in promotions within the cadre eliminated permanently.
In view of the above, it is requested to draw a fresh Minutes of the said meeting with the details views of the department on each and every point, as discussed in the said meeting.  Further, it is also to intimate that we have not received the minutes of the meeting held on 19.05.2014 in the office of DGHRD despite our several requests vide letters  F. No. AICEIA/Merger/HRD/2012/04 dated 12.06.2014, AICEIA/Merger/HRD/2014/05 dated 15.07.2014 and letter no. 06 dated 15.07.2014 (copies enclosed).  Hence, we are not sure if any committee/study Group is willing to solve the issues of regional disparity and stagnation or not.  However, we once again request you to redraw the Minutes of the meeting held on 31.07.2014 keeping in view all the points submitted during the said meeting and provide the Minutes of the meeting held on 19.05.2014.
Thanking you.       
                           Encl. As above (Thirteen sheets)                          
Yours faithfully,

(Abhishek Kamal)
Secretary General
Copy for information to:-
  1. The Revenue Secretary, Govt. of India, North Block, New Delhi.
  2. The Chairperson, CBEC, North Blok, New Delhi.
  3. The Additional Director General, Center of Excellence, NACEN, 3rd Floor, Tower-3 & 4, NBCC Plaza, Sector-5, Pushp Vihar, Saket, New Delhi- 110 017.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         (Abhishek Kamal)
Secretary General