Friday 31 May 2013
Abolition of Posts - Legal Position
As per the orders issued by the Government of India in 2001 for abolishing posts as per screening committee recommendations, only 2/3 direct recruitment vacancies should be abolished. Promotional Posts should not be abolished. Based on this order NFPE Kerala filed a case in CAT Ernakulam against abolishing Postmen & Group ‘D’ posts, as these posts arepromotional posts of GDS employees. Department argued that promotion from GDS to Postman/MTS is direct recruitment and not promotion. But CAT has not accepted Department arguments. CAT, Ernakulam bench delivered a Judgement that promotion from GDS to Postman/MTS is not direct recruitment but promotion. CAT Directed CPMG not to abolish Postman/MTS posts and to fill up all the posts by promoting GDS.
Department went on appeal to High court Kerala. But High Court confirmed CAT order. Accordingly in Kerala circle all the promotional posts of GDS were filled by promoting GDS. Based on the same order now P4 CHQ and GDS (NFPE) have filed a case in Principal CAT and obtained stay order from abolishing Postmen & MTS posts.
Some comrades are asking why abolition of PA/SA posts cannot by stayed. Department is not abolishing the promotional posts in the PA and SA cadre (LGOs vacancies). But they are abolishing direct recruitment vacancies only.
Eranakulam CAT order is not applicapable to Direct recruitment vacancies. It is applicable to promotional vacancies only. In the PA/SA cadre there is no promotional vacancy for GDS in the oustide quota (Direct Recruitment Quota). This is the legal position. There is no chance for getting stay order for PA/SA direct recruitment post as it is not promotional post. This is the legal advice received by us.
NFPE and CHQ has protested against the abolition of Posts, but Department of posts is taking a stand that eventhough they have tried best to get exemption from abolishing direct recruitment posts, the Government of India has not granted any exemption and hence the Direct recruitment vacancies recommended by screening committee up to 2008 have to be abolished. From 2009 onwards there is no abolition of posts and all the vacancies can filled up as per the orders of the Department.
Regarding postmen and MTS abolition, the abolition is stayed on Technical grounds stated above because the CAT Ernakulam has clearly ruled that promotion from GDS to Postman & MTS is not direct recruitment.
“JUSTICE DELAYED IS JUSTICE DENIED”
The sixth CPC in para 1.2.13 of its report under the caption “Cadre Review” made the following observations – “Accordingly, as a matter of policy, the commission refrained from undertaking specific cadre reviews, that in any case need to be carried out within an institutional frame work”. Govt. of India has accepted the above recommendations of the Sixth CPC. Subsequently the Govt. has issued detailed instructions to all Ministers and Departments to undertake the process of Cadre Restructuring within their institutional frame work.
Accordingly, Cadre restructuring committees are constituted in most of the departments with the representatives of the staff-side. In Railways, the process is completed and waiting for approval of the Ministry, in Income Tax the proposal is awaiting Cabinet approval, in Central Secretariat orders in respect of certain cadres already issued. In many other small departments also the process is nearing completion.
In the Postal department the cadre restructuring of Group-C, Postmen, Mail Guard and MTS is long overdue. Department and Govt. implemented many cadre restructuring schemes for Group- A and Group-B cadres. In the Group-C, Postman, Mail Guard & MTS cadre, the supervisory responsibilities are totally undermined after the introduction of TBOP and BCR scheme. The then existing Supervisory structure in each cadre was not properly nurtured and not improved to carry out the higher Supervisory responsibilities in tune with the changing technology. The supervisory posts in certain cadres are totally dismantled. There is absolute justification for restructuring the entire cadres. But the attitude of the Postal Board is totally negative despite several written assurances.
The Staff-side comprising NFPE and FNPO raised the issue of cadre restructuring in the charter of demands for the indefinite strike from 13.07.2010 In the marathon discussion held on 12.07.2010, the Secretary, Posts assured as follows in the minutes – “A committee comprising DDG (Estt.), DDG (P), and Director (SR) and three members of the Staff side, to be nominated by them, will be constituted to examine proposals in detail and submit recommendations. The entire process is to be completed before the close of the year i.e., 31-12-2010”. Again during the strike charter discussion on 01-07-2011, the Secretary, Posts gave the following assurances in the minutes – “The demand of the staff-side regarding cadre restructuring was discussed and the Chairperson agreed to reconstitute the committee under the Chairmanship of DDG(P), the Committee will finalize the proposals before 31-08-2011. Again on 12-01-2012 the Secretary, Posts assured that – “the Staffside expressed their concern about undue delay in finalization of the proposal on which the Chairperson desired finalization of this process by 31st March, 2012. It was assured that timelines would be adhered to”.
As regards restructuring of Postal Accounts it was informed that the proposal was cleared by JS & FA and stands referred to Secretary, Posts. It was also decided to have a separate Committee for MMS staff under the Chairmanship of Ms. Sandhya Rani, PMG(BD), Andhra Circle and with Director (MV) as other official members. The staff side members are also included. The committee was directed to submit its report within three months.
Assurances after assurances are given by none other than Secretary, Posts but nothing materialized. Finally as an insult to injury, the cadre restructuring proposal of Postal Accounts which is already been finalized by the Committee is returned to the PA wing of the Directorate after keeping the file pending for more than one year, stating certain irrelevant issues which has no relevance on the cadre restructuring proposal of Postal Accounts Staff. Similarly, in the status Report on the items included in the memorandum submitted by the Postal JCA on 01-04-2013, it is informed as follows : “DDG(P), Chairman of the Committee informed that he has submitted his report on 06-11-2012 to the DDG (ESTT.). He has been requested to submit full report with enclosures duly signed by the Committee Members….!!!!! Nothing is mentioned about the Postal Accounts wing. Regarding MMS, it is informed that the report is submitted is under process. All the cadres including PA, SA, Postman, Mail Guard, MTS, Admn. Staff, Postal Accounts, MMS, System Administrators, accountants, Postmasters cadre, SBCO etc., are all eagerly waiting for the outcome of the cadre restructuring.
Thus it can be seen that the lethargic and indifferent attitude of the Official side members of the Committee and the unhelpful attitude of the Postal Board is the root cause of the delay.