Denied promotions, customs superintendents start stir

Superintendents in the customs department have been agitating since February 18 to protest denial of promotions.

The superintendents belonging to the preventive cadre said despite favourable rulings by the central administrative tribunal (CAT) and Supreme Court (SC), their demands were not being met. They will hold an all-India level meeting in March to decide future course of action in the matter.

The superintendents claimed while their counterparts in other departments enjoyed several promotions and retired at the joint commissioner level, they got only one promotion in their careers.

"The discrepancy is a result of cadre restructuring in 1995. We had taken up the issue with CAT. We even went to SC, which said promotions be granted with retrospective effect. But seniors are not implementing the order," said Ajoykumar Singh, general secretary of All India Federation of Superintendents of Customs.

Members of the federation have been wearing black badges at work since February 18. They have held gate meetings at all customs offices in Mumbai.

"It is alarming that customs officers responsible for protecting the financial sovereignty of India are an extremely demoralised lot due to pathetic promotion prospects, lack of basic office infrastructure and bogged down by decades-old unsettled vigilance cases," the agitators said in a press release.

PIL seeks 'corruption' probe against minister Gavit

Three Nashik activists have filed a PIL in Bombay High Court (HC) seeking to probe alleged disproportionate assets of NCP minister Vijaykumar Gavit.

Vishnu Musale, Shivaji Rondal and Kisan Chaure have demanded constitution of a special investigating team.

Gavit was tribal development minister before he was given medical education portfolio.

Earlier, anti-corruption bureau had sought permission to conduct an inquiry against him. The petitioners have sought a "direction to investigate corruption and wrongdoing by Gavit and his family". The PIL says Gavit "amassed huge wealth, completely unconnected to any known source of income... by misusing his political clout".

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