UPSC, state differ on IAS promotions

The high-powered meeting held today at New Delhi to fill 10 vacancies of IAS officers in Punjab remained inconclusive, with the Union Public Service Commission and the state government holding divergent views on the promotion of an officer of the state civil services to IAS.

The meeting was put off for another date, likely within the next 10 days. Sources in the government said the UPSC put up resistance to the promotion of a PCS officer to IAS as he was "censured" by the state government some year back for contesting the elections for the SGPC as a "public servant" from Sangrur. The state government had included the officer's name in the panel list for officers to be considered for promotion.

The UPSC held the view that since the officer had been "censured", he may not hold the same merit as the other panel candidates. The government, on the other hand, held that censure was not a major punishment and the officer deserved to be promoted. It was eventually decided to review the issue on the next date of meeting.

Meanwhile, another PCS officer, Praveen Kumar, who is currently posted as the Administrator, Jalandhar Development Authority, moved the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT), seeking a stay on the process of promotions. The state government did not include Kumar's candidature in the panel that was discussed for promotion to IAS during the meeting in New Delhi this afternoon.

Punjab and Haryana High Court advocate A.R. Talwar said the CAT, after listening to the arguments, ordered that the appointments will be subject to the outcome of this original application (OA). Praveen Kumar contended that he was eligible against the 2006 vacancy, but the government did not include his name in the list saying that he had crossed 54 years of age as on January 1, 2007. Quoting Rule 5 (3) of the IAS Appointment by Promotion Regulation - 1955, Kumar said the rules provide that the officer has to be less than 54 years of age on January 1 of the year when the vacancy occurred, which was 2006 in his case.

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