SEEKING RELIEF-SR. POSTMASTER EXAMINATION
The department has issued orders vide No. A- 34012/6/2011-DE dated 03.10.2011 scheduling Sr. Postmaster examination to be held on 31-12-2011 without notifying the number of vacancies and other pre-requisites for conducting exam to keep these orders under the ambit of set rules. So much so the ASP & HSG-I (IP Line) officials are not notified eligible for this examination though they born on the same gradation list and IP is the feeder cadre for further promotion for all purposes and not ASP/HSG-I which is simply a non functional post. The Association is running from pillar to post for justice but all in vain. All of you will agree that department is not taking any action on the representation submitted by association to Directorate for relief. Rather all these have thrown into turmoil. The department is also not acting as per recruitment rules framed and notified. Hence, we do not have any other option except to knock the door of court for relief. Followings are the grounds.
1. PS Group ‘B’ Recruitment Rules 1987 amended from time to time are still in force and without amendment of these rules, the Postmaster recruitment rules 2010 can not come into force and Sr. Postmaster exam should not be held.
2. As per PS Group ‘B’ rules 1987, the 866 PS Group ‘B’ posts are to be filled up by promotion in the manner (i) 94% (814 posts) from amongst officers holding the post of IPs and (ii) 6% (52 posts)from General line official through LDCE.
3. In the year 1993 after consulting the then body of the association, above said rules were amended and the quota of 94% was further bifurcated into 75% and 19%. Whereas 6% quota was already in vogue. On the basis of these rules total posts in different quota is as under:
Total Number of Posts
NO. of 75% IP line posts to be filled through Seniority cum fitness
NO. of 19% IP line posts to be filled through LDCE
NO. of 6% General line posts to be filled through LDCE
4. As per para 6 of the Postmaster recruitment rules 2010 and in the natural justice, the effect to 116 Sr. Postmaster Post should be in the following manner:
Total Number of Posts
Effect on 649 posts in view of recruitment rule 1987
Effect on IP line posts to be filled through LDCE 75% of 116
Effect on General line officials to be filled through seniority cum fitness
5. The distribution of remaining posts in PS Gr. ‘B’ should be in the following fashion:
Total Number of Posts
No. of 75% IP line posts to be filled through Seniority cum fitness
No. of 19% IP line posts to be filled through LDCE as per roster in vogue.
No. of 6% General line post to be filled through LDCE
6. Association letter no CHQ /PS Gr. ’B’/2011 dated 04.07.2011where in detailed proposal regarding distribution of quota under each category was submitted to the Department for consideration and implementation in the interest of both IP Line and General Line officials but nothing has been done by the Department in this regard so far.
7. That another representation to post 29 PS Group ‘B’ officers out of 52 (6% quota) officers including those who have been declared successful in the PS Group ‘B’ Exam-2011 as Sr. Postmaster,was also given so that legal implication can be avoided but on this representation also no action has been taken.
8. That in view of various orders passed by Hon’ble CAT, department is also legally bound to calculate the vacancies as per rules. Dte. order no 11-15/2007-SPG dated 7-01-2009 issued consequent upon decision of OA No. 657/HP/2007 refers. The recently announced OA No. 399/PB/2011 has orders to promote IPs under respective quota only.
9. That the calculation of vacancies in any other manner can be against the principles of natural justice because reservation in promotion by seniority subject to fitness was introduced in 1972, subject to the some condition. In 1974, reservations in promotion by selection from C to B within B and from B to the lowest rung of Group A were introduced provided the element of direct recruitment does not exceed 50%. Contrary to this, in the notification dated 22.11.2010, all 87 posts [75% of 116] earmarked for Senior Postmaster are ordered to be filled through examination. Instead these should be part of 19% roster meant for Limited Departmental Competitive Examination. Thus, the action of respondents stand vitiated.
10. That it has been mentioned in para 5 of the said letter, that initially constitution of various grades of Postmaster shall be done by inviting options / applications from the existing incumbents of LSG, HSG II, HSG I in post offices and Postal Services Group B including Sr. Postmaster working on regular basis in the division. The last date of receipt of option /application along with bio-data was 04.03.2011.
11. That some of the members of the Association are working on adhoc basis in Postal Services Group B and now promoted against 75% Quota should not eligible for posting as Sr. Postmaster. However, no options have been called from them being not eligible. Thereafter owing to fresh notification dated 22.11.2010, none of the senior Inspectors / Asst Supdt Post Offices, awaiting promotion or promoted for 649 posts [75% Quota] will not be eligible for opting as Senior Postmaster as 100% promotion to Senior Postmaster from Inspector line officials are through limited Departmental Competitive Examination.
12. That as mentioned above, total quota of posts in Postal Group ‘B’ services under 75% quota, 19% quota and 6% quota are 866 posts and 116 posts have been carved out from 866 pots meaning thereby that the quota has to be read keeping in view the remaining posts, which are 750 posts. In case this was not so, the respondents would have called options from the younger officials promoted and working in Postal Group B services under 19% and 6% quota. The department in their letter dated 31.5.2010 has admitted this when we sought information under the RTI Act, after the issuance of the orders dated 3.2.2010.
13. That when orders were issued to constitute a separate cadre of Postmasters it was stated therein “that in the wake of introduction of technology, challenges from the market and to increase productivity, it is absolutely become essential to ensure that key post offices are headed by the professional managers. Thus, in order to ensure that professionally qualified, trained and meritorious officials held the key post offices, it has been decided to introduce a separate cadre of Postmasters”. Though it has been mentioned that posts are to be carved out from the exiting general line posts, instead they have carved the posts of Senior postmaster from the total strength of PSS Group.
In view of above facts, the Sr. Postmaster examination should only be conducted as and when a vacancy arises under the respective quota. The ASPs/ HSG-I IP line Postmaster should also be allowed to appear in this examination otherwise department should withdraw the notification.