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Monday, December 7, 2009

Gauhati HC brings new hope in executive engineer’s life

SILCHAR, Dec 7: In a unique case of post facto promotion, the Assam Irrigation Department was directed by the Gauhati High Court to create a supernumerary post for executive engineer Chunilal Das, who retired on January 31, 2007 on superannuation. Das accordingly joined service as assistant engineer in 1974 and subsequently was promoted to the post of assistant executive engineer.

But when he was due for promotion to the next higher grade of executive engineer, he was facing departmental proceedings. Therefore, in consistence with service manual, consideration of his case was kept pending in a sealed cover and his junior was given promotion. Eventually, none of the charges drawn against him in May 2004 could be substantiated and he was exonerated in March 2006. But, the department did injustice to him by denying promotion which should have been effective from May 2004.

The aggrieved Chunilal Das made several representations to the higher authorities concerned for post facto promotion but it failed to evoke any response. Although the authorities were bound to act and extend the benefit of promotion to him, they refrained from doing so for reasons best known to them. In the meantime, he retired in January 2007.

Finding no other alternative, Das approached the Gauhati High Court with a writ petition vide no. 4426 of 2009, seeking direction to the authorities for giving notional promotion to him with retrospective effect and also for consequential promotional benefits. On the basis of the merit of the case, Justice Amitava Roy passed an order on November 20, directing the authorities concerned of the department to take steps to ensure that Das receives the consequential benefits within three months.

Acting on the directive, the Irrigation Department processed the entitlement of Chunilal Das to retrospective promotion with effect from the date his juniors have been promoted. The Personnel Department has raised no objection and the Finance Department too has agreed to create a supernumerary post of executive engineer. Advocates Suman Shyam, A Dhar and RB Deka moved the writ petition before the High Court. A happy Chunilal Das said, “Such injustice should not be done to others.” THE SENTINEL

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