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Violation of Article 14 of Constitution to Inspectors of Central Excise

Shri.H.S.Govardhana Rao, who works for Central Excise Department as Superintendent at Bangalore is the author of this Article.

Off late the CBEC & DOPT are dilly dallying the CADRE REVIEW file making it a FOOTBALL with no GOAL.

CBEC has one point of view & DOPT has the other point of view. They have met several times with no fruitful result. So many discussions have been made.

I doubt the meaning of DISCUSSION has been understood by both the institutions correctly.

The term discuss as per dictionary meaning means “to consider something by taking or writing about it from several points of view”

Both DOPT & CBEC has not made sincere efforts to tackle the matter in the right perspective. Nothing has been disclosed to the Cadre who are going to be affected. No transparency in the matter has been given.

The proposal from CBDT has been accepted but the cadres are not happy & are protesting in the matter.

When CBEC & CBDT are the wings of Finance Ministry & when Department of expenditure is given go ahead why this abnormal delay only for CBEC.

The work of the associations in this case is not worth remembering. THEY HAVE BECOME JUST COMMUNICATORS OF WHAT IS HAPPENING on the file & has made no sincere concrete efforts to pressurise DOPT & CBEC to arrive at conclusion. Some times they talk about Promotions and some other time they talk about grade pays at different levels.  Only promotion is the issue in CADRE REVIEW. For different grade pays at different age the anomaly committee of 6th Pay commission is the forum. If one go through the Points put forth to Anomaly committee not even one point is sponsored by either Inspector Association or Supdt Association.

Now the Inspector has been given a grade pay of 4600/- when he becomes Superintendent or during Ist MACP the grade pay will become just4800/- a jump of Rs.200/- with no increase in TA benefit. Under the said circumstances the associations should fight for Grade pay of 5400/- in PB-3 for Supdt & Grade pay of 6600/- after completion of 4 years of service in the functional grade. This has to be resolved in Anomaly committee & not in cadre review.

The process of CADRE review is undertaken to remove stagnation that may affect efficiency of the department. In case of CBEC the cadre affected is Inspectors & Superintendents. IRS cadre is getting promotions at regular short intervals. Today an officer who joins as AC can dream of becoming a Board member & even Chairman. In any case the government has given the analogous status to IRS officers on par with the IAS & consequently has extended the benefits also. Therefore IRS is getting the BEST POSSIBLE PROMOTIONAL & MONETARY BENEFITS made available to CIVIL SERVANTS in the Country & therefore there is no urgent necessity for cadre review of IRS cadre. In spite of this if the officers at IRS level get some more benefits officers below are not opposing it. However it should not be at the cost of the justifiable benefits accruable to the lower cadre. So if the cadre review is being kept on hold for difficulty in accepting IRS officers contention that portion of the Cadre review can be detached from the over all proposal & can be considered separately at an appropriate time.

But an officer who joins as Inspector can just dream of becoming superintendent after 17-20 years of service.

So the actual CADRE REVIEW must affect only these two cadres & cadre below them only. Instead large number of unnecessary Group A posts are created by disowning so many lower cadre posts. When the post of Chief Commissioner is already there, but CBEC wants to create another post by name ‘Principal Chief Commissioner’. Only god knows why?

Now Hon’ble Supreme court has given its judgment on the ratio. It is not been taken by CBEC in the right spirit. It seems it is to be applied only in prospective basis. It is not a fair treatment as Justice delayed is justice denied.

Where the CBEC itself has accepted in its board meetings that the feeder cadre of Inspectors of central excise / preventive officers / examiners/ are in the ratio of 80:16:4 to the over all strengths. That means to say that at the promotion level to AC they should get the promotion in the ratio of 20:4:1 to be equitable. In spite of this the Board consequent to Hon’ble Supreme Court Judgment has come to a conclusion that the ration should be 13:2:1 without any proper statistical backing. Added to this instead of giving effect to this ratio from 1996 as advised by Hon’ble Supreme court the board is preparing to implement it prospectively. It is truly “PUTTING SALT ON THE WOUND”.

Further Inspector of Central Excise / Examiners / Preventive Officers are being recruited based on SSC exam. They are doing similar or same job. For example the Inspector of Central Excise when posted to Customs formations where Examiners / preventive officers are not posted will work as Examiners & Preventive officer. Similarly Superintendent on transfer to Customs formation will work as Appraisers. So they are trifurcated only for administrative reasons. They will merge at the level of Assistant Commissioner. As on date Preventive officer/ Examiners are retiring as JC & ADC. Where as Inspector in his life time can become Superintendent & less than 10% will become AC. So all the cadre of Inspector of Central Excise / Examiners / Preventive Officers are equitable. There promotion opportunity should be one & the same. So making Examiners / Preventive Officers as JC/ADC & making Inspector of Central Excise to retire as Superintendent / 10% as AC is actually “VIOLATION OF ARTICLE 14 OF CONSTITUTION”

Hope theory of natural justice as per ARTICLE 14 OF CONSTITUTION prevails & justice is done to the Inspector of central excise cadre.

Now very junior Preventive officer/ Appraiser has become Assistant Commissioner & some have also become DC. So device a method the promotions is done so that all the seniors of Preventive officer/ Appraiser who has become AC/DC will be promoted to AC/DC & refix their pay effecting the ratio retrospectively. So that the Junior Preventive officer/ appraiser who have become AC/DC will not be demoted.

Now coming to Cadre review, the DOPT & CBEC should restrict the cadre review only to cadre up to Superintendent & give lump sum promotions. The Grade pay issue should also be settled once for all.

Inspectors & Superintendents are the main pillars of the department & are doing the basic work with all responsibilities required for smooth functioning of the Department. If any revenue loss is there due to CERA objections first persons to be targeted is Inspector & Superintendent. Suppose if any case / recovery is made by anti evasion / audit / recovery cell inspectors & Superintendent, Senior officers will blow their horn to boost their CCR Grading. In spite of these tremendous / strenuous / intelligent efforts of Inspector & Superintends they are made scape goat without any promotion / appreciation / encouragement for a very long period.

Justice needs to be done to the cadre of Inspectors & Superintendents.

See the following article written by the same author

How to do white wash without paint-learn from CBEC

The views expressed in this article are those of the guest author and are not intended to represent the views of GConnect.

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