Supreme Court rules ACR has to be open
Examination / selection/ ACR inspectionDisclosure of all contents in ACRs mandatory, rules SCVery Good Judgement applicable to all the ACR, inspections ofexamination copies , selection and promotion in GOvt Jobs.Kindly quote this decision on your case, when thePIO/FAA/ CIC/SICrefused your request for inspection of records for the examination/promotion / selection.Citation is as follows (with the web address)1 DEV DUTT Vs. UNION OF INDIA & ORS.Coram: H.K. SEMA, MARKANDEYKATJU12/05/2008IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA- CIVILAPPELLATE JURISDICTION - CIVIL APPEAL NO. 7631 OF 2002Dev Dutt Appellant -vs- Union of India & Ors RespondentsA Bench of Justices H.K. Sema and Markandeya Katju rejected theCentre's argument that it was under an obligation only to disclose the"adverse remarks" against an employee."We do not agree. In our opinion every entry must be communicated to the employee concerned so that he may have an opportunity of making arepresentation against it if he is aggrieved," the apex court observedin a judgement while upholding the appeal filed by Dev Dutt, who hassince retired.Significantly, the apex court said it was developing a "new principles of natural justice" by passing the direction."In the present case, we are developing the principles of natural justice by holding that fairness and transparency in publicadministration requires that all entries (whether poor, fair, average,good or very good) in the annual confidential report of a publicservant, whether in civil, judicial, police or any other Stateservices (except in military), must be communicated to him within areasonable period," the Bench said. The apex court said when an entry is communicated to a public servant,he/she should have a right to make a representation and the authorityconcerned must decide the representation in a fair manner and within areasonable period."We also hold that the representation must be decided by an authorityhigher than the one who gave the entry, otherwise the likelihood isthat the representation will be summarily rejected without adequateconsideration as it would be an appeal from Caesar to Caesar," thebench observed.Such an action would be conducive to fairness and transparency inpublic administration and would result in fairness to public servants,the apex court said."The state must be a model employer and must act fairly towards itsemployees. Only then would good governance be possible," it observed.The apex court asserted that non-disclosure of the ACR contents to apublic servant amounted to arbitrariness and violative of Article 14 (right to equality before law) as it deprives the employee concerned promotional opportunities. .Dev Dutt, the appellant who was working with the Border Roads Engineering Services, a central government undertaking, had filed theappeal against an order of the Guwahati High Court which had ruledthat the authorities were not under any obligation to reveal the contents of the ACR to the employee concerned, if it was not adversein nature.It was the argument of Dev Dutt that the remarks of "good" made in hisACR by the superior was not disclosed to him and as a result of whichhe could not make a representation to the higher authorities forupgrading the grading to "very good".According to him, as the entry "good" could not be upgraded to "verygood", he was denied promotion to the post of Superintending Engineerfrom the post of Executive Engineer. — PTI. With regardsRakesh gupta1 DEV DUTT Vs. UNION OF INDIA & ORS.Coram: H.K. SEMA, MARKANDEYKATJU12/05/2008IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA- CIVILAPPELLATE JURISDICTION - CIVIL APPEAL NO. 7631 OF 2002Dev Dutt Appellant -vs- Union of India & Ors Respondents.