Expunction of and challenge to adverse remarks in ACR ( Service Matters) Daily Legal Advice Series 6

Expunction of negative or adverse remarks in an ACR (Annual Confidential Reports which are a Part of Terms and Conditions of Service) as well as challenging these are one of the legal challenges arising for a civil servant in acquiring their due promotion salary raise.An adverse ACR can cause a lot of damage to a civil servant’s career and this is why we have helped hundreds of clients challenge many unfair instances of adverse ACRs through judicial remedies.If you have such a legal matter which you would to avail legal advice for, kindly send us an email at jm@joshandmak.com for a prompt response.

Adverse remarks in ACR–Challenge to–Expunction of remarks–Pray for–There is nothing against appellant and all remarks could not be treated as adverse–Moreover, Countersigning Officer has not rated in columns as average–Countersigning Officer without any reason, found appellant unfit for promotion and this action on his part is arbitrary and without justification as he was never counselled by Reporting Officer or Countersigning Officer–There should be no reasons to differ with Reporting Officer–Countersigning Officers remarks “Not yet fit for promotion” are inconsistent and uncalled for–Held : Service Tribunal accept appeal and expunge remarks given by Countersigning Officer and treat over-all assessment of appellant as “Good” and consider fit for promotion on his own turn–Order accordingly. PLJ 1996 Tr. C. (Services) 691

Adverse remarks in ACRs– Expunction of–Prayer for–Difference between representation, Appeal and Review—A civil servant aggrieved by adverse remarks in ACR has a right to file a representation which has to he decided by next higher authority-There is always a difference between representation, appeal and a review petition under S. 4 of Service Tribunal Act. 1973, as well as under S. 22 of Civil Servants Act. 1973 there exist a possibility of tiling a review petition in cases where appeal is w is not maintainable but law provides that representation is to be made to next higher authority in cases where appeal is normally not. competent. PLJ 1997 Tr. C. (Services) 707

In ( 1981 Supreme Court Monthly Review 840) it was held that ACR(s) were to be part of terms and conditions of service.- Annual Confidential Reports held to be part of terms and conditions of service- Masood Ahmad Khan, a Prosecuting Inspector of Police, was posted in Gujrat. In this case, the Superintendent of Police of that district recorded the remarks in dispute in the Annual Confidential Report for the period 15th August, 1975 to 31st December, 1975. He filed an appeal and, by its order dated 17th June, 1979, the Punjab Services Tribunal expunged these remarks. Hence this petition for special leave to appeal.The court said that ,  “It has been submitted before us that an appeal lies only against a final order and that the remarks are not a final order in any case because they are meant only to give opportunity to the persons to correct themselves. We find absolutely no merit in this submission. The entries in the Annual Confidential Reports are a final order subject only to their expunction by a higher authority. It was also submitted that an appeal lies only against an order pertaining to the terms and conditions of service and that an entry in the Annual Confidential Report does not fall within that category. We again do not see eye to eye with the learned counsel on this point. Annual Confidential Reports are very much a part of the terms and conditions of the service of an employee. There are positive instructions and rules on the basis of which these entries are made and on the basis of which they can be expunged. It is not denied that they can be made the basis for retiring a person from service.

HELD: The petition was held to be without merit and dismissed.

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