Jharkhand High Court Emphasizes Timely Communication of Adverse Entries to Employees


LI Network

Published on: December 27, 2023 at 06:36 IST

The Jharkhand High Court has held the importance of promptly communicating adverse entries to employees within a reasonable period.

This decision came in response to the dismissal of a writ petition challenging the Central Administrative Tribunal’s (Tribunal) order granting a retired employee’s request for a 3rd pay-scale upgradation.

The Court observed a substantial delay in communicating adverse entries, remaining silent for seven years until the retired employee raised the issue.

Justices Sujit Narayan Prasad and Navneet Kumar noted that the case involved a recurring cause of action, as the applicant suffered monthly due to the less fixation of pension following the non-grant of the 3rd up-gradation under the Modified Assured Career Progression (MACP) Scheme.

Advocate Prabhat Kumar Sinha represented the petitioner, while Advocate Sanjay Kumar Thakur appeared for the respondent.

The writ petition challenged the Tribunal’s order, which granted the respondent’s request for pay-scale upgradation under the MACP Scheme. The respondent claimed eligibility for the 3rd MACP but alleged that the benefit was wrongfully denied.

The Court framed key issues, including whether the tribunal’s direction allowing the respondent’s claim for the 3rd MACP suffered an error due to adverse entries. It also questioned the propriety of accepting the original application after a lapse of nine years.

Highlighting the alignment between criteria for pay-scale upgradation and regular promotion, the Court emphasized the need for promptly communicating adverse entries, allowing objections and subsequent decisions by competent authorities. Failure to reverse such entries could be grounds for withholding promotion or pay-scale upgradation under career progression schemes.

The Court clarified that the case didn’t involve punitive action but centered on the assertion that adverse entries communicated in 2007-08, revealed to the respondent in 2015, should not deny established rights. It deemed the delay in communicating adverse entries a serious lapse and emphasized that the wrongdoer should not benefit from their wrongdoing.

Regarding the objection raised on approaching the Tribunal after the stipulated period, the Court recognized the tribunal’s authority to condone delays with sufficient cause.

It noted that while salary does not constitute a recurring cause of action like a pension, the term “recurring” implies ongoing suffering for the litigant.

The Court dismissed the petition, affirming the Tribunal’s decision to grant benefits under the 3rd MACP, considering it error-free based on the absence of adverse communication post the adverse entry.

The Court also found the objection related to the limitation issue unsustainable due to the recurring cause of action established by the 3rd up-gradation’s impact on pensionary benefits.

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