Conduct DPC for promotion of Principals within 6 months: HC

Report by: 
Port Blair
1 Aug 2017

In a major relief to many Vice Principals appointed on ad hoc basis and other eligible candidates to Group –‘A’ posts of principals, the Calcutta High Court directed the UT Administration to conduct DPC through the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) to fill up the existing vacancies on regular basis. Disposing of the petitioner filed by seven Vice Principals promoted on adhoc basis on the 25th of last month, Justice Aniruddha Bose and Justice Mir Dara Sheko observed that the dispute between the petitioners and the administration can be finally settled if a timeframe is given to the authorities to fill up the posts over which the petitioners are staking claim through UPSC.
Hearing the Advocate for the petitioners, the High Court bench directed the administration to conclude the process for filling up the vacancies in the subject institutions through Union Public Service Commission preferably within a period of three months but not later than six months. “In the event, the petitioners are eligible for participating in such process, they shall be at liberty to participate therein. The Chief Secretary shall coordinate the entire process for effective compliance of the order,” the Judges ruled.
The petitioners were serving on ad hoc basis since 1st January 2014 in different schools in the capacity of Principals. The order had a time-frame to remain operational for a period of 12 months or till the posts were filled up on regular basis through Union Public Service Commission, whichever was earlier. The ad hoc appointment was further extended for a period of six months . There was an extension of this time-frame by a further period of six months till 14.07.2015. However, the petitioners claimed that even after the lapse of the specified timeframe, they continued to discharge their duties as Principals in their respective institutions till June 13, 2017 after which they were reverted back to their substantive post of Vice Principals/Head Masters (Secondary School).
The petitioners then approached the Single Bench of Calcutta High Court which granted liberty to the petitioners to approach the right forum and directed the administration to maintain status quo for a period not more than three weeks to enable the petitioners to avail of their right to approach the correct forum (Central Administrative Tribunal). Four days later, on 23rd June, 2017, the Directorate of Education issued orders directing the petitioners to report for their duties to their reverted posts on 30.06.2017.
The main relief prayed for before the Division Bench of High Court was for appointment of the petitioners on promotion to Group –‘A’ posts of principals with effect from the date on which the respective posts had become vacant and a direction upon the authorities to constitute departmental promotion committee for promotion to the vacant group-A posts of Principals, Deputy Director, Deputy Education Officer etc under the Directorate of Education.