DOPT seeks stay on CAT order allocating Somesh Kumar to State
The division bench of the Telangana High Court, headed by Chief Justice Ujjal Bhyan and Justice Surepalli Nanda, on Thursday “reserved” its orders in the writ petition filed by the Department of Personnel and Training
Hyderabad: The division bench of the Telangana High Court, headed by Chief Justice Ujjal Bhyan and Justice Surepalli Nanda, on Thursday "reserved" its orders in the writ petition filed by the Department of Personnel and Training, challenging the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT), Hyderabad branch, which allocated Somesh Kumar to the State.
The CJ said the court will pass orders on the petition within a week.
The bench was hearing the batch of writ petitions filed by the secretary, Department of Personnel & Training, seeking suspension of orders of CAT dated March 29, 2016, allocating 13 All-India Service officers to the State, who were originally allotted to AP. They include Somesh Kumar, Anjani Kumar IPS, Abhilasha Bhisht IPS, Abhishek Mohanty IPS, Ronald Rose IAS and other AIS officers.
Additional Solicitor-General Suryakaran Reddy, representing the Union of India, informed the bench that the CAT had erred in suspending the guidelines framed by the Pratyush Sinha Committee, confining its orders to the AIS officers, who were before it. The Central government is the ultimate authority in allocating these personnel to the respective States and to advise the government.
The Pratyush Sinha Committee framed the guidelines. The guidelines were framed which suited all AIS officers, who were allocated to the States, except the 13 AIS officers, who are aggrieved by the allocation. The guidelines cannot be in any way termed "arbitrary" as they didn't suite the 13 AIS officers.
Buttressing the contention of the DOPT, Reddy informed the court that if the State government so intends to take Somesh Kumar, it can very well take him on deputation basis from AP.
The finding of the CAT that included Dr P K Mohanty, the then Chief Secretary of the united AP, in the Pratyush Sinha Committee as a member is illegal and arbitrary because he may take a decision to allocate his son-in-law and his daughter to the choicest State as they were also in the list of officers to be allocated amongst both the States.
Dr Mohanty retired on June 2, 2014, as he opted for voluntary retirement. Hence, his name could not be counted for the purpose of allocation to the State. Somesh Kumar was allocated to AP as Section 79 of the AP Reorganisation Act, 2014, clearly mandates that any officer who is in service, holding or discharging duties in any post on or before the appointed day i.e., June 2, 2014, only should be considered for allocation amongst both the States. On the appointed day, Dr Mohanty retired from service. Hence, his name for allocation could not be considered.
The Pratyush Sinha Committee in its guidelines, with regard to the un-reserved officers has clearly stated that as the number of officers from un-reserved are more, they can swap only with the officers of their batch and none other. But in respect of AIS officers of reserved category SC, ST, BC, such officers got the opportunity of swapping with the officers of the same batch as well as the AIS officers from other batches also as the number of AIS officers from reserved category are less.
Hence, the contention of Somesh Kumar that he was deprived of the opportunity of swapping with officers of another batch is wrong because the committee framed the guidelines; he has to abide by them.
The CJ directed Reddy, B S Prasad, AG, and D V Seetharama Murthy, senior counsel for Somesh Kumar to submit brief synopsis to the court so that orders in the writ petition pertaining to Somesh Kumar can be delivered in a week.
Advocate dies on HC campus; work suspended
Advocate Kallem Goverdhan Reddy died of suspected cardiac arrest on the high court premises in front of court number 14 on Thursday around 1 pm.
He was immediately attended to by advocates, who called an ambulance and moved him to Osmania Hospital, where the doctor's declared him dead.
High Court Bar Association President Verose Raghunath, secretary Jalli Narender and members informed the CJ bench about the death. They requested to suspend the day's further proceedings in solidarity.
Consenting to the request, the court suspended its proceedings around 3:30 pm.
In a unique coincidence, Goverdhan Reddy's mentor renowned advocate CR Prathap Reddy, it is believed, also met with similar death.
The HC advocates informed the association that there was no medical staff, facilities, doctor or even an ambulance on the premises when Reddy was in need of medical assistance. They demanded medical facilities to be provided to lawyers and others visiting the court.