By B S Reporter
In a major blow to IAS aspirants of Non-State Civil Services (NSCS), Rajasthan High Court has stayed the promotion of officers of these services to Indian Administrative Services (IAS). A division bench of Justice Manindra Mohan Shrivastava and Justice Praveer Bhatnagar put stay while hearing a petition filed by the Rajasthan Administrative Service body challenging the quota fixed for promotion of Non-State Civil Services officers to IAS.
The court also issued an order to the Central government not to process the names of those officers sent for promotion by the State government.
Apart from this, the court also sought the details from the Screening Committee set up by the State government for shortlisting the names of non-RAS officers for promotion to the IAS rank.
The court said the State government can promote non-RAS officers to the post of IAS, but it has to explain how the quota was fixed.
Who are NSCS officers
The Indian Administrative Service (Recruitment) Rules, 1954 provide for limited promotion officers to the IAS from amongst those who are holding gazetted posts in the substantive capacity. Such officers should be members of State Services other than Rajasthan Administrative Service, Rajasthan Police Service, Rajasthan Forest Service or Rajasthan Judicial Services and serving in connection with affairs of the State
What rules of UPSC says
Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) recruits and manages cadre of all the Group A officers including IAS, IPS and IFS. The commission has created All India Services (AIS), which assist the commission in induction of State Services Officers into the All India Services through promotion or by selection.
The number of persons recruited by way of promotion selection in any state or group of states shall not, at any time, exceed 33.33% of the total cadre strength of the All India Service. For NSCS, the number of persons recruited by way of selection shall not at any time exceed 15% of the number of persons recruited against promotion quota which is 33.33% of the cadre strength.
Cadre and quota in Rajasthan
The IAS cadre strength of Rajasthan is 313 as against only 265 officers have been appointed as on date. As per the rule, the total number of quota to be filled through promotion in any state is 33.33% of the cadre strength. So for Rajasthan, it is 104. Now, for NSCS, the number of selections should not exceed 15% of 104, that is 15 posts. At present the number of promotee RAS is 79 while 10 are promoted from NSCS.
Why RAS are objecting
Rajasthan Administrative Service body says that under the All India Service Act (Rules and Regulations) there was a provision to fill 66.67 per cent of posts through direct IAS cadres and 33.33 per cent should be filled by giving promotion to state cadre officers. The body argues that only in exceptional cases, the 33.33 per cent quota can be filled by officers belonging to other services.
“But, the State government was treating execration as a rule and has been promoting officers from other services to the IAS cadre every year. This is cutting down the promotion prospects of RAS officers, even when eligible and capable officers are available,” said their counsel Tanveer Ahmed.
Government's counter argument
Additional Advocate General Satyendra Singh Raghav, while representing the state government told the court that the state government was giving promotions to state cadre officers as per the IAS Promotion Rules, 1954. Under the rule, the State government can appoint specialist officers from other services to the post of IAS while taking opinions from the Central government.
The court said that even though the government can promote specialist officers from the state to the IAS cadre, but quota cannot be fixed for this. What was the basis of the Screening Committee to decide upon the names of officers belonging to other services and send them to the Central government for approval? The next date of hearing was fixed by the court on July 12.
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