Telangana High Court. (DC)
Hyderabad: The Telangana government on Thursday argued before the High Court that Central Administrative Tribunal, Hyderabad (CAT-H), had appropriately allowed the petitions of All India Service (AIS) officers Somesh Kumar, Anjani Kumar, Abhilasha Bhist and others to allocate them to Telangana state though they were allocated to AP.
Advocate-General B.S. Prasad was making a submission to a division bench comprising Justice Ujjal Bhyuan and Justice Surepalli Nanda which was hearing a batch of petitions filed the Centre challenging the CAT-H orders allocating AIS officers by setting aside the orders of the Union ministry. Thursday arguments were on Somesh Kumar`s allocation to Telangana.
A-G Prasad questioned the Centre’s stand that it had absolute domain on allocating the AIS officers while the practice was one of consultation with the state government. He cited provisions of the AP Reorganisation Act as well.
Upon the request of the Union department of personnel and training (DoPT), the CAT had restrained from suspending or setting aside the guidelines framed for allocating the AIS officers between the two states. The Centre had pleaded before the CAT that if such an order is passed, it would disturb the list of allocated officers. This showed that the Centre had erred in allocating them and in not adhering to AIS service rules and the AP Reorganisation Act, Prasad said.
In the Somesh Kumar case, Advocate-General Prasad said, the officer was an ’outsider’ and belonged to the unreserved category of 1989 batch. He was not given the option of swapping with an officer of the same batch as such a provision was not created in the guidelines whereas officers belonging to the SC, ST and OBC groups had the facility. The guidelines failed to provide equitable justification, the A-General said.
Turning down Somesh Kumar’s request to allow swapping with an officer of the 1990 batch was nothing but depriving his rights to swap, the A-G said. Finding fault with guidelines framed by the Pratyush Sinha committee for allocation of officers to AP and Telangana, Prasad said the U.C. Agarwal committee for cadre allocation in Uttar Pradesh and other states had given an opportunity to every AIS officer, including that of swapping. The Sinha committee had failed to follow such guidelines, the A-G said.
The Telangana government had asked that when both the states had no problem with the CAT-H`s orders in allocation of AIS officers, how would it become problematic for the Centre. Moreover, the officers had been working in the respective states for eight years and had good command of the domain. The hearing was adjourned to June 20 for the Centre to submit its reply.