HC's via media solution for cadre allotment dispute

Hyderabad: The Telangana High Court on Tuesday hinted at a via media solution to resolve the long-pending litigation over cadre allocation of All India Service (AIS) officers between Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.

According to the HC proposal, the Central Administrative Tribunal orders based on which some officers were continuing in a particular cadre against their original allotment would be set aside, with a suggestion to the Centre to have a re-look at the issue.

The affected parties may approach the Centre with a request to continue them in their existing cadre, as many of them have served there for nine years and some are on the verge of retirement.

The proposal came when a division bench comprising Justice Abhinand Kumar Shavili and Justice Namavarapu Rajeshwar Rao was hearing a batch of writ petitions filed by the Union Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT), challenging the Central Administrative Tribunal ( CAT) Hyderabad bench orders of March 29, 2016.

The tribunal had allocated IPS officers Anjani Kumar, Abhilasha Bhisht, A.V. Ranganath, and seven others, as also IAS officers C. Hari Kiran and Ronald Rose to Telangana state, against their original allotment to Andhra Pradesh after state bifurcation. The DoPT sought cancellation of the CAT orders.

As the tussle was pending for long and counsels from all sides were raising different contentions, the bench orally observed, “We will set aside the orders of the allotment of officers as the courts cannot perform the duty of appellate authority.”

Further, the bench observed that it would send the matter back to the Centre to re-examine the issue. The Centre would examine each case individually and take into consideration the fact that most of the officers, who have been working in Telangana state based on the CAT orders, have completed more than nine years of service in the state of their choice and contrary to the original allocation.

Almost all the AIS officers are at the end of their service. The number of years of service left will be looked into by the Centre which will, if necessary, give a personal hearing to each officer whose allotment to Telangana state is challenged, the bench observed.

However, Dr. K. Lakshmi Narasimha, a senior counsel, appearing for one of the respondents, vehemently opposed the observation and asked the court to hear each case individually on any other day as the state government had opposed the decision of the DoPT.

Senior counsel said that in view of a new government being formed in Telangana state and there being no Advocate General to represent the state government, the batch of petitions be adjourned to any other day. Counsels for other officers also requested the court to defer the hearing. Following this, the court adjourned the matter to January 2.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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