More than one thousand staff members of the Central Secretariat Service protested inside the North Block Friday over a delay in promotions of staff for over six years now. The protesters insisted on meeting MoS (Personnel) Jitendra Singh, who was not in his office. The staff at the minister’s office, however, assured the protesting members that their issues would be addressed by March 10, sources said.
Sources said the issue has been pending for years now and got further delayed due to litigation. “Regular promotions have been withheld in the Central Secretariat cadres for the past six years quoting pending litigations in the Supreme Court. However, promotions in all other cadres of the central government are happening in full swing with the conditions of final judgment of cases filed in the matters,” said Gomesh Kumawat, media advisor of the CSS Forum which represents the interests of the staff.
Central Sect Service (CSS) officials waiting outside MoS (PP) Jitendra Singh office at North Block. They have many demands & complaints. Video just sent by an official @IndianExpress pic.twitter.com/gSHP7ra98d
— Shyamlal Yadav (@RTIExpress) February 25, 2022
According to Kumawat, even legitimate demands of the CSS cadres such as extending benefits of the Organised Group ‘A’ Service, conducting the Section Officers Limited Departmental Examination, proceeding on deputation before nine years of service in the cadre etc. have not been taken up by the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) despite regular persuasion with the highest officials of the DoPT and the minister.
“Almost 4,500 posts, which is 40% of the total strength of CSS cadres, are lying vacant due to pending regular promotions for the last six years. The CSS Forum has met with MoS Dr Jitendra Singh for expeditious action on the long pending issues, however, the DoPT is unmoved despite clear instructions of the MoS to the officers,” Kumawat said.
Sources in the DoPT said the minister is seized of the matter and has been working to sort it out for some time now. “Only recently the minister issued orders for 4,000 promotions, subject to the court’s approval. But then some people went to court against it and got a stay. When the government got the court stay vacated, some petitioners got contempt notices issued. So, the process has stalled due to litigation amongst the cadre officers itself,” a source close to the minister said.
The CSS staff, however, say this is just an excuse. “After repeated demands, adhoc promotions were made which were temporary. Nobody can go on deputation at that level. The court never stalled the promotions and yet, for the past one year, not a single promotion has been done. People are retiring without promotions,” a CSS official said.
A delegation of the Central Secretariat officials Friday called on Singh and discussed with him the issues. Singh, according to DoPT, “gave a patient hearing to the members of the delegation and assured them that the DoPT will take all measures to sort out all the pending issues including the cases pending in the courts.”