Local Goa News

Friday, July 29, 2016

Quashing of Goa’s civil service seniority list casts doubt on Arun Desai’s ‘IAS’ status

Govt unlikely to challenge HC order quashing seniority list which pitch-forked Desai from number 5 to 2 on Goa’s list of state officers; new ranking got Desai IAS rank

PANJIM: Following the High Court order quashing the seniority list of Grade I officers of the Goa Civil Services, the fate of officer Arun Desai, hangs in balance. In a major setback to the State government, the High Court of Bombay at Goa last week quashed and set aside a controversial Goa civil service seniority list released by the government in 2015.

Arun Desai is currently posted as Secretary Industries & Commerce, Transport, Cooperation and Rural Development of the Puducherry government, a position he has got by virtue of being inducted into the IAS as a result of the seniority list of the Goa government, which the High Court has quashed.
Separate petitions were filed by senior officials – Inspector General of Prisons Elvis Gomes, officer without posting Melvyn Vaz, (under suspension for alleged involvement in the assault of jail inmates of central jail, Colvale), South Goa collector Swapnil Naik and Excise Commissioner Menino D'Souza, challenging the 2015 seniority list. The High Court then tagged all four petitions together.
In accordance with the seniority list of the government, Goa Civil Service officers Sandip Jacques and Arun Dessai have already been inducted into the Indian administrative service (IAS). Desai and Jacques have been posted in Puducherry and Andaman and Nicobar, respectively.
Desai’s galloping promotion The basis of all the petitions was the altering of seniority rankings from the earlier list of 1998 when the first batch of the Goa civil services joined. Swapnil Naik was senior most on that list followed by Elvis Gomes, Sandip Jacques, Manino D’Souza and Arun Desai.
In 2010, during the tenure of the earlier Congress government, this list was surprisingly re-jigged. Here Jacques shot from number 3 to number 1 followed by Desai, who was earlier number 5, thus making Desai the second senior most civil service officer in Goa. With this re-jig, Gomes plummeted from number 2 to number 4
While it does not make much of a difference to Naik and Jacques who have been elevated to IAS, it does affect former Transport Director Desai, who got elevated to the IAS because he was placed at number two in the government seniority list. It is this list which has been quashed.
Additional Secretary Personnel Yatindra Maralkar told Herald that they have not yet received a copy of the order. “We haven’t got the order copy yet and hence can’t comment on it,” he said.
However, another official, speaking on condition of anonymity said, “The officers (Desai and others) have an option of challenging the HC order in the Supreme Court within a particular time frame.”
However, he added, if they do not do so or the SC upholds the HC order, Desai’s promotion will have to be quashed. “A review DPC will be held and the UPSC will be informed accordingly,” the officer stated.
Govt not to challenge order The government has decided not to challenge the High Court order that quashed and set aside the controversial seniority list, though Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar was non- committal. He said, “We will examine the court order and then implement it. So far we haven’t received the order.”
Government sources said that if the order remains unchallenged, then the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) will have to be informed about the court decision and subsequently the seniority list will be revised by UPSC.

Herald Goa News

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