Annual Confidential Report cannot be ignored for the purposes of promotion merely on the ground that it was written after some delay

Supreme Court: Answering the question as to whether the Annual Confidential Report (ACR) of an officer could be ignored for the purposes of his promotion merely on the ground that it was written after some delay, in negative, the Court said that the ACR of an officer forms a part of his service record and he cannot be prejudiced merely because his superior officers delayed writing it.

In the present case, A Select Committee constituted under the Indian Police Service (Appointment by Promotion) Regulations, 1955 considered the appellant, amongst others, for promotion in the Indian Police Service.  Referring to the decision of the Court in G. Mohanasundaram v. R. Nanthagopal, (2014) 13 SCC 172, where it was held that in terms of the IAS Regulations, the UPSC is obliged to consider the service record, which includes ACR, of a candidate who is eligible for promotion and it is on the basis of the overall relative assessment of the service record that an eligible officer may be graded, the Court said that in the said case the provisions of the Indian Administrative Service (Appointment by Promotion) Regulations, 1955 were under consideration and that the relevant provisions are in pari materia with the provisions of the Indian Police Service (Appointment by Promotion) Regulations, 1955.

The bench of Madan B. Lokur and P.C. Pant, JJ said that the writing and review of the ACR is beyond the officer’s control and hence, there is no rational basis on which the officer could be disadvantaged merely because his superior officers were lax in the discharge of their responsibilities. [P. Sivanandi v. Rajeev Kumar, 2017 SCC OnLine SC 85, decided on 02.02.2017]

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