CHRONOLOGY OF EVENTS AND BACKGROUNDER (PROGRAMME EXECUTIVES & STAFF ARTIST)
I THE ISSUE: The present issue relates to two types of employees who have been working in the Programme Wing of AIR and Doordarshan from the beginning:
(a) Regular Programme Officers selected by the UPSC for Group A and B posts and formed part of the regular Programme Cadre.
(b) Contractual employees locally engaged by individual stations and not part of the regular programme cadre.
II. REGULAR PROGAMME CADRE:
a) The Regular Programme cadre starts at the base level post of Transmission Executive (Group C). 75 % are directly recruited by SSC.
b) The next higher grade is Programme Executive (Group B Gazetted - recruited as per the All India Radio (Class II Posts) Recruitment Rules 1962). (Amendments made in 1977 and 1984).
c) 25 % posts of Programme Executives were filled by promotion from Transmission Executives as per the provisions of the said All India Radio Class –II Posts Recruitment Rule, 1962.
d) 75 % of Programme Executives were directly recruited by UPSC with a minimum educational qualification of M.A/ MSc with minimum 2nd Class with ancillary qualifications as per the All India Radio Class –II Posts Recruitment Rule, 1962. (Amended on 22nd Aug 1973 and 23rd Oct 1984)
e) The promotional post of Programme Executive was the Assistant Station Director.(Group A). Other higher levels were Station Director, Deputy Director General and Director General.
f) The posts designated as Assistant Station Director and above belong to Class-I and were governed by All India Radio Class- I Posts Recruitment Rule, 1963. As per this rule, Programme Executive with 3 years approved service was eligible for promotion to the post of Assistant Station Director.
III CONTRACTUAL STAFF ARTISTS:
a) There were about 36 categories of Contractual Employees working in AIR and Doordarshan who were generically known as “Staff Artist” or “Artist” depending on the nature of the job performed by them. The terms and conditions of these categories differed and while some were on “Short Term Contract” others were on “Long Term Contract” or even “Casual Contract”.
IV. REGULARISATION SCHEME FOR CONTRACTUAL EMPLOYEES:
a) In May 1982 , following a cabinet decision a scheme was created to regularize those Staff Artist who were on Long Term Contract and had not attained 58 years of age as on 28th February, 1982 as government servants subject to their being screened and found fit by the screening committees. The regularization was to be effective from 06.03.1982.
b) On 23rd October 1984, the All India Radio Class II posts Recruitment Rules 1962 was amended and an enabling Statutory Recruitment Rule i.e All India Radio Group ‘B’ Post Recruitment (Amendment) Rule 1984 into being.
c) Col. 1 of the SCHEDULE of the said Group B RRs of 1984 (which is in vogue as on date) lists only 6 out of 36 categories of contractual employees (who had some similarities with the job profile of Programme Executives). These categories were to be encadered in the grade of Programme Executives, subject to their being found fit for such fitment by the UPSC as provided in Rule 4A(1)(a) to(h).
d) Pertinent to mention here that the performing category of contractual employees like Announcers, Instrumentalists, Drama Voices etc. commonly known as ‘Artists’, who were left out of the ambit of the 1982 regularisation scheme approached the Supreme Court in 1988. Apex Court advised that a fresh scheme may be prepared by including the Artists also, which was created in Nov 1991
V. PROMOTIONS TO ASD FROM THE TWO GROUPS: (PERIOD 1982-1989)
a) 23.10. 1984 - Amendments were also made in All India Radio Class I posts Recruitment Rules of 1963 and All India Radio Group ‘A’ Post Recruitment (Amendment) Rule of 23rd October 1984 was promulgated.
b) This Rule interalia provided for promotion of 6 categories of staff artists to the next higher grade of Assistant Station Director (who were to be encadred in the grade of Programme Executive as per the provisions of 1984 Group B Recruitment Rule). This Rule stipulated statutory eligibility criteria of “5 years regular service” in the grade of Programme Executive including service if any as Programme Executive Selection Grade for promotion to the next higher grade of Assistant Station Director (ASD). Col. 29 of the Rule also lists 3 categories of Staff Artists Viz. Producer (Selection Grade), Science Officer and Producer Grade I who were equated with Programme Executive Selection Grade. Thus instead of previous position of one feeder category as provided in 1963 Class I Rules ; two feeder categories for promotion to the post of ASD came into being.
c) However, in 1985-86 certain erstwhile Staff Artists were promoted as Assistant Station Directors against the vacancies of 1982-85.
d) This was patently against the statutory eligibility requirement of ‘5 years regular service’ in the grade of Programme executive as these Staff Artists were made government servant only w.e.f 6.3.82 and encadered in the grade of Programme Executive by the Group B RRs of 23.10.1984 .
e) Hence, these promotions were challenged by one Programme Executive, Late Maya Israni before Rajasthan High Court (which was subsequently transferred to Jodhpur CAT). Her plea was that the vacancies prior to 23rd October, 1984 (i.e the date when the RRs came into being) cannot be allocated to Staff Artists. The plea was upheld and Staff Artists were reverted.
f) No challenge was thrown to Maya Israni judgment and the same became a settled issue.
g) Staff Artists belonging to Producer (Selection Grade), Science Officer and Producer Grade I were made into ASDs w.e.f 1.1.1986 in violation of the RRs (ignoring the requirement of 5 years regular service in the grade of Programme Executive.)
VI. ISSUES RELATING TO REVIEW DPC 1982-1989
a) In 1990 about 135 Staff Artists were again promoted as ASDs against the vacancies arising from 1984.
b) In 1991, one Staff Artist Mohd. Ashraf Lone challenged this before J&K High Court , with the plea that his contractual service as Staff Artist needs to be reckoned towards the seniority for promotion. He also, challenged rule (e) and (f) of rule 4-A (1) of 1984 Group ‘B’ rules which provided for maintenance of separate seniority of Programme Executive and erstwhile Staff Artist.
c) On 6th July 1997, the J&K High Court turned down Ashraf Lone's challenge to the statutory Group B RRs of 23.10. 1984. His plea for reckoning his contractual service for purposes of promotion was also not allowed.
d) The J&K High Court directed a review dpc by identifying the vacancies in the grade of Assistant Station Director arising from 06.03.1982 to December,1989 and then as per service rule , eligibility conditions and quota ratio provided therein adjustment be made in case of excess allocation to any of the feeder categories.
e) In February 2000 an SLP filed by the Government against the J&K High Court judgment was dismissed by the Supreme Court, making the J&K judgment final.
f) In 2000, on the dismissal of the SLP, Department/Ministry made preparations to undertake review DPC ordered by J&K High Court.
g) AUPO INTERVENES: The same year, (2000), AUPO representing the UPSC recruited Programme Officers approached Principal Bench of CAT apprehending that RRs and eligibility conditions were going to be violated and vacancies in excess of their quota were being allocated to the staff Artists.. CAT thereupon ordered Secretary I&B, to reply to the points raised by AUPO's representation through a speaking order before conducting review DPC.
h) In March 2001, Secretary I&B issued a speaking order to AUPO, while conceding to maintain Quota ratio as per RR, the speaking order reiterated that allocation was being made from 1982 as this was directed by the Supreme Court . ( thereby meaning dismissal of the SLP filed by the Dept.)
i) Immediately, UPSC Recruited Programmes Officers (AUPO) challenged the matter before Principal Bench of CAT (in 2001) as this meant that -
the eligibility criteria of 5 years regular service in the grade of Programme Executive provided in All India Radio Group ‘A’ Rule of 1984 was not being followed .
the contractual service of staff artists was being counted as regular service (which was specifically turned down by the J&K High Court).
a retrospective effect was being given to the recruitment rules of 1984 by which the staff artist/Mohd Ashraf Lone was encadered in the programme cadre which specifically turned down by the J&K High Court.
allocation of vacancies to staff artists in excess of the Quota provided in statutory RRs.
unsettling the settled position of Maya Israni case.
j) Principal Bench of CAT orders in the very first hearing of AUPO’s case that review DPC ordered by the J&K High Courtin Ashraf Lone’s case may be done, but the results cannot be announced until the matter is decided.
k) Consequently, on 2nd and 3rd August 2001 , the Department conducted review DPC ordered by the J&K High Court in Mohd Ashraf Lone's case by making promotion to the Staff Artist with effect from 06.03.1982 itself .
l) In January 2003, CAT dismisses AUPO's appeal. AUPO immediately approaches the Delhi High Court,in March 2003 which also grants stay to the release of results of review DPC.
m) In 2006, AUPO's plea is dismissed by the Delhi High Court. The High Court while not going into the merits of the issues pointed out by AUPO, maintained that the allocation etc. by the department is being done as per the directions of J&K High Court .
n) In 2006, UPSC officers (AUPO) filed an SLP in the Supreme Court which has been admitted and is pending adjudication. There is however no stay on the release of review DPC results conducted in August 2001.
o) Inspite of there being no stay in release of review DPC results, Department is continuing to use old seniority lists of ASD onwards (i.e prior to August 2001 review DPC), to conduct further regular DPCs to higher level posts.
B. MATTERS RELATING TO REVIEW DPC FROM 1990 (POST IBPS SCENARIO) AND PENDING CONTEMPT CASE.
a) Meanwhile on 5th November 1990 the IBPS Rules came into effect replacing 1984 Group ‘A’ Rules. This rule created four independent cadres viz. Management Cadres of AIR and Doordarshan and Production Cadres of AIR and DD.
b) Rules 7(6)-A of the IBPS provided that those in the field of consideration for JTS Management Cadre (i.e Programme Executives, Farm Radio Officers ,Extension Officers) of the service would have the option of going for both management and production cadres of AIR and Doordarshan.
c) Similarly, 7(6)-B provided that those in field of consideration for production (i.e former contractual staff artists such as Producers etc) shall have only option to go for Production Cadres of either of the Media.
d) However, in 1990 and 1993 when promotions were held for the JTS Production Cadre of IBPS, Programme Executives in spite of having given their options, were not considered against the production vacancies.( The department took the view that Programme Executive shall only be considered for JTS Production Post once all the producers etc. were exhausted.)
e) The matter was immediately challenged by an UPSC recruited Programme Executive - Sachidanand Singh in 1993.
VIII. REVIEW DPC OF 1993 ORDERED BY APEX COURT :
a) On 30/7/1999, Supreme Court separately ordered review DPC to JTS posts of IBPS in Chetan Naik vs UOI (wherein the issue agitated was whether promotion to JTS is on the basis of seniority cum fitness or selection basis) .
b) In Sept /Oct 2000 review DPC of 1993 DPC for the JTS was held. Programme Executives were however not considered for JTS Production Cadre in spite of AUPO’s objections. UPSC recruits of 1982 are reverted and Contractual Producers are allocated all posts in Production cadre.
IX. AUPO CHALLENGES NON INCLUSION OF PEXS IN PRODUCTION CADRE OF IBPS:
a) In 2001, UPSC Programme Executives represented by AUPO challenged their non consideration in Production cadre of IBPS before CAT PB in O.A. No. 399/2001. (Matter heard along with Sachidanand Singh’s case on the same issue)
b)On 26th March 2004, CAT upheld the contention of AUPO and Sachidanand Singh that as per IBPS Recruitment Rule , Programme Executives are eligible to opt for either Management or Production Cadre and this cannot be denied. CAT directed a review DPC giving options to Programme Executives to be completed within 3 months . (Mattter is still pending after 5 years . Contempt filed by AUPO)
X: CORRECTION OF PEXS SENIORITY LIST BY PSWA:
a) In 2005, PSWA points out through O.A. No. 789/2005 in the Principal Bench of CAT that there are serious discrepancies in the Seniority list of Programme Executives dated 16.7.2004 and more than 200 Trexs promoted in 1988 as programme executives have been wrongly given seniority and promotions from 18.4.83 (whereas there were only 7 vacancies) . PSWA maintains that this will have bearing on review DPC. DG. AIR/Ministry admits to discrepancies and promises to take corrective measures .
b) In 2005 , Dept also admits and reiterates in PSWA vs UOI (O.A. No. 124 /2003) that review DPC is being conducted for Production cadre of IBPS by including the Programme Executives .
c) On 16.4.2007 , Dept issued final corrected seniority list of Programme Executives with corrections from 1983. This seniority list is challenged by Promotee Pexs like SC Naik, Vinod Mehta and Smita Mishra etc.( However the challenge / case was dismissed by CAT Delhi in 2008 )
XI. POSITION OF CONTEMPT PENDING IN IBPS CASE:
a) Meanwhile ( since 2005) Contempt has been filed by AUPO in Principal Bench of CAT, New Delhi as CAT order of 26.3.2004 to conduct review DPC by including Programme Executives in Production posts of IBPS has not been implemented by the Department for over 5 years . Reasons cited for the delay are non-availability of options, CRs , Vigilance Clearance, requirement of creating combined seniority/ eligibility list of PEX and Producers etc. (Court has given many extensions/ last opportunities including asking for Secretary I &B’s personal appearance etc)
b) On 11.12.2008, CAT directs that seniority/eligibility lists created for review DPC be given to AUPO/PSWA while hearing their contempt petitions.
c)On 13.1.2009, AUPO and PSWA receive the combined eligibility/ seniority list of PEXs and Producers .
The list also includes many persons who are not part of the regular programme cadre as they are not covered by the 1982 scheme and is in violation of the statutory rules of 1984. (i.e persons recruited on short term contract after the cut off date of 28th February, 1982 prescribed in Statutory Rule of 1984 and the scheme of 03.05.1982 )
Such ineligible persons recruited on contract upto 1985 have also been :enbloc placed above the UPSC PEXs of 1977-80 batches.
AUPO and PSWA represent that ineligible persons who have been included in the Producers list by circumventing and violating RRs must be immediately removed from the lists as this is patently against the provisions of RR, direction of J&K High Court and the Uma Devi Judgment of the Apex Court.
AUPO and PSWA also point out that corrections made in the PEXs seniority list in the PSWA case have not been incorporated.
d) In Jan/Feb 2009 hearings , Department admits in court to errors in lists. Asks for four to six weeks time . Court grants eight weeks time till April 8th .