17. ASSURED CAREER PROGRESSION SCHEME (ACP)

AND FUNCTIONAL SCALE

17.1 During our preliminary study, we have received number of requests from the Judicial Officers that they should be accorded advance career progression scales.

17.2 In order to ascertain the views and remarks on this aspect, we have specifically provided the following Question in our general Questionnaire.

Q.21 In States like Madhya Pradesh and West Bengal, there are Selection Grade, Supertime Scale and ‘Above Supertime Scale’ related to number of years of service in the cadre of District Judges.

In the State of Andhra Pradesh, the Civil Judges (Junior Division) are entitled to a time-bound scale after 8 years of service and a special promotional post in a higher scale after 16 years of service, if stagnated in the same post. In Haryana State, there is senior scale after 5 years and Selection Grade after 12 years of service. In Punjab State also such scales are given after 8 and 18 years of service. In Uttar Pradesh, there is higher scale after 5 years of service.

In West Bengal, Himachal Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh, I.A.S. Pay Rules of 1954 as amended up-to-date are made applicable to Higher Judicial Service.

What are your suggestions for allowing time-bound pay scales for career progression. Should it be provided to every cadre? If so, please justify with cogent reasons and suggest such time-bound pay scales and eligibility period for such entitlement.

17.3 The High Courts of Andhra Pradesh, Patna (Bihar), Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Bombay (Maharashtra), Orissa, Rajasthan, Sikkim, Tamil Nadu, Allahabad (Uttar Pradesh) and Calcutta (West Bengal) have favoured introduction of ‘Career Progression Time Bound Pay Scales’ to prevent stagnation due to absence of promotional avenues. They have suggested that the benefit of higher time bound scale should not be automatic irrespective of past record of service; there should be a screening committee to examine the individual cases to evaluate the performance and those who come up to the expected level would be given such benefits.

17.4 However, the High Courts of Delhi, Gujarat, Kerala and Madhya Pradesh are against giving any ‘Time Bound Promotion Scheme’, since according to them, such benefits would generally tend to develop complacency in the Officers.

17.5 Almost all the Service Associations have pleaded for time bound pay scales at each interval of 5 to 10 years in each cadre.

17.6 It may be stated that an ACP system is intended to assure pay progression to Officers within the time-bound schedule. The scheme is designed to allow an officer the pay upgradation when functional considerations do not permit promotion in the cadre-hierarchy. With ACPs, the Officer moves into the next higher scale. The basic hypothesis here is that a person of considerable experience needs to be suitably rewarded to keep his tempo of work with high moral values and ought not to be allowed to stagnate or degenerate.

17.7 The Commission has noted that there is lack of promotional opportunities to Judicial Officers in view of the limited number of posts. It is, therefore, necessary to provide them some form of ‘in-situ’ arrangements on a time-bound basis.

17.8 At the outset, the ACP, which we intend to propose for the first two cadres, is not linked to the availability of the promotional posts. It is not restricted to the percentage of posts in the cadre. Nor it is on functional basis. The scheme is intended to afford reasonable opportunity to all the Officers in the grade to get financial upgradation in a time-frame.

17.9 OUR RECOMMENDATION :

A. Civil Judge (Junior Division) :

We recommend the following two Assured Career Progression Scales to the Civil Judge (Junior Division) :

i) Rs.10750-300-13150-350-14900 after 5 years of continuous service from the date of entry.

ii) Rs.12850-300-13150-350-15950-400-17550 after completion of another 5 years of continuous service.

We have recommended the second ACP with a definite purpose that a Civil Judge (Jr. Divn.) at the end of the 10th year of continuous service, shall be able to get the initial pay scale of the Civil Judge (Sr. Divn.) to avoid frustration due to stagnation, if there is no promotion forthcoming to him in the meanwhile.

B. Civil Judge (Senior Division) :

We recommend the following two Assured Career Progression Scales to the Civil Judge (Senior Division):

i) Rs.14200-350-15950-400-18350 after 5 years of continuous service.

ii) Rs.16750-400-19150-450-20500 after completion of another 5 years of continuous service.

Here again, we have recommended the second ACP to the Civil Judge (Senior Division), which is equivalent to the entry level pay scale of the District Judge to avoid disappointment and frustration for want of promotional opportunity.

This conferment of benefits by way of ACPs should not be automatic but on the appraisal of their work and performance by a Committee of Senior Judges of the High Court constituted for the purpose.

We further recommend that these financial upgradations should not be provided to those who have declined regular promotion on any personal ground.

We also recommend that in case where an Officer in the cadre of Civil Judge (Junior Division) or Civil Judge (Senior Division) who has been provided the ACP, refuses functional promotion to the higher cadre in his turn of seniority and merit, he shall be reverted to the original pay scale.

C. District Judges:

We recommend the following financial upgradations on functional basis:

i) Selection Grade Scale of Rs.18750-400-19150-450-21850-500-23850.

This scale would be available to 25% of the cadre posts and would be given to those having not less than five years of continuous service in the cadre.

ii) Super Time Scale of Rs.22850-500-24850.

This Scale would be available to holders of 10% of the Selection Grade District Judges and would be given to those who have put in not less than three years of continuous service as Selection Grade District Judges.

We recommend that both these scales be given on the assessment of merit-cum-seniority.

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