Annual Performance Appraisal Reports Must Be Communicated To Public Servants, Reiterates SC [Read Judgment]
"Non-communication of the entries is, therefore, a matter in respect of which a legitimate grievance can be made."
The Supreme Court has reiterated that entries in an Annual Performance Appraisal Report must be communicated to a public servant.
In Pankaj Prakash vs. United India Insurance Co Ltd., the case of the employee was that the entries in his Annual Performance Appraisal Report for 2010-11 and 2011-12 were not disclosed, as a result of which he was unable to submit a representation at the material time. The writ petition, which he had filed before the Allahabad High Court was dismissed on the ground that, absent an adverse entry or an entry below the benchmark, the failure to communicate did not result in an actionable grievance.
The bench comprising Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice Indira Banerjee noted that a three judge bench of the Supreme Court in Sukhdev Singh vs. Union of India has held that, every entry in ACR of a public servant must be communicated to him/her within a reasonable period.
The court said that, since this judgment is declaratory in nature, it cannot be contended that the decision having been implemented from 2013-14, it has no application for the earlier years. The bench said:
"Admittedly, for one of the years under consideration (2011-12) for the promotional exercise for 2014-15, the appellant was graded a "B", while for the subsequent two years, he was graded an "A". Consequently, the fact that the appellant was given a lower grading for 2011-12 would materially affect whether or not he should be promoted from Scale III to Scale IV for the year in question. The non-communication of the entries is, therefore, a matter in respect of which a legitimate grievance can be made by the appellant, particularly having regard to the position in law laid down in Dev Dutt (supra) and Sukhdev Singh (supra)."
The bench then disposed of the appeal by directing the authorities to consider the representation, if any, that may be submitted by the employee in respect of the grading which was assigned to him for the relevant years which were taken into consideration during the promotional exercise for 2014-15.