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To

The Member (Staff), Railway Board, Ministry of Railways, Rail Bhawan, New Delhi - 110 001.

2 nd May 2012

Sub: Request for maintaining / continuing 3 years qualifying service condition for appearing in Gr. ‘C’ Stenographers Limited Departmental Competitive Examination and 5 years qualifying service for promotion through seniority quota for Stenographers of RBSSS Cadre as per existing Service Rules.

Respected Sir,

We, the undersigned Stenographers of Railway Board, would like to draw your kind attention to the injustice being done to the feeder grade of the cadre in an arbitrary, illegal and biased manner thereby depriving the Stenographers of their chances of promotion to the next grade. A brief background of the issues being raised herein and the unreasonable decisions taken by the Railway Board leading to the present situation are as under:

1.

The Department of Personnel & Training (DOP&T) has, in supersession of the Central Secretariat Stenographers’ Service Rules, 1969 (CSSS Rules, 1969), framed the Central Secretariat Stenographers’ Service Rules, 2010 (CSSS Rules, 2010), thereby increasing the approved length of service for promotion from Stenographer Grade ‘D’ to Personal Assistant Grade through Seniority Quota and through Limited Departmental Competitive Examination to 10 years and 6 years, respectively.

2.

Further, the DOP&T, vide the said Rules, has reduced the approved length of service for promotion from Personal Assistant Grade to Private Secretary Grade through Seniority Quota and through Limited Departmental Competitive Examination to 5 years and 3 years, respectively.

3.

As per the existing Railway Board Secretariat Stenographers Service Rules, 1971 (RBSSS Rules, 1971), which are presently in force as on date, the Stenographers in feeder grade with 5 years of approved service are eligible for promotion on seniority basis and the length of approved service required for appearing in the Limited Departmental Competitive Examination is 3 years.

4.

It is pertinent to mention here that though the RBSSS Rules, 1971 are patterned on the lines of CSSS Rules, 1969, however, no fresh Rules on the pattern of CSSS Rules, 2010 have yet been notified. Thus, as on date, the eligibility criteria in respect of the approved length of service for promotion from one grade to another remains unchanged and will remain the same till the notification of fresh RBSSS Rules, if any.

5. The intention of the Railway Board to adopt the changes made in the CSSS Rules, 2010 is very much evident from the Promotion Order No.55 of 2011 dated 27.12.2011 (copy enclosed and marked as ANNEXURE-A), whereby 97 Personal Assistants of the Board’s Office, also including those who have completed less than 8 years of approved service, have been promoted as Private Secretaries on ad-hoc basis, whereas, as per the extant Rules 8 years of approved service is a condition of eligibility for such promotions.

6. However, at the same time, vide order dated 30.12.2011 (copy enclosed and marked as ANNEXURE-B), 4 Stenographers, who have rendered only 5 years of approved service too have been promoted as Personal Assistants as per the existing RBSSS Rules.

7. Thus, while on the one hand, revised criterion is being adopted for granting promotions from PA to PS, on the other hand extant criterion as per existing Rules is being adopted for granting promotions from Stenographer Grade to PA Grade.

8. It is now seen from the notification dated 28.04.2012 issued by the Staff Selection Commission (SSC) in respect of the Stenographer Grade ‘C’ Limited Departmental Competitive Examination (LDCE), 2012, that the approved length of service of 6 years is sought as eligibility criteria for Stenographers of CSSS & RBSSS cadre (though the RBSSS Rules adopting the revised eligibility criteria have not been notified), while retaining the same as 3 years for Stenographers of AFHQ, IFS(B), Election Commission & CAT.

9. It is evident from the said notification dated 28.04.2012 issued by SSC that the Railway Board has failed to convey the present position with regard to the ‘un-amended state’ of the RBSSS Rules. Otherwise, there appears no basis on which the Staff Selection Commission can ignore the sanctity of the existing RBSSS Rules, which are very much in force as on date and will remain to be in force till the notification of any adopted changes, so as to ensure that the interests of Stenographers of RBSSS Cadre are not affected prejudicially.

10. It may be mentioned here that even at the time of Stenographer Grade ‘C’ LDCE, 2011 also, the position was exactly the same i.e., the revised eligibility criteria in respect of approved length of service was incorporated in CSSS Rules, 2010, while the RBSSS Rules were not amended. In such circumstances also, the SSC conducted the said examination keeping 3 years as the eligibility criteria for Stenographers of RBSSS Cadre and 6 years for Stenographers of CSSS Cadre as per their revised eligibility criteria.

11. It is further submitted that in case it is proposed to implement the revised length of service by the Railway Board in respect of promotions from Stenographer Grade to PA Grade without first notifying the fresh Service Rules, such implementation is in gross abuse of law and in violation of the extant RBSSS Rules, particularly since the same are prejudicial to the Stenographers.

12.

Further, even after notifying the ‘amended’ Service Rules, they cannot be brought into effect retrospectively, unless it is ensured that the interests of no one are prejudicially affected. It may be mentioned here that in a similar situation while framing the RBSSS Rules, 1971, which were also implemented retrospectively (i.e. w.e.f. 1969), it was ensured that the interests of all are protected, which is evident from the Explanatory Memorandum to the said Rules (copy enclosed and marked as ANNEXURE-C).

13.

Thus, it is very categorically stated that the interests of Stenographers of Railway Board are affected prejudicially if the proposed Service Rules are implemented with retrospective effect and hence any decision of the Railway Board on these lines is arbitrary and against the principles of natural justice.

14.

Besides the above, it may further be mentioned that some of the undersigned Stenographers have already rendered more than 16-18 years of service including the service of subordinate offices (Zonal Railways) and are on the verge of completing 5 years of service in Railway Board and will thus become eligible for promotion through seniority quota as per extant RBSSS Rules.

15.

It further needs to be noted that as on date, several posts in the Private Secretary and Personal Assistant Grades of Railway Board are lying vacant and in case the revised eligibility criteria is adopted, none of the Stenographers will be eligible for promotion to the next grade in the near future. Despite this alarming fact, the administration has already been downgrading the posts of Private Secretary & Personal Assistant and the resultant vacancies are thus being filled up through direct recruitment, thereby inflating the sanctioned strength of Stenographers.

16.

In this regard, various representations have also been submitted in the past by the Stenographers of RBSSS cadre on the issue of adopting the changes made in the CSSS Rules, 2010. Vide said representations, it was requested by the Stenographers of RBSSS cadre as under:

a) To consider the guidelines issued by DOP&T

vide OM No.AB-14017/

48/2010-Estt.(RR)

ANNEXURE-D) wherein it is mentioned that ‘the Ministries / Departments are competent to relax the Recruitment Rules for Group ‘C’ posts’ (Para 2.1.2 of Part-II, Page 2).

as

dated

31.12.2010

(copy

enclosed

and

marked

b) To consider the clause of “Retention of Existing Eligibility Service” mentioned in Para 3.1.3 (Part-III) of the OM referred to above, wherein it was stipulated as under:

3.1.3: Where the eligibility service for promotion prescribed in the existing rules is being enhanced (to be in conformity with the guidelines issued by this Department) and the change is likely to affect adversely some persons holding the feeder grade posts on regular basis, a note to the effect that the eligibility service shall continue to be the same for persons holding the feeder posts on regular basis on the date of notification of the revised rules, could be included in the revised rules.

PRAYER

In view of the foregoing, it is now most respectfully prayed that -

i) The Staff Selection Commission may be advised prior to the date of closure for receipt of applications to issue a corrigendum to the notification dated 28.04.2012 to retain the existing eligibility criteria of 3 years for Stenographers of RBSSS Cadre for the Limited Departmental Examination, 2012 and also till the RBSSS Rules are notified incorporating the revised eligibility criteria, failing which irreparable loss, injury and injustice would be caused to the Stenographers of RBSSS Cadre.

ii) That a Committee be constituted in the interest of Stenographers of the RBSSS Cadre to see the possibility of considering the guidelines issued by DOP&T vide OM No.AB-14017/ 48/2010-Estt.(RR) dated 31.12.2010 while framing the new RBSSS Rules, thereby relaxing the same for Group ‘C’ posts by retaining the eligibility service to be as per the extant criteria for persons holding the feeder posts on the date of notification, as prescribed therein.

In view of the submissions made herein, it is humbly requested by the undersigned Stenographers that the interests of the feeder grade of the RBSSS cadre may be protected, failing which, though it is not our intention to implead the Railway Board and the Staff Selection Commission in any litigation, but in order to prevent the resultant irreparable loss, injury and injustice and most importantly, time being the essence of the matter, it will become imperative for us and we will be left with no other option but to approach the Hon’ble Court of Law to prevent the gross injustice.

Notwithstanding the above, we are submitting this representation with the hope that you may kindly intervene in the matter to see that precious time and energies are saved and the possibility of any litigation is avoided by ensuring that the most appropriate decision as prayed for herein is taken well in time and in the interest of the Stenographers of RBSSS Cadre.

With regards,

Copy to:

Yours faithfully,

Sd/-

1. Hon’ble MR, Hon’ble MSR(B), Hon’ble MSR(M);

2. Chairman, Railway Board;

3. Chairman, Staff Selection Commission

4. Secretary, Railway Board;

5. Joint Secretary, Railway Board.

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