Competence should determine ranking of civil servants: SC
KATHMANDU, Aug 19: In a verdict that is certain to have a long term consequence on bureaucracy, the Supreme Court (SC) has ordered the Public Service Commission (PSC) to gauge seniority of civil servants on the basis of marks obtained in civil service entrance exams rather than the date and serial number of vacancy notice for such exams.
The verdict, which ended a year-long row over the parameters for determining the seniority of civil servants, particularly, between those selected through open competition and reservation quota, has directed the PSC to determine the seniority of government employees on the basis of marks that each contender secures in the series of entrance exams that includes written exams, practical tests and interview.
Fourteen officials, who joined civil service through inclusive quota in June 2011, had filed a writ petition at the apex court against a secretary-level decision at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs that placed official of the same position but recruited through the open competition at the higher rank.
The decision, taken on August 31, 2010, had made such distinction as per the recommendation made by the Ministry of General Administration (MoGA) which in turn relied on the results published by the PSC.
The SC through its verdict of July 8 had scrapped the secretary-level decision to place those recruited through the open competition ahead of the contenders who were selected from inclusive quota.
The MoGA, meanwhile, had recommended those recruited from inclusive quota ahead arguing that the advertisement number and date of interview was ahead of those 14 persons who were selected through open competition.
The PSC has been taking serial number of vacancy notice and order of recommendation as the main basis for ascertaining the ranks of civil servants.
In the full text of the verdict, handed down by a division bench of Justice Kalyan Shrestha and Bharat Raj Uprety, the court has also ordered the PSC to formulate criteria in coordination with concerned ministries and bodies and come up with a clear and transparent mechanism for determining the seniority and rankings of government employees.
The order states that it will be scientific, justifiable and logical to rank civil servants of the same category and post in accordance with the marks obtained by them in PSC examinations.
"Whoever shows higher competency in the examinations should be placed on the top among those selected from a particular vacancy notice. So, it is obvious that who obtains lesser marks will ranked lower," reads the full text of the SC verdict issued on July 8. “Doing so will do justice with both sides."
The SC´s verdict stresses that adopting an inclusive system does not mean that it rejects the competitive system. "The main issue is to look for the most competent person either through open competition or through proportional system," says the verdict.