The practice of ad hoc promotions

In order that the administrative work may not suffer till certain constraints or impediments in regular and permanent promotions which could be of a purely temporary nature are over, resorting to ad hoc arrangement becomes a necessity, UT of Jammu and Kashmir cannot, therefore, be an exception . That it may take the form of a de-jure practice affecting the overall work in the concerned department or departments and being at the cost of those employees who otherwise are eligible for promotion, cannot be allowed if a well carved personnel policy was there and reviewed from time to time and the same followed as a guiding factor for recruitments and promotions. We have every time been advocating for the same whenever personnel issues are involved and never ever are in favour of ad-hocism in promotions as a long term if not a permanent solution . Apart from affecting the daily and even average output of an affected employee, enough space and opportunities are created for judicial intervention and decisions . Once litigations are there against the administrative practices of promoting ad hoc promotions, not only is the Government as respondents to expend time , money and priorities in attending to court cases but the eligible employees prove a constellating factor to spread dissatisfaction in respect of ignoring seniority, merit and other factors by the Government in matters of promotion. The practice in the form of a routine affair needs to be stopped forthwith.
It is not that the courts have not been passing directions as the High Court of Jammu and Kashmir seized of the matter has already issued clear instructions to the UT Government to put an end to the practice and to bring about a change in such a policy. Therefore, the need of preparing a well devised strategy or a roadmap was paramount which would replace ad-hocism by regular appointment by direct recruitment, transfer etc but preferably by promotions. The very phrase – ad-hoc meant purely a temporary arrangement or one of a shortest period duration. In case of the arrangements other than that , it has been noticed that even when replacements were made with the permanent promotions , persons promoted on ad-hoc basis approached the courts for granting interim relief with intent to be allowed to continue to hold that position along with higher allowances, perks etc ”legalising” and regularising their period of ad-hoc promotions and not to revert to older positions , ie, the same grade and position. So ad-hocism has many disadvantages rather than the obverse and for that purpose, a committee of bureaucrats was assigned the task of how the Government could move forward to do away with the practice. Again, the much awaited report has not been submitted by the Committee although it is more than six months now.
The High Court also observing that the UT of Jammu and Kashmir is “complying with less and violating more the judgment passed by the Supreme Court in a case passed in 2020” needs to be carefully noted. That “practically in all the departments , promotions are being made on incharge -basis ” is pointedly observed by the Division Bench and has questioned as to “how an employee who is substantively working on the lowest post can be given the charge of a highest post in the department without there being regular promotions ?” What is observed by the High Court fairly disapproves of the practice of ad-hocism as a solution instead of regular promotions to the very issue of promotions in Government Departments? We do not , however, rule out or advocate total stoppage to the option available but the same needs to be exercised rarely -all looking to the exigencies of the work in a department where the post cannot be kept vacant for functional considerations until a regular eligible candidate becomes available. However, all efforts are needed to be taken to effect all promotions through established procedures of seniority, merit, impeccable integrity and other related prerequisites and ad-hoc promotions very rarely made . In such ad-hoc promotions, it should be clearly mentioned that the said promotion was purely of a temporary nature and conferred no rights whatsoever on the promotee of any rights which a permanent promoted one would be entitled to.