Thiruvananthapuram: Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has sought a report from the Kerala Public Service Commission over its decision to grant promotion to 30 officials by violating existing rules. Earlier, the finance department had declared the promotions invalid.
PSC has given promotion to junior staff in place of 26 senior officials who went on a long leave. PSC has approved the promotion after identifying the post of senior officials as vacancies. It is learnt that PSC used to practice the same if an officer goes on leave for more than three months. On November 2021, the Finance Department issued an order ending this practice and thereby ensuring that the state government does not suffer financially. However, PSC continued to grant promotions to junior officers.
The public Administration principal secretary noticed these illegal promotions and reported the matter to the Chief Minister and Finance Department. Following this, Finance Department warned that a legal issue would follow if PSC did not cancel the promotion. Later, Chief Minister also sought a report from PSC to provide details on similar promotions in various departments.
PSC defended its decision by claiming that officials assigned temporarily for the posts are unable to furnish duties regarding appointments due to legal issues. PSC argued that various governments permitted similar promotions in the last 50 years. However, many PSC officials have a difference of opinion over these appointments.
It is worth noting that similar promotions are not permitted in other government departments, despite having selection committees including the PSC chairman, and other members. Here, the junior officials are promoted in situations where the senior officers are on leave for at least five months.