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In a recent judgment,  the Delhi High Court held that the displeasure of DG, when not constituting a penalty, should not be a barrier to an officer’s promotion. 

The matter before the Delhi High Court stemmed from a petition filed by RD Dogra challenging the order dated August 31, 2022, issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs whereby the petitioner was denied promotion to the post of Deputy Inspector General (DIG) in Level -13 A in the BSF despite receiving grading of ‘very good’ or ‘outstanding’ in last five years.

The petitioner, represented by Dr. S.S. Hooda argued that he needs to be communicated the reasons for denying the promotion to him. In the year 2016,  displeasure was recorded in his confidential report. However, considering the Office memorandum dated March 27, 2015, and circular dated June 28, 1989, he contended that once the APAR of an officer is complete, displeasure conveyed will become pointless and cannot be considered as a penalty for the promotion. The petitioner emphasized upon the judgment in Dr. O.P Nimesh v. Union of India and Ors, W.P. (C) 2466/2017. Thus, he was denied the promotion based on the recorded displeasure.

He also stated that the DPC went beyond the policies that have been laid down for the objective assessment by the Cadre Controlling Authority.

Mr. Ripu Daman Bhardwaj, representing the respondent side stated that the petitioner was considered by the Supplementary DPC for the vacancy year 2022. Since, the displeasure was recorded on January 21, 2016, in his performance assessment report, he was graded ‘unfit’ considering the last five years’ report.

Emphasizing the judgment in Dr. O.P Nimesh v. Union of India and Ors and the effects of the displeasure conveyed to an officer, the court led by Hon’ble Justice V. Kameswar Rao and Hon’ble Justice Saurabh Banerjee held that DPC has considered the displeasure communicated to the petitioner on  December 4, 2012, which cannot form the ground for denying the promotion. Examining the petitioner’s case in the light of the OM dated March 27, 2015, the court highlighted that  ‘displeasure’ cannot be considered as a penalty according to Rule 11 of the CCS (CCA) Rules 1965. The case clarified that if the displeasure is recorded after completing the assessment report, it becomes ineffective. 

So, recorded displeasure in the assessment report of 2015-2016 would have no significance in the promotion of the petitioner.

The court also took the assistance of the Rajdeep Chowdhary v. Union of India and Ors., MANU/DE/4510/2023. It declared the impugned order as bad, as far as the petitioner was not promoted.  The Hon’ble court ordered them to review and reconsider within eight weeks the petitioner for the said promotion and if found fit, to give him a promotion to the rank of DIG.

This ruling brings out a clear picture regarding the denial of the promotion of an officer.  This judgment sheds light on the limited scope of the displeasure, when not constituting a penalty, in the promotions of the officers and sets a precedent for the like cases.



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