HQ: New Custom House, Mumbai - 400 001




Shri A. K. Raha,
Member (Personnel and Admn.),
Central Board of Excise and Customs,
North Block, New Delhi – 110 002.

Sub: Acute stagnation in the cadre of Superintendent of Customs - reg.

Respected Sir,

We express our sincere gratitude to you for giving us a patient hearing on our issues during the course of the meeting held on 31st July, 2007 with you in New Custom House, Mumbai.

We, on the said occasion, brought the subject matter to your kind notice. The severity of the issue of acute stagnation in the cadre of Superintendent of Customs can be best understood with the help of the following facts of a sample case:-

Shri Sunil Kumar Sharma joined the department as Preventive Officer on 30.01.1980 (i.e. before more than 27 years) and got his single promotion as Superintendent of Customs on 30.09.1996 till date. He is now 51 years old and he stands at 392nd position in the All India seniority list of the Superintendent of Customs last issued by the Board vide F.No.A-23011/7/2001/AD-II (A) on 22.09.2003.

The last Superintendent of Customs promoted as Assistant Commissioner from the same seniority list is Shri U. V. Sangodkar who stands at the 92nd seniority position of the same list.

Therefore, 300 positions are required to be exhausted before the said Shri Sunil Kumar Sharma to get his second promotion in service life.

On an average less than 100 promotions have been made per year during last many numbers of years. Considering 100 vacancies are available per year for promotion to Assistant Commissioner, only 11 vacancies are available for promotion of Superintendent of Customs to the cadre of Assistant Commissioner in the existing ratio of 6:1:2. The said 300 positions can be exhausted in next 27 years when Shri Sunil Kumar Sharma will become 78 years old. It is thus a reality that Shri Sunil Kumar Sharma has to retire from service with a single promotion.

The example of Shri Sunil Kumar Sharma is not in the isolation and same fate can be predicted for all the Superintendents who have joined the Department as Preventive Officer after 1977.

It may not be out of place to mention that we are entangled in the web of judicial proceedings and finally have landed by way of SLP converted into Civil Application no. 1198/2005 before the Hon’ble Supreme Court from where the journey started in the O.A .no.306/88. The irony of situation lies in the fact that the course of our fight to get a higher quota of promotion as against the Appraisers proportionate to the respective cadre strength of these two cadres, has taken a undesired turn of a contempt of court against some of our very senior Officers. As a result, hurdles came in the path of persuasion so much that the former Chairman, CBEC denied to listen to our submission and directed us back to the Court to get any order with finality. In such circumstances we are sandwiched between the apathy of the department and unavailability of the court order with finality. Our cadre being the senior-most by age in the department, our members are retiring in numbers without getting their due promotion.

We also have a conviction that the senior Superintendents who have retired in the recent past would be given notional promotion when the adhoc promotions in the grade of Assistant Commissioner would be made regular and they would not be in the position to gain out of such promotion orders.

In view of the above, it is requested that

1. The department may take a proactive role to file its views before the Hon’ble Supreme Court in the matter which is at the stage of final hearing.

2. The promise made in the Board’s letter F. No. 18011/1/2001-Ad II dated 17th October, 2001 (copy enclosed) that “….. Need and justification for change in Recruitment Rules and the ratio of 6:1:2 can be examined when these officers appointed against upgraded post in 1996-97 become due for promotion…..” is now brought to your kind notice. It is submitted that those officers appointed against upgraded post in 1996-97 have long become ripe for promotion as early as 1999-2000 and thus it is requested to give a re-look into the issue.

3. The seniority list of the Superintendents of Customs are available and considering the long stagnation of our cadre, promotion of the members of our cadre may be made urgently without waiting for the finalization of the seniority list of the Appraisers.

4. It may also be considered that the total number of entry point group-A level post available for promotion may be increased substantially so that the ratio between the number of feeder cadre posts and the promotion posts may be restricted to 3:1 so as to make the promotional prospect rational for not only the Superintendent of Customs but also of the Preventive Officers.

Thanking you,

Yours Faithfully,