The Nainital High Court today put a stay on the department promotion committee (DPC) meeting for the post of Director General, Health and Family Welfare, upsetting the plans of the Department of Health. The high court ordered the department to first fill the posts of Director that had been lying vacant for the last few months before conducting the DPC meeting.
The meeting was stopped after Additional Director, National Rural Health Mission (NRHM), Dr RK Pant sought legal recourse saying that the Department of Health was discriminating against him by not filling the vacant posts of Director for the general category.
The stay on DPC meeting has come at a time when four posts of Director have been lying vacant for the last six months. There are six posts of Director, of which two have been already filled according to the state reservation policy, but the rest of the posts are still lying vacant.
It is alleged that to pave the way for promotion of officiating Director CP Arya the department did not deliberately fill the four posts of Director. Had it been done, the members from the general category could have automatically become eligible for the post of Director General, Health and Family Welfare, as cited in the service rules.
Besides Dr RK Pant, Dr RS Sahi, CMO, Almora, Dr Yogesh Sharma and Dr PC Kapri, all Additional Directors, are eligible for promotion to the post of Director and later Director General depending on their seniority.
After the service rule No. 18 for government medical officers was amended in 2011, Pant, who is the senior most among them with 35 years of service, would also be eligible for the post of Director General. As Additional Director, NRHM, he would be completing his probation period in October.
After the high court order the department would now have to first promote the Additional Directors to the posts of Director and then conduct the DPC meeting for the post of Director General.
After Director General Dr JP Bhatt retired a few months ago, Dr CP Arya was appointed the officiating Director General. In order to pave the way for Dr CP Arya’s promotion, the DPC meeting for the post of Director General slated for today was to consider the eligibility of Dr CP Arya and Dr KL Arya, Director, Health and Family Welfare. Of the two, Dr CP Arya is senior.