Selection For Appointment Of CMDs & Directors Of 7 New OFB Corporations Challenged In Delhi High Court

High Court directs that all appointment of CMDs and Directors will be subject to outcome of Writ Petition filed by IOFSOA has been the first to inform its viewers about the on-going legal battle against the Government decision to splinter the Ordnance Factories into 7 corporations, changing the status of Defence Civilian Employees to Corporation Employees, EDSA-2021 and the selection and appointment of CMDs and Directors.

While the Writ Petition filed by the All India Defence Employees’ Federation (AIDEF) against EDSA-2021 at Delhi High Court and challenging the Government decision to corporatize the Ordnance Factories and to transfer its Employees to the Corporation filed at Madras High Court is expected to be listed for hearing by next week, the first hearing of the Writ Petition filed by the IOFSOA and many affected Senior Officers took place on the 08th of September, 2021. The High Court in its interim Order has given the following directions to the Department of Defence Production.
“suffice to state that the appointment of respondent NOs 4 to 30 as Chairman / Functional Directors of the DPSUs shall be subject to the outcome of the Writ Petition”.

The Court admitted the Petition and issued notice to all the respondents and the next hearing is fixed on 27th of October, 2021. The IOFSOA and the affected Officers have raised the following major grounds in their Writ Petition for setting aside the selection and appointment process of CMDs and Directors.

1) The selection process has been conducted in the absence of any intelligible criteria and without obtaining sanction of the Competent Authority i.e. Appointment Committee of Cabinet (ACC)

2) The action of the Respondent is in gross violation of law and the principles of natural justice

3) The Respondent have not disclosed the principles based on which the entire selection process has been conducted or the candidates have been given weightage to determine the merit

4) 42 eligible Officers who have outstanding APAR Marks and had applied of, they were not called for interview nor was any reason for the same assigned to such 42 eligible officers

5) The entire selection process has been conducted by favouring the preferred candidates for the reason best known to the respondents by violating the fundamental right of the other outstanding eligible candidates

6) The Seniority of the Officers has been ignored

7) The entire selection process has been conducted as a back-door entry into a very cryptic and under extraneous consideration

8) Two Officers selected have been imposed with penalties has been selected for the highest post of CMDs of the proposed Corporations

9) The selection process has been conducted in a pick and choose manner

10) It is not clear as to what will be the fate of Employees of OFB after such two years of deemed deputation and there is no clarity what so ever to as whole process

11) The action of the Respondents are arbitrary, capricious, whimsical and exhibits, colorable exercise of Authority. It exhibits malafide and its unconstitutional and bad in law

The IOFSOA and the affected Officers have prayed that the entire selection process may be quashed by the High Court. asked for the reaction of the above High Court Order from C. Srikumar, whose Federation is one of the litigant fighting against the Government decision on Corporatization, changing the status of the employees and also against EDSA-2021. He stated that “When we raised this issue of the alleged manipulation in the selection of CMDs and Directors of the 7 non viable Corporations before the Secretary (DP) on 27.08.2021 he was very much furious and he stated that he is not aware of any such complaint lodged by the IOFSOA to the Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, even though the complaint of IOFSOA was dated 09.08.2021.

He asked “Are you people representing the IOFS Officers, why are you raising their issues?, Have they approached you?”. We then replied that “Why the IOFS Officers should approach the Federation, they are more qualified and intelligent and we feel that they don’t require our support to fight their battle, what we are concerned is about the manner in which the decision of Corporatization and the selection of CMDs and Directors have been done”.
C.Srikumar further added that the High Court has ordered that the appointment of CMDs and Directors to the new Corporations will be subject to the outcome of the Delhi High Court decision the following legal and logical issues arises.

1) Since, the Court is convinced primafacie that there is something wrong in the selection process; every employee of the OFB Organization is asking that better the Government will rectify the selection process or stand with whatever they have done

2) In case the High Court set asides the selection and appointment of the CMDs and Directors, then what will be the legal sanctity of the financial and administrative decisions taken by these CMDs and Directors

3) The Government will be forced either to cancel their decision or to regularize their decision through a presidential Order

4) What will be the accountability of those people who selected the CMDs and Directors. The CMDs and Directors will be reverted back, but what is going to be the action against the people who selected them. A total mess is created

5) The Federations opposing the Corporatization is all along fighting that the entire process of Corporatization, appointment of consultants, implementation of the recommendations of the consultants, handing over of the Ordnance Factory Hospitals to ESIC, handing over of Schools etc. are taken in a very very hasty and biased manner. Now since the Hon’ble High Court has intervened our position stands vindicated

6) Time has now come for the Hon’ble Raksha Mantri to avoid further embarrassment to the Government and personally to him to put on the entire process of Corporatizing the Ordnance Factories into 7 non viable companies on hold and to start negotiations with the Federations who have already submitted alternative, viable and robust proposals to the Secretary (DP), DDP for strengthening and for making the 41 Ordnance Factories into a vibrant and dynamic organization and also a solution provider for achieving self reliance in Defence. Now at least good wisdom may prevail on the Government and listen to what the Employees says, since they are more committed to the Ordnance Factories in their own interest.

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