Basis of downgrading ACR grading from ‘very good’ to ‘average’ by UPSC – CIC: DPC can change the grading for any particular year - no material information available which can show any reasons for downgrading of the ACR and hence cannot be provided
1. Referring to some DPC in which the UPSC had downgraded his ACR grading for the year 200304 from ‘very good’ to ‘average’, the Appellant had wanted to know the basis for such a decision. He had also wanted to know why he was not given an opportunity of hearing before downgrading his ACR grading. The CPIO had informed him that the ACRs were not available in the UPSC having already been returned to the Department concerned. He had preferred an appeal against this order. The Appellate Authority had, in a detailed order, explained, with the help of the relevant instructions, the methodology adopted by the UPSC in assessing his ACRs.
2. The Appellant submitted that since his ACR grading had been downgraded from ‘very good’ to ‘average’ for this particular year, he had a right to know the reasons for that. He wanted to have a copy of the rule according to which this was done. On the other hand, the respondent pointed out that the Appellate Authority had already made it very clear order that the UPSC had followed the instructions of the government in assessing the ACR of the Appellant. He contended that there was no further information to be given.
3. We have carefully consider the facts of the case. The Appellant wants to know the basis on which the UPSC decided to downgrade his ACR grading. The relevant instruction cited by the Appellate Authority in his order reads as follows:
"6.2.1(e) the DPC should not be guided merely by the overall grading, if any, that may be recorded in the CRs but should make its own assessment on the basis of entries in the CRs because it has been noticed that sometimes the CIC/SM/A/2013/000508 overall grading in the CR may be inconsistent with the grading under various parameters or attributes."
4. This clearly shows that the DPC can change the grading for any particular year either by upgrading it or by downgrading it, as the case may be, depending on its perception of the entries in the CR. Therefore, it is not surprising that the UPSC might have considered 'average' as the most appropriate ACR grading for 20.03.04 and not 'very good'. In any case, as the respondent pointed out, the DPC proceedings do not contain any specific justification for the conclusion reached by the UPSC in this case. Thus, there is no material information available which can show any reasoning for the downgrading, if any, of the ACR grading.
5. In view of the above, we find no reason to interfere in the decision of the Appellate Authority. The appeal is disposed off accordingly.
Chief Information Commissioner
Citation: Sh. Tej Prakesh v. Union Public Service Commission in File No.CIC/SM/A/2013/000508