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TNEB restrained from filling AE vacancies

Staff Reporter

Petitioner seeks direction to TNEB to finalise continuation panel prepared in October 2004

MADURAI: The Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court has restrained the Tamil Nadu Electricity Board from filling nearly 300 Assistant Engineer vacancies. Admitting a batch of writ petitions moved by a few TNEB employees, Justice S. Sardar Zackria Hussain granted the interim injunction and ordered a notice to the Board. The TNEB issued a notification on August 30 to fill the vacancies by direct recruitment and now the candidates are being interviewed.

According to one of the petitioners, S. Muruganantham (39), working as a Junior Engineer- Grade II, the next avenue for promotion is to the post of Junior Engineer- Grade I. While the posts of Assistant Engineer and Junior Engineer- Grade I are interchangeable and the scale of pay is also the same, the earlier post was filled by way of direct recruitment as well as promotion in the ratio of 1:1.

As per rules, every year a panel of employees due for promotion as Junior Engineer- Grade I would be prepared after verifying their personal records, including punishment extracts, before March 5 and the due date for publication of the panel was April 25, the petitioner said. The process was complied with last year too. But, later in the year, the TNEB found that there were still some more vacancies to be filled for the year, and hence the Chief Engineer (Personnel), on October 19, 2004, directed all Superintending Engineers to send remarks with respect to a continuation panel for the year.

"My name figured in Serial No. 74 in the continuation panel," the petitioner said.

But, without further proceeding with the continuation panel for more than a year now, the TNEB, this year, prepared a fresh panel of 381engineers and "I figured at Serial No. 165. Thus, on the very face of it, there is a downgrading of my position." Mr. Muruganantham said.

On the other hand, the Board on August 30 issued a notification for filling nearly 300 Assistant Engineer vacancies by direct recruitment and the candidates were being interviewed at present, he said.

Pointing out that the cadre strength ratio of Assistant Engineer to that of Junior Engineer Grade I in the distribution section was 2:3, he said in other sections, among Assistant Engineer, Junior Engineer Grade I and Junior Engineer Grade II, it was 2:2:1.

But without filling the backlog of vacancies for Junior Engineer- Grade I, for which the continuation panel was prepared last year, the Board had proceeded to fill the Assistant Engineers' posts without adhering to the prescribed ratio, the petitioner said.

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