“Grading in Confidential Reports Not a Right": Delhi HC Dismisses Army Officer's Plea

Mainstream
14-Mar-2024
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The Delhi High Court has ruled that receiving a good grade in confidential reports (CR) is not a matter of entitlement, emphasizing that past outstanding assessments do not guarantee similar ratings in subsequent reports. In the case of Brigadier Rohit Mehta v Union of India & Ors, a division bench comprising Justices V Kameswar Rao and Saurabh Banerjee rejected Brigadier Mehta's plea challenging an "above-average" rating in one of his CRs, despite previously being graded as "outstanding."

The Court's verdict, delivered while dismissing Mehta's petition, underscored that grading in CRs is not a right conferred upon individuals. The bench remarked, "Merely because the petitioner had previously been graded/assessed as 'Outstanding'... does not necessarily mean that he ought to be graded/assessed as such even at the time of his [current] CR."

Highlighting the absence of provisions mandating interaction between reviewing officers and candidates, the Court dismissed the notion of necessitating such interactions. It further noted that there was no obligation to communicate downgrades to the concerned individual.

Represented by Senior Advocate PS Patwalia and a team of advocates, including Inder Sen Singh, Abhishek Singh, Nasir Mohd, and Kaberi Sharma, Brigadier Mehta's plea was opposed by the Union of India, represented by advocates Neeraj, Vedansh Anand, Rudra Paliwal, and Mahesh Kumar Rathore.

The High Court's ruling reiterates the discretionary nature of assessing officers in determining CR ratings. By rejecting Brigadier Mehta's petition, the Court upholds the principle that CR assessments are subject to the evaluating officers' judgment, without conferring a vested right upon individuals based on past appraisals.

Author: Anushka Taraniya

News writer, MIT ADT University