In this blog post, Sakshi Samtani, a student of K.C. Law College, Mumbai, who is currently pursuing a Diploma in Entrepreneurship Administration and Business Laws from NUJS, Kolkata, explains the concept of deputation of employees.
Deputation is a type or form of recruitment. Officers and employees of the Central Government, State Government, and Union Territories from beyond are appointed or elected to posts within the Central Government for a specified period, which on that period ending the employees must/have to go back to their previous positions at the parent company or body.
If the position is an isolated one, it is much preferred to make the type of recruitment a short-term contractual agreement, or else the officials holding these posts, if recruited directly, won’t have any medium of moving up or making career progress.
It must be noted that Deputation is not the same as Absorption. There is a considerable distinction between the two terms. With regards to Absorption, the officer who at the onset begins in Deputation, might be absorbed into a permanent position, if the rules of recruitment impose that absorption can be given due recognition as the prescribed procedure of recruitment. Such mode can only be brought about in the circumstances of those Central or State Government officers/ officials who are already on deputation.
In the event where the field of promotions or grades has only one posting, the mode of recruiting by promotion by deputation, such promotion which includes short–term contracts is recommended in such a manner that the officer who is deemed eligible for that department is contemplated alongside other potential candidates who are outsiders. If such departmental nominee gets selected to adorn the post, such office is to be treated as one that has been filled by a promotion – on the other hand, if such post is to be filled via deputation or short – term contract for the decided period of such deputation, which on the conclusion, the designated departmental officers will be given an opportunity to be contemplated for election to the post, once again.
It is to be decided that officials holding equivalent positions on a routine basis as well as officers who work in the next/lower grade along with means of qualifying on a regular basis which has been made the norm for promotion, all come under the field for such deputation or absorption or short – term contracts as much as is possible.
It is of utmost importance to decide or determine the eligibility of an officer or official for deputation in the event of (a) an opening or vacancy which is already in existence at the time issuing a notice of communication that nominations are invited – where such eligibility may be decided upon with regards to the last date for receiving such nominations in such Organization or Department or Ministry which are bound to make a decision regarding the appointment to an existing post. And in the occurrence of (b) where the Department anticipates a looming vacancy, it is important to determine such eligibility of potential contenders on the very date at which they expect the vacancy to come to light.
There are certain circumstances where the Union Public Service Commission or the UPSC are brought in to consult or advise where recruitment is taking place. The UPSC is brought in to consult on the matters of recruitment to all the Central Civil Services and Central Civil Posts. Exemption from such consultation is administered by the Union Public Service Commission themselves under the Union Public Service Commission (Exemption from Consultation) Regulations, 1958 as amenable to changes as and when. Also, governing the recruitment is the Central Civil Services Posts (Consultation with Union Public Commission) Rules, 1999 as changes have been amended. The circumstances in which the Union Public Service Commission are to be brought in to consult with regards to deciding on recruitments to positions are in the matters of (a) Direct Recruitment, (b) Re – employment, (c) Absorption, (d) Composite methods of recruitment – where the nominee to such Department is to be taken into consideration along with outsider nominees. And in the event of deputation where such field under consideration involves State Government Officers or Group ‘A’ & ‘B’ officials of the Central Government at the same time and if such field includes officers from the Central or State Government as well as the officers from non – Governmental institutions. Lastly, UPSC is also to consult on any of the rules of Recruitment, which are to be subject to relaxation or amendment as the case may be.
There are a couple of recognized cases, which illustrate the definition of Deputation with clarity:
In the matter of State of Punjab and others v. Inder Singh and others, it is stated that the idea behind the term ‘Deputation’ is commonly understood in service law and the meaning behind it is well recognized. It is simply stated that Deputation means service outside the cadre or originating/ parent department. To depute is to transfer an employee to a post outside his original position, perhaps to a new department or new position for a temporary period. On expiration of the period of deputation, the employee must return to his original department and continue to hold the same position as held before his temporary post, unless he has during that time earned a promotion to a higher position within his parental department in accordance with the Recruitment Rules. Now whether such an assignment is to be outside the regular field of recruitment or within the normal field is to be determined by the relevant official having the jurisdiction to control such position or service from which such employee is shifted or assigned as the case may be. It is to be noted that deputation cannot take place unless the person who is to be deputed has given consent. And on being deputed to a new position much know his rights and his privileges with come along with such a post.
In another case decided by the Supreme Court, in Umapati Choudhary v. State of Bihar and Another, deputation can be appropriately defined as an assignment of the deputations(another word for an employee ) from one office or department more known as the lending authority or parent body, to a different organization or department also commonly known as the borrowing authority. The importance of deployment by deputation is recognized in the interest of the public to meet the predicament of public service. Deputation as a concept in one that is of a consensual nature, which requires a decision of a voluntary nature of the employer to lend the services of the officer working under him, and there must be an acceptance that follows voluntarily by the employer who is borrowing such service. The officer must also have given his consent to proceed with such deputation or not.
Recently, the good news was given to corporate employees and executives to travel abroad frequently for work. The Authority of Advance Ruling (AAR) made a judgment saying that if employee is deputed abroad for a period of six months (180 days) or more than six months, such corporate employee would be categorized as a Non – Resident India (NRI) and would be able to avail of a tax – free benefit on his Indian salary.
This means that usually, for international work or assignments, the corporate employee/ executive will continue to get his Indian remuneration in his Indian bank account. Usually, such executives are also allowed a daily allowance for his tenure abroad. Now, as per the old norms, when you apply the Indian Tax Act, the remuneration, and the daily allowance both are to be taxable. Now, with the new ruling of AAR, the employee is going out of the country for work reasons, so if he has not resided in India for at least 182 days or more than the minimum number prescribed, he is eligible to acquire the status of NRI and hence his earnings would be tax – free.
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