The PSU telecom operators, Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) and Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd (MTNL), are planning to file for review of a Delhi High Court order to relieve all Indian Telecom Service (ITS) officers who want to return to the Department of Telecommunications by May 14.
The telcos are of the opinion that reliving so many ITS officers at one stroke could rob them of their senior managers and that could lead to organizational collapse.
The decision was taken after Additional Solicitor General AS Chandiok said that the government would have to heed the high court order and accept back all ITS officers in BSNL and MTNL who wish to return within two weeks of these executives exercising their option.
The government had sought Chandiok’s legal advice last week as there were no vacancies in DoT to absorb so many BSNL and MTNL officers belonging to the ITS cadre.
On April 17, the court had asked these ITS officers to take a final call by April 30 and it is believed nearly all have opted to return to government service where the pension benefits are higher. More so, since they would lose out nearly seven years of central government pension if they opted to be remain in either BSNL or MTNL as the high court has fixed August 12, 2005, as the absorption date.
As of now, there are almost 1,700 ITS officers, of whom nearly 1,400 were deputed to BSNL 12 years ago when the telco was spun off into a separate corporate entity from the telecom department. The balance 300-odd have been on deputation in MTNL since the formation of the telco in 1986.
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