Promotion should be on basis of merit-cum-seniority: HC
Nagpur: The Bombay High Court ruled that the
norm of promotion should be on the basis of merit-cum
seniority, unless otherwise provided in the recruitment rules.
The ruling came on Monday when a division bench
comprising Justice Bhushan Dharmadhikari and Justice Arun
Chaudhari, was hearing two similar petitions against
Mumbai-based Mahatma Phule Backward Class Development
Ironically, all three petitioners and three respondents
in the first petition have since retired on superannuation
from the corporation while fighting the long legal battle.
The petitioners- Manik Dongre, Gangadhar Patil, and
Kashinath Khillare (then all accountants), along with
Chimanrao Patil (then Assistant General Manager) working with
the Corporation said it had ignored their claims for the
District Managers cadre while effecting their promotions.
They contended that their juniors, who were made
respondents in the case, were promoted.
Citing extracts of Employment Service Rules, 1983,
particularly Rule 15 which shows that promotion has to be on
the basis of merit-cum-seniority, the Judges at the High Court
bench observed that petitioners have been declined promotions
even after their legitimate chance of consideration.
"Action of promoting other respondents in this situation
can`t be said to be legal and valid. However, these promotions
were effected more than 15 years back and the respondents have
also retired after attainting age of superannuation. Hence we
don`t find any point in disturbing those promotion orders,"
the court mentioned.
The court however added that justice can be done to the
petitioners by directing Mahatma Phule Backward Class
Development Corporation to consider their cases and claims for
promotion in accordance with law, and if they are found
eligible to give them deemed date of promotion with all
Accordingly, the High Court directed the Corporation to
consider petitioners` claim for the post of District Manager
within three months. They were also asked to give due
seniority looking to their original standing in the list
of cadre of Accountants.
The Corporation was further told to release all
consequential benefits (kike pension and gratuity) to the
petitioners with regards to promotion within four months. The
petitioners relied on the Judgment of the Supreme Court
reported in AIR 1994 of S D Raghunathan versus State of
Karnataka and others.
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