Promotion should be on basis of merit-cum-seniority: HC
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Last Updated: Tuesday, December 06, 2011, 12:56
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 Corporation.

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 consequential benefits.

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.


First Published: Tuesday, December 06, 2011, 12:55

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