Chennai: The Madras High Court today held that only persons with legal qualification be promoted and appointed to posts that handle legal or potential legal claims by issuing appropriate orders to that effect.
The Bench, comprising Justices N Paulvasanthakumar and R Mahadevan, was disposing a writ appeal by one C Subramani who was working in the State Transport Corporation, seeking a direction to it to appoint Senior Superintendent (Legal) and Assistant Manager (Legal) among BL degree qualified persons.
He contended that those without legal qualification would have to depend on a person with legal background. If such a person was permitted to handle legal issues, it would end up in a case and cause revenue loss to government if a wrong decision was taken due to ignorance of law, he said.
He sought to quash appointments of M G Sadaiappan and KT Govindarajan as Assistant Manager (Disciplinary Cases), Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation (Coimbatore) Limited, Erode Region and as Deputy Manager (Personal and Legal), TNSTC (Coimbatore) Erode region, saying these were made against rules or legal qualification and should be declared null and void.
The Additional Advocate General pointed out that a single judge had dismissed the appellant’s petition as he was not eligible for promotion, despite having a BL degree.
He said there was no post of AM (Legal) after the organisational chart of Common Service Rules was modified. As the appellant was not Senior Superintendent grade, he cannot be transferred and posted as Senior Superintendent (Legal).
The bench said though the writ was filed challenging the order of appointments, the main issue in it and the appeal involves public interest.
Disposing off the appeal, the bench said the Feb 5 2010 Government Order clearly stated that with regard to promotion, the present system for government servants would be followed for managerial cadre officers, subject to availability of vacancy and qualifications stated in the rules and that existing time bound promotion would not be continued.
Hence the bench said these qualification are still binding and any recruitment either by promotion or direct appointment shall be subject to conditions prescribed.
It rejected AAG`s contention on non-existence of post of Assistant Manager (Legal), saying CSR`s organisation chart showed the grade has been done away with and new posts created to handle disciplinary cases, personal and wages welfare in the same cadre. This was only bifurcation of work and would not amount to dilution of qualification.