Promotees officiating against cadre posts can’t score in seniority: HC | chandigarh | Hindustan Times
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Promotees officiating against cadre posts can’t score in seniority: HC

The Punjab and Haryana high court has ruled that the promotees who are officiating against the cadre posts cannot score in matters of seniority over direct recruits, only on the basis of their continuous length of service. A division bench comprising justices Mahesh Grover and Jaswant Singh held that the seniority of promottees would be computed from the date they became members of the service, which was possible only if they occupied the cadre post within their prescribed quota.

chandigarh Updated: Mar 25, 2015 09:45 IST
HT Correspondent
Punjab-and-Haryana-High-court-HT-Photo
Punjab-and-Haryana-High-court-HT-Photo

The Punjab and Haryana high court has ruled that the promotees who are officiating against the cadre posts cannot score in matters of seniority over direct recruits, only on the basis of their continuous length of service.

A division bench comprising justices Mahesh Grover and Jaswant Singh held that the seniority of promottees would be computed from the date they became members of the service, which was possible only if they occupied the cadre post within their prescribed quota.

The judgment came on a petition filed by Punjab judicial officer Satish Kumar Aggarwal, who had challenged the seniority list drawn in 2007 in which he had been placed below direct recruits.

The high court had made a recommendation to the state on the basis of a decision of the full bench recommending six judicial officers, including him, as additional district and sessions judges.

These recommendations were conditional and the appointments of these officers were subject to the rights of their respective seniors. He got the promotion on provisional basis in May 2000.

However, later, the names of three other judicial officers whose promotions were withheld were cleared for promotion with consequential benefits, thus placing him below them. He was given a deemed date of promotion of November 2001 as additional district sessions judge, also below three other judicial officers who were directly appointed in May 2001.

He was pushed down the seniority list as the vacancies meant for promotees as per their quota were taken by his seniors. In 2011, the fresh seniority list was approved by the high court full bench following which the petitioner approached the court.

He had contended that the total cadre strength of additional district and sessions judges in the state was 88 of which 66 were promottees and 22 direct recruitments. He had submitted that he was within the promotee quota on the date of his appointment in 2000.

However, the other side contended that not more than 66 posts in the cadre of additional district and sessions judge could be filled by promottees at any given time. Three other officers were promoted with retrospective effect due to which all vacancies got filled and he was pushed down. The rules prohibit regular appointment of additional and district sessions judges against the vacancy for direct recruits but does not debar an officiating appointment till someone is appointed.

The court ruled that a promottee could be appointed on officiating basis against the post meant for direct recruitment till a direct recruitment became available and someone was appointed. But an appointee does not become a member of the service till a substantive vacancy within the prescribed promotional quota is there.

The court dismissed the petition saying he was not entitled to count his seniority from May 2000 as his appointment by promotion from the said date could not be accepted to be against the prescribed quota.