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P. Subramaniyam Vs. Union of India (UOI) and Ors. - (Supreme Court) (15 Mar 2019)

It was for employee to know rule, Department is not expected to advise employee about how seniority will be fixed or about the rota-quota rule



In instant case, Respondent No. 4 approached the Central Administrative Tribunal, by way of Original Application. It was the case on behalf of Respondent No. 4 before the learned Tribunal that, as he was selected for the appointment on the post of Chargeman Grade-II against the LDCE quota also and as he being more meritorious than the Appellant, and that if he would have been told with respect to the rota-quota Rule and would have been told that a direct recruitee shall be placed below the LDCE promotee and below the promotee who has been promoted in LDCE quota, in that case, he would have opted for the appointment against LDCE quota. It was the case on behalf of Respondent No. 4 that he made a representation which ought to have been considered favourably.

However, by the judgment and order, the Tribunal allowed the said O.A. by observing that as an employee Respondent No. 4 was not aware of the quota-rota Rule maintained by the department and also how the seniority list will be fixed between the LDCE appointee and direct recruitee and if he had been told that, as per the quota-rota rule, the LDCE candidate would rank senior even though he was appointed as direct recruitee four months earlier, he would have definitely accepted the promotion through LDCE quota. The learned Tribunal observed that, the department has failed to give proper guidance and advice to one of its employees and therefore he could not be denied of his legitimate right which will have a bearing on his seniority. Consequently, the learned Tribunal directed the department to place the original applicant in the seniority list above the Appellant herein.

The Appellant preferred a writ petition before the High Court. By the impugned judgment and order, the High Court has dismissed the said writ petition and confirmed the order passed by the learned Tribunal. Hence, the original writ Petitioner has preferred the present appeal.

The High Court as well as the learned Tribunal, have committed a grave error in directing to place the original applicant-Respondent No. 4 herein in the seniority list above the Appellant herein. It is an admitted position that, the Appellant herein was promoted to the post of the Chargeman Grade-II in the LDCE quota. It is an admitted position that, as per the rules, the seniority was required to be fixed as per the quota-rota Rule. As per the Rule position in that year the direct recruitee was to be placed below the LDCE quota, since the LDCE selection process was treated as the Fast Track promotion. Respondent No. 4 did not accept his appointment/promotion in LDCE quota though selected and offered and he continued his appointment as a direct recruitee.

It was for the employee to know the rule. The department was not expected to advise and/or tell the employee about how the seniority will be fixed and/or about the rota-quota rule. As observed above, the fact remains that, the Appellant was appointed in the LDCE quota and in the very year, Respondent No. 4 was appointed as a direct recruitee. As per the Rule, position in that year, the direct recruitee was to be placed before the LDCE, therefore, Respondent No. 4 was rightly placed below the Appellant in the seniority list being a direct recruitee. Under the circumstances, both, the High Court as well as the learned Tribunal committed an error in directing to place Respondent No. 4 in the seniority list above the Appellant. Appeal is allowed accordingly and the impugned judgment and order passed by the High Court are set aside.


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