The Supreme Court upheld that despite receiving a subsequent promotion based on an interim order, petitioner could not retain the benefits of that promotion once the termination of his services had attained finality. The ruling came while dealing with a challenge against the decision of a Division Bench which had allowed the State’s appeal highlighting that the petitioner's service and promotion were sustained solely by the interim order, and his termination was valid.

A two judge Bench of Justice Abhay S. Oka and Justice Pankaj Mithal observed that, “writ petition was allowed in complete ignorance of the fact that the services of the petitioner stood determined long back and that the petitioner is not entitled to any benefit on the basis of his subsequent promotion which automatically falls with the termination attaining finality.”

The petitioner was a temporary Collection Peon and had his services terminated in 1998. Despite this, he continued working under an interim order obtained through a Special Appeal. He was later promoted to the position of Collection Amin in 2009 based on this interim order. The Special Appeal was dismissed, confirming his termination. The petitioner's subsequent Writ Petition challenging the termination was initially allowed, but the Division Bench had overturned this decision.

Advocate Parthiv K. Goswami appeared for the Petitioner and Advocate Tanmaya Agarwal appeared for the Respondent.

The petitioner's senior counsel argued that the petitioner's long-standing service and promotion should be respected, while the respondents' counsel contended that these were invalidated by the termination order's finality.

The Supreme Court found the Division Bench's decision to overturn the Single Judge's ruling was legally sound.

The Court by the perusing to the facts of the case established that petitioner's services had been terminated, and his subsequent promotion rested solely on the interim order, which became void after the dismissal of the Special Appeal.

“The facts, as narrated above, clearly establish that the petitioner was appointed simply as a temporary Collection Peon and his services were determined simpliciter within three years vide order dated 30.11.1998. The said order, terminating the services of the petitioner, is final and conclusive. It has not been disturbed by any court of law. However, the petitioner continued to function as temporary Collection Peon on the strength of an interim order passed in Special Appeal which was ultimately dismissed. Therefore, any promotion given to the petitioner consequent to his continuance in service on the strength of the interim order would automatically fall to the ground once the Special Leave Petition is dismissed and the termination order attains finality.”

Therefore, the Special Leave Petition was dismissed, and the petitioner won't be held liable for salary recovery during the period worked.

Cause Title: Jagpal Singh v. The State of U.P. & Ors., 2023INSC777

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