The Supreme Court dismissed appeals filed by Association of Engineers challenging appointment of some Technical Assistants as Assistant Engineers on temporary basis.

The Court said that the equity demands no interference to be warranted in the impugned judgment in the facts and circumstances of the case.

The two-Judge Bench comprising Justice B.R. Gavai and Justice Sandeep Mehta held, “It can thus clearly be seen that the State Government was required to take a decision to appoint Technical Assistants as Assistant Engineers on temporary basis as it was found that out of 122 vacancies apportioned to the post of Assistant Engineer to be filled up by recruitment by transfer, only 29 vacancies had been filled so far. It appears that the attempt of the appellant association is to grab all the posts available even those apportioned for the candidates promoted from subordinate services. In our view, the said attitude is totally unequitable.”

Senior Advocate Madhavi Divan appeared for the appellants while Senior Advocates V. Prakash, Sanjay Hegde, and Senthil Jagadeesan appeared for the respondents.

In this case, the employees were governed by Tamil Nadu State and Subordinate Service Rules and the engineering staff came under the Tamil Nadu Engineering Service and Tamil Nadu Engineering Subordinate Service.

The State Government, due to dearth of eligible candidates to fill the 93 vacancies by transfer, issued directions dated 24th February 2006 directing appointment of persons in the category of Technical Assistant, who possessed B.E./A.M.I.E. qualification in Civil Engineering and have rendered 5 years of service on temporary basis. 21 Technical Assistants were appointed as Assistant Engineers on temporary basis.The Association of Engineers approached the High Court. Though the Single Bench allowed the writ petition, the said order was set aside by the Division Bench by allowing the Writ Appeal filed by the State.

The Supreme Court in the above context of the case said, “It is thus clear that the contention of the appellants that the services of the Technical Assistants have not been regularized is contrary to record. In any case, the State Government, in its affidavit dated 10th March 2023, has categorically reaffirmed this position.”

The Court noted that any interference at this stage is likely to undo the settled position which has been prevalent almost for a period of last 18 years and that the continuation of the appellants as Assistant Engineers would not amount to encroaching upon the 75% posts apportioned for the members of the appellants’ association.

“… we find that equity demands no interference to be warranted in the impugned judgment in the facts and circumstances of the case”, it concluded.

Accordingly, the Apex Court dismissed the appeals.

Cause Title- Association of Engineers and Others Etc. v. The State of Tamil Nadu and Others Etc. (Neutral Citation: 2024 INSC 306)


Appellants: Senior Advocate Madhavi Divan, AOR Preetika Dwivedi, Advocates Abhisek Mohanty, Naveen Kumar Murthy, N. Subramaniyan, Advocates Jatin Bhardwaj, Aakriti, Pranav Sachdeva, AOR Neha Rathi, Advocates Kamal Kishore, and Kajal Giri.

Respondents: Senior Advocates V. Prakash, Sanjay Hegde, Senthil Jagadeesan, AOR K.K. Mani, Advocates G. Veerapathiran, T. Archana, Rajeev Gupta, AOR D. Kumanan, Advocates Sheikh F Kalia, Deepa. S, Beno Deswal, AORs Sonakshi Malhan, Sabarish Subramanian, Advocates P. Rajendran, S. Beno Bencigar, and Parijat Kishore.

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