Principle Of Service Jurisprudence Can’t Operate Where Appointments Made On Different Dates Are In Breach Of Rules: SC
The Supreme Court in an appeal has held that the principle of service of jurisprudence cannot operate where the appointments were made on different dates in breach of the applicable rules.
The appeal questioned the legality of the selection list for posts of Assistant Radio Officers in the Uttar Pradesh Police Radio Department.
The two-Judge Bench comprising Justice Ajay Rastogi and Justice Aniruddha Bose said, “The general principle of service jurisprudence that seniority is required to be computed from the date of actual entry into a particular cadre cannot operate in a case where there is an undisturbed judicial finding that appointments were made on different dates in breach of the applicable Rules.”
The Bench further held that the manner in which the appointment orders were issued was found to be in breach of the provisions of Rule 17.
Advocate Sridhar Potaraju appeared on behalf of the appellants while Advocate Ruchira Goel represented the respondents.
In this case, the subject of controversy in the appeal was the legality of a selection list for the posts of Assistant Radio Officers in the Uttar Pradesh Police Radio Department. The list was made on October 25, 2013, and as per the UP Police Radio Service Rules, 1979, the vacancies in the said posts were required to be filled up 50% through direct recruitment and 50% by promotion from the feeder cadre (in this case Radio Inspectors).
The appellants were therefore before the Supreme Court from the feeder cadre.
The Apex Court after hearing the contentions of counsel observed, “… neither the first judgment nor the judgment under appeal stipulated in what manner the dates of birth into the cadre for individual candidates from the two streams were be determined. We are not inclined to remand this matter for that purpose, considering that the present dispute is continuing for about three decades.”
It was further noted by the Court that the dates of appointment orders of both the streams ought to be treated from a particular date and 30th January 1996, the date on which the appointment letters of the promoted candidates were issued, would be such a date.
“We, accordingly, hold and direct that the seniority of the candidates including the appellants should be determined treating the entry into the cadre of both sets of candidates (i.e. promotees and direct recruits) on 30th January 1996 and the seniority position should be recast on that basis. … In the recast list, however, the position for the posts left vacant on death of dead or superannuated officers shall be treated as fresh vacancies and filled up through fresh selection process”, the Court further directed.
Accordingly, the Court modified the judgment under the appeal.
Cause Title- Sushil Pandey & Anr. v. State Of U.P. Thr. Principal Secretary (Home) & Ors.