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Government of A.P. Vs. Y. Sagareswara Rao [1994] INSC 450 (5 September 1994)

Ramaswamy, K. Ramaswamy, K. Venkatachala N. (J)

CITATION: 1995 SCC Supl. (1) 16 JT 1995 (1) 134 1994 SCALE (4)585

ACT:

HEAD NOTE:

ORDER

1. Leave granted.

2. Consequent to the reorganisation of the Panchayati Raj System under the A.P. Mandala Praja Parishads, Zilla Praja Parishads and Zilla Abhivrudhi Sameeksha Mandals Act, 1996 (31 of 1986) (for short the 'Act') the Governor, exercising the power under proviso to Article 309 of the Constitution read with Section 29(c) of the Act, made the A.P. Mandal Development Officers in A.P. Panchayati Raj Service (Executive Branch) Ad hoc Rules in GOMs No. 3 dated 3-1-1989 whereunder Rule 2 prescribed the method of appointment, namely, appointment to the post of Mandal Development Officer shall be made by transfer from the categories, namely, Superintendents working in Zilla Praja Parishad offices, Divisional Panchayat officers and Extension officers working in the erstwhile Panchayat Samithies, under GOMs No. 4 dated 3-1-1989 Panchayati Raj & Rural Development, a Committee of five members was constituted to select the candidates by conducting special qualifying tests and prescribe the marks for the written examination and also viva voce. Consequently number of persons came to be appointed, a list of which was attached to SLP paper-book for Zone 111. The list has been mentioned in the light of the orders issued by the Government in GOMs No. 3 dated 3-1- 1989 and Panchayati Raj & Rural Development dated 30-4-1989.

Therein the respondent's seniority was determined. The respondent filed O.A. in the Tribunal contending that his scale of pay as Veterinary Asstt. Surgeons (Extension Officers) was a gazetted post on par with the Block Development Officer in the erstwhile Panchayat Samithies.

This scale of pay was also the same. He was also in the gazetted cadre and that, therefore, when the Block Development Officers were absorbed and given the previous service, the respondent also should have been given the same benefit to him under Rule 33(c) of the A.P. State and Subordinate Service Rules (for short the 'Rules'). That contention found favour with the Tribunal and it allowed the OA No. 18 38256 of 1991 on 1-10-1993. Calling that order in question the present appeal was filed.

3. It is contended for the State that the Extension officers were subordinate to the Block Development Officers and that, therefore, when the recruitment was made in terms of GOMs No. 3 dated 3-1-1989 and the Committee had assigned the order of seniority on the basis of merit, the respondent cannot be given seniority tagging his previous service and that, therefore, Rule 37(c) [sic 33(c)] has no application.

Initially the contention appealed but after looking to the orders passed as regards Veterinary Asstt. Surgeons we find that there is no force in the contention. The respondent admittedly stands on different footing. In GOMs No. 2/9 Panchayati Raj Department dated 17-6-1972 they made an amendment to the Rules and taken out the Asstt. Veterinary Surgeons from the purview of the Extension Officers. In GOMs No. 169 Panchayati Raj dated 3-71973 the posts of Asstt. Veterinary Surgeons had been made gazetted and consequently they have been taken out from the purview of the administrative control of the Block Development Officers. In consequence the Veterinary Asstt. Surgeons no longer remained to be subordinate to the Block Development Officer. He had the pay scale on par with the Block Development Officers. Under those circumstances the respondent is entitled to tag his previous service since admittedly the BDOs were given their benefit and the appointment is by transfer though by process of selection, Rule 33(c) of the Rules stands attracted.

4. The appeal is accordingly dismissed. The benefit of this order cannot go to the other subordinate Extension Officers who continued to be subordinates to the erstwhile Block Development Officers.

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