Kumar Choudha & Ors Vs. State of M.P. & Ors  INSC 1174 (20 September 1996)
O R D
have learned counsel on both sides.
appeals by special leave arise from the orders of the Madhya pradesh State Tribuna1 made on October 15 1994 in O.A. No.616/93 and batch.
admitted position is that the appellants as well as the respondents are
governed by the provisions of M.P.
Engineering Services (Gazetted) Recruitment Rules, 1968 issued by the Governor
in exercise of the power under proviso to Article 309 of the Constitution. Rule
7 of the Rules prescribes the mode of recruitment either by direct recruitment
or by promotion of substantive or officiating feeder cadre, i.e.,
sub-Engineers, or by transfer of person who held in a substantive capacity such
post as may be specified by the State Government in that behalf. Eligibility
criteria has been prescribed under Rule 15 and procedure for consideration
under Rule 16 which read as under:
Condition of eligibility for promotion:- (l) Subject to the provisions of sub
rule (2) the committee consider the cases of all persons who on the 1st day of
January of that year had completed the prescribed years of service (whether
officiating or substantive) on thepoet/service mentioned in column 2 of
Schedule IV or any other post or posts declared equivalent thereto by the
Government as under and ere within the zone or consideration as sub- rule (2):-
(i)Sub-Engineers Head Draftsman/Draftsman to the post of Assistant Engineers
minimum service of 12 years as Sub-Engineers, Head Draftsman/Draftsman.
that a Sub-Engineer head Draftsman/Draftsman who completed a minimum of 8 years
service and possessed degree in Civil/Electrical/Mechanical Engineering from recognised
University or qualifications declared equivalent thereto by the State
Government will also be eligible for promotion to the post of Assistant
Engineer and will be considered each time, just after the zone of consideration
and the final selection list shall be made from both the groups on the basis of
merits, for example, if ten posts are vacant in the cadre of Assistant Engineer
to be filled by promotion of sub-Engineers then 10 x 5-50 diploma holders sub-
Engineers from working list be considered first and thereafter the eligible
graduate sub Engineers be considered in the order of their seniority for
Junior Engineers to the post of Assistant Engineers minimum Service of 2 years
as Junior Engineers.
Research Assistants to the post of Assistant Research Officers Minimum Service
of 8 years as Research Assistant.
Embankment Inspectors/Silt Analysts to the post of Assistant Research Officers
Minimum Service of 8 years as Embankment Inspector/Silt Analyst.
Assistant Engineers promoted from Sub-Engineers Head Draftsman/Draftsman cadres
to the post of E.E. minimum 18 years of total service out of which at least 6
years should be as Assistant Engineers.
Assistant Engineers to the post of Executive-Engineers minimum 6 years as
Superintending Engineers to the post of Chief Engineers Minimum Service 6 years
as Superintendent Engineers.
The field of selection shall ordinarily be limited to five times the number of
officers to be included in the select list, provided that if the required number
of suitable officers are not available in the field so deterimined the field
may be enlarged to the extent considered necessary by the Committee by
mentioning the reasons in writing.
of list of suitable officers:- (1) The committee shall prepare a list of such
persons as satisfy the conditions prescribed in the Rule 15 above and are held
by the committee to be suitable for promotion to the service. This list shall
he sufficient to cover the anticipated vacancies on account or retirement and
promotions during the course of one year from the date of preparation of the
select list. A reserve list consisting of 25% of the number of persons included
in the said select list, shall be prepared to meet the unforeseen vacancies
occurring during the course of the aforesaid period.
The selection for inclusion in such list shall be based on merit and
suitability in all respects with due regard to seniority.
The names of the officers included in the list shall be arranged in order of
seniority in the (as in column II Scheduled IV service at the time of
preparation of each select list; provided that any Junior Officer, who is in
the opinion of the committee is of an exceptional merit and suitability, may be
assigned in the list a higher place then that of officers senior to him.
A person whose name is excluded in the select list but who is not promoted
during the validity of the list shall have no claim to seniority over those
considered in a subsequent selection merely by the fact of his earlier
The list so prepared shall be reviewed and revised every year.
in the process of the selection, review of revision, it is proposed to supersede
any member of the service or members of Madhya Pradesh Irrigation Department
(non- gazetted) Service, the committee shall record its reasons for the
proposed supersession." A resume of these Rules would clearly indicate
that the eligibility is considered as on Ist of January of the year.
incumbent must have completed the prescribed years of service, namely, 8 years
of service for the Graduation Engineers and 12 years of service for the
sub-Engineers. It is not in dispute that the appellants as on January l992 had
not acquired the Graducation qualification but some of them had completed 8
years of service. Similarly, the respondents who were promoted as per the
directions of the Tribunal had admittedly acquired the qualifications of
Graduation in October 1992. When the DPC met in December 1992 for filling up of
the vacancies for the year 1992 their claims did not come up consideration. So,
the respondents filed OAs and the Tribunal has held that since they had
completed 8 years of service and also acquired the graduation, they should be
considered if found fit to be promoted. Thus they came to be promoted.
case of the appellants is that though the respondents had completed the
eligibility criteria as on January 1 of the year 1992, a fact that the graduation
qualifications acquired subsequent to that date but before the DPC had
considered their cases are not entitled to be promoted. The approach adopted by
the Tribunal is illegal and contrary to Rules 15 and 16 of the Rules referred
to hereinbefore. We find force in the contention. As seen Rule 15 is a clear
mandate as to the eligibility criteria.
the diploma-holders should have minimum of 12 years qualifying service for
eligibility to be considered for promotion as Assistant Engineers. If a diploma
holder acquires graduation, he should complete minimum of eight years of
service then only he becomes eligible for consideration for promotion as
Assistant Engineer. He should hold the post as sub-Engineer in a substation or
continuous officiating capacity as prescribed. But the cut off date for
eligibility is 1st January of the year in which the eligibility was to be
considered. Since the respondents acquired the qualifications in October 1992,
they did not become eligible for consideration for promotion for the year 1992
though the DPC had met in December 1992. Consequently, the direction issued by
the Tribunal and the appointments of the respondents made pursuant to the
contempt orders are clearly illegal. We are informed that they have been already
promoted. Therefore, their promotions should be treated to be ad hoc and de
horse the rules Though as per the orders of the Tribunal, they came to be
promoted, such promotions do not confer any right to seniority over any other
eligible candidates who acquired the qualifications as on January 1, 1992.
Therefore, the DPC is directed to sit every year either in the month of
February or March for consideration of respective claims of the candidates
provided if any vacancy exists or anticipated. As regards this year is
concerned, they should sit in the this year to consider the vacancies that had
arisen between 1st
January 1992 to 1st January 1996. The DPC should get identified the
vacancies arisen in each year. Consider the basis of respective eligible candidates
diploma-holders as well as Engineers, who have completed 12 years of service by
the diploma holders or the diploma holders who acquire graduation before first
day of January each year and consider their cases for promotion in caccordance
with rules. Such of the candidates found fit and recommended fit be given them
regular promotion provided they are substantive or substantively in officiating
capacity in the lower ranking. It would appear that some of the candidates have
approached the Government taking advantage of the orders of the Tribunal and
got promoted, they also came to be considered and were promoted.
appointments are also to be treated as ad hoc.
appeals are accordingly disposed of. The orders of the Tribunal are set aside.