State of Haryana
& ANR Vs. Deepak Sood & Ors.  INSC 1140 (15 July 2008)
JURISDICTION CIVIL APPEAL NO.4446 OF 2008 (Arising out of SLP(C) No.14099 of
2006) STATE OF HARYANA & ANR. Appellant(s) Versus DEEPAK SOOD & ORS.
CIVIL APPEAL NO.4447 OF 2008 (Arising out of SLP(C) No.10857 of 2006) STATE OF
HARYANA & ORS. Appellants Versus HARI PARKASH & ORS. Respondents CIVIL
APPEAL NO.4448 OF 2008 (Arising out of SLP(C) No.3297 of 2007) STATE OF HARYANA
Appellants Versus DHANI RAM Respondents ORDER We have heard learned counsel for
Leave granted in all
-2- All these three
matters involve a similar question of law and, therefore, they are being
disposed of by a common order. For the convenient disposal of these cases the
facts given in Civil Appeal No.4447/2008 (arising out of SLP(C) No. 10857/2006
- State of Haryana & Ors. versus Hari Prakash & Ors.) are taken into
joined the service in the Octroi Branch of the Municipal Committee, Panipat.
Subsequently due to closure of the Octroi Branch of the Municipal Committee in
the State of Haryana, they were absorbed in the Education Department, Haryana.
They applied for grant of the ACP Grade to the Sub Divisional Education
Officer, Panipat. This claim was denied to them.
Therefore, they filed
a writ petition and claimed that they are entitled to the aforesaid benefit on
account of having put in more than 10/20 years of service.
The State Government
contested the matter and took the stand that the respondents have not completed
10 years of service in the State of Haryana.
Therefore, they are
not entitled to the benefit of ACP Grade. It is alleged that they were the
employees of Municipal Committee and have been absorbed by the State Government
only in the year 2000. Therefore, -3- they are not entitled to ACP grade as
they have not completed 10 years or 20 years of service in the State of
The Division Bench
after considering the matter came to the conclusion that so far as surplus
staff of Municipal Committees are concerned who have been absorbed on transfer
basis as per the decision of the Government will get all benefits except the
seniority due to them. Accordingly, a declaration was given that the persons
who have been declared surplus in Municipal Committee, Panipat and who have
been absorbed in the State of Haryana will not get the seniority but all the
other benefits will be given to them. As a result of this, the respondents' services
rendered by them in Municipal Committee have been counted for grant of ACP
this order passed by the Division Bench, the State of Haryana has filed the
present appeals by special leave.
We have heard learned
counsel for the parties.
The admitted facts
are that the respondents were employees of the Municipal Committee, Panipat and
they have been absorbed in the State of Haryana on terms and conditions which
shall be reproduced hereafter. Now, the question is whether the service put in
by them in the -4- Municipal Committee should be counted or not for the
benefit of ACP grade.
The condition on
which they were appointed in the State of Haryana clearly stipulated that these
officials shall be appointed on transfer basis and shall join as junior most
employees in the categories on the date of appointment. These employees shall
be eligible for pay and pensionary benefits of their past service.
However, no benefit
of past service in seniority matters shall be given when being adjusted in the
department. The Government has granted various relaxations required for these
adjustments. The relevant portion of the order reads as under :- "The
Government has decided that the surplus employees of Group 'C' of the abolished
municipalities will be absorbed in your Department against the existing
vacancies as per their bio data at Annexure A. It has also been decided to
relax the provision of qualifications to absorb such employees if necessary.
These officials have
to be appointed on transfer basis and shall joint as the junior most employees
in their categories on the date of appointment.
These employees shall
be eligible for pay and pensionary benefits of their past service. However, no
benefit of past service in seniority matters shall be given, when -5- being
adjusted in your department. The Government has granted various relaxations
required for these adjustments as per the following letters :- (i) The posts
against which these employees have to be adjusted have been taken out of purview
of the Staff Selection Commission vide Govt. Notification No.G.S.R.
19/Const/Art.309/2000 dated 7.4.2000.
(ii)Relaxation in the
instructions issued by the Finance Department letter No.5/6/92/B&C dated
2.4.1999 vide Finance Department's concurrence issued vide their U.O.
No.5/14/2000-I dated 7.3.2000.
the minimum qualifications as laid down in the Service Rules of the concerned
Departments/Boards/Corporations for the Group C and D employees for absorption
of employees rendered surplus issued vide Chief Secretary's letter
No.42/183/99-5GSI, dated 15.3.2000."
A perusal of these
terms and conditions makes it clear that what is being lost by these surplus
staff is their seniority. They will have to get zero seniority in the new
Department but their past service has been counted for fixation of pay as well
as pensionary benefits. The scheme of ACP Grade came subsequently. On that
basis the respondents made a grievance that they were being denied -6- the
benefit of ACP and the services rendered by them in the Municipal Committee has
not been counted for the purposes of calculating 10/20 years of service in the
Department. It is a misfortune that the respondents have been declared surplus
in the Municipal Committee, Panipat but the Government has been benevolent to
them and absorbed them in the State Government but denied them the benefit of
past service for the purpose of seniority. However, at the same time they have
counted their past service for the purpose of pay and pensionary benefits. Once
the Government considered them eligible for fixation of pay and pensionary
benefit and counted their past service then there is no reason why ACP grade
should be denied to them. Having lost, at one hand their seniority in the new
department, it would be unfair to deny them the benefit of ACP grade. When the
Government counts their past service for grant of the benefit of pay fixation
and pension, there is no reason why their past service should not be given the
benefit of ACP Grade.
A similar question
came up before this Court in the case of (1) Dwijen Chandra Sarkar and another
versus Union of India and another reported in AIR 1999 SUPREME COURT 598. In
almost identical situation a person was transferred to another department on
administrative -7- grounds and his past service of 16 years was not counted.
He challenged the same and matter ultimately reached before this Court and this
Court after considering the matter came to the conclusion that granting them
higher grade under the Scheme for time bound promotion does not therefore,
offend the condition imposed in the transfer order. It was observed by this
Court, "We are, therefore, of the view that the appellants are entitled to
the higher grade from the date on which they have completed 16 years and the
said period is to be computed on the basis of their total service both in the
Rehabilitation Department and the P & T Department."
referred to earlier judgments given by this court i.e. in the case of Renu
Mullick versus Union of India 1994 (1) SCC 373. In this case also in identical
situation the benefit was given to incumbent likewise in Raksha Mantri versus
V.M. Joseph reported in 1998(5) SCC 305 and in the case of A.P. State
Electricity Board versus R. Parthasarathi reported in 1998 (9) SCC 425.
The same principle
was re-affirmed recently in the case of State of Maharashtra & J.) was a
party, wherein in para 13 it was observed as under :- "Therefore, in view
of the consistent approach of this Court, it is no more res integra that the
incumbent -8- on transfer to the new department may not get the seniority but
his experience of the past service rendered will be counted for the purpose of
other benefits like promotion or for the higher pay scale as per the Scheme of
Therefore, in the
series of judgments given by this Court the view has been taken that in case of
a transfer/absorption from one department to another or from public sector to
State though the benefit of the seniority may be denied to the incumbent but
not for other benefits like pay fixation and for the pensionary benefits.
Therefore, when the benefit of past service rendered in the parent department
was given for fixation of pay and pensionary benefits, there is no reason why
the past service should not be counted for grant of ACP Grade.
Consequently, we are
of the view that the view taken by the Division Bench of the High Court in the
impugned judgment and order is correct and there is no ground to interfere in
this appeal. Consequently, this appeal is dismissed but with no order as to
Civil Appeal No.4446
arising out of SL(C) No.14099 of 2006 and Civil Appeal No.4448/2008 arising out
of SLP(C) No.3297 of 2007 Delay condoned.
-9- For the reasons
stated above, these two appeals are also dismissed.
No order as to costs.