Dastidar Vs. Union of India & Ors.  INSC 1803 (22 October 2008)
SUPREME COURT OF
INDIA RECORD OF PROCEEDINGS Petition(s) for Special Leave to Appeal (Civil)
No(s).26556/2004 (From the judgment and order dated 27/07/2004 in WP No.
9723/2003 of The HIGH COURT OF BOMBAY) ABHIJIT GHOSH DASTIDAR Petitioner(s)
VERSUS UNION OF INDIA & ORS. Respondent(s) (With appln(s) for c/delay in
filing counter affidavit, and prayer for interim relief) Date: 22/10/2008 This
Petition was called on for hearing today.
HON'BLE THE CHIEF
JUSTICE HON'BLE MR. JUSTICE P. SATHASIVAM HON'BLE MR. JUSTICE J.M. PANCHAL For
Petitioner(s) Mr. Sanjay Parekh, Adv.
Mr. Jitin Sahni, Adv.
Mr. A.N. Singh, Adv.
Mr. Gaurav Tyagi,
M/s. M. Saxena, Adv.
For Respondent(s) Mr.
Ashok Bhan, Adv.
Mrs. Varuna Bhandari
Mr. B.K. Prasad, Adv.
For Mr. V.K.
UPON hearing counsel
the Court made the following ORDER Leave granted.
The appeal is allowed
in terms of the signed order.
VERMA) COURT MASTER COURT MASTER (Signed order is placed on the file) IN THE
SUPREME COURT OF INDIA CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION CIVIL APPEAL NO.6227 OF
2008 ( Arising out of S.L.P. (C) NO. 26556 OF 2004 ) Abhijit Ghosh Dastidar
.... Appellant Versus Union of India & Ors. .... Respondent(s) ORDER 1)
2) The appellant was
Post Master General during the relevant period and was eligible to be promoted
to the Higher Administrative Grade of Indian Postal Service Group-A and to be
posted as Chief Post Master General. His claim for promotion was considered by
the D.P.C. on 15.12.1999 and again on 28.02.2001. The appellant was not found
eligible for promotion to the Higher Administrative Grade-A. He filed an
Original Application before the Central Administrative Tribunal (hereinafter
referred to as "CAT")at Patna alleging that he was not considered for
promotion for the reason that there were two entries in his C.R. i.e. one on
22.09.1997 and another on 08.02.1998. It was pointed out that the CAT, Patna
Bench by order dated 27.05.2002 directed the authority not to take note of
"the order of caution -2- dated 22.09.1997" and "the order of
adverse remarks dated 09.06.1998" for the period 01.04.1997 to 13.10.1997
while considering the appellant for promotion. In the light of the said order,
the appellant contended that these two adverse entries should not have been
considered by the D.P.C. He further contended that through out the period he
was given entry of "good". The respondent-Department alleged that the
appellant was not considered for promotion as he was not having the benchmark
of "very good". According to the appellant, the adverse entries
namely "good" were not communicated. The said aspect ought not to
have been considered while considering his promotion. In support of the above
claim, he relied on the decision of this Court in Dev Dutt vs. Union of India
& Ors., 2008 (7) Scale 403.
3) Pursuant to the
direction of the CAT, Patna Bench on 09.09.2002 review of D.P.C. was held and
the appellant was not found suitable for promotion. In March, 2003, there was a
regular D.P.C. and the appellant was found fit for promotion with the same
entries and accordingly promoted to Higher Administrative Grade Group-A and
later retired from service.
4) It is not in
dispute that the CAT, Patna Bench passed an order recommending the authority
not to rely on the order of caution dated 22.09.1997 and the order of adverse
remarks dated 09.06.1998. In view of the said order, one obstacle -3- relating
to his promotion goes. Coming to the second aspect, that though the benchmark
"very good" is required for being considered for promotion admittedly
the entry of "good" was not communicated to the appellant. The entry
of 'good' should have been communicated to him as he was having "very
good" in the previous year. In those circumstances, in our opinion,
non-communication of entries in the ACR of a public servant whether he is in
civil, judicial, police or any other service (other than the armed forces), it
has civil consequences because it may affect his chances for promotion or get
other benefits. Hence, such non-communication would be arbitrary and as such
violative of Article 14 of the Constitution. The same view has been reiterated
in the above referred decision relied on by the appellant.
entries "good" if at all granted to the appellant, the same should
not have been taken into consideration for being considered for promotion to
the higher grade. The respondent has no case that the appellant had ever been
informed of the nature of the grading given to him.
5) Learned counsel
appearing for the appellant has pointed out that the officer who was
immediately junior in service to the appellant was given promotion on
28.08.2000. Therefore, the appellant also be deemed to have been given
promotion from 28.08.2000. Since the appellant had retired from service, we
make it clear that he is not entitled to any pay or allowances for the period
for which he had not -4- worked in the Higher Administrative Grade Group-A, but
his retrospective promotion from 28.08.2000 shall be considered for the benefit
of re-fixation of his pension and other retrial benefits as per rules.
6) The appeal is allowed
to the above extent. No costs.