& Ors Vs. Union of India & Ors  INSC 345
(9 November 1990)
Rangnath (Cj) Misra, Rangnath (Cj) Punchhi, M.M. Ramaswamy, K.
1990 SCR Supl. (2) 638 1991 SCC (1) 544 JT 1990 (4) 610 1990 SCALE (2)949
Information Service Rules, 1959--Rule 5--Direct Recruits---Inter
no. 1 in the Civil Appeal of 1985, moved the High Court in a writ to consider
his case for promotion to Grade II and Grade I of the Central Information
Service in the existing vacancies arising subsequent to 1964 by taking into
consideration the period of his ad hoc service from the year 1964, and
challenging the direction in the Government order requiring the regularised
employees to be placed below the regular recruits upto 1970 on the basis of
that year's examination. The Union Government opposed the claim.
Single Judge held that the officiating service would not be ignored once regularisation
was made and directed the period of ad hoc service to be taken into account.
The Division Bench affirmed the decision.
appellant in the C.A. of 1985 challenged the High Court's
decision, and the appellants in the two Civil Ap- peals challenged the
judgments of CAT which followed the High Court's decision. The writ petition
under Article 32 was by 29 employees whose services were regularised.
the Writ Petition and allowing the Civil Appeals, this Court,
is an incidence of service and where the service rules prescribe the method of
its computation, it is squarely governed by such rules. In the absence of a
provision ordinarily the length of service is taken into account. A dispute of
such nature normally arises between recruits from two sources, namely direct
and promotees. [642C-D]
Reliance on the ratio of cases where disputes of inter se senio- 639 rity
between direct recruits and promotees on the basis of officers of one category
manning the posts meant for the other category should not have been relied upon
for deter- mining a dispute of the nature that arose in these cases.
rules are clear and the Government action was within the purview of the rules,
judicial interference was not called for. [642 G-H]
When there is a definite rule dealing with seniority and they had subjected
themselves to that process, their seniority in terms of the rules had to be
regulated accord- ing to the merits of the respective lists in the years when
the examinations were held. [643D]
Union and the State Governments once
frame the rules, their action, in respect of matters covered by the rules, should
be regulated by the rules. The rules framed in exercise of powers conferred
under the proviso to Article 309 of the Constitution are solemn rules having
binding effect. Acting in a manner contrary to the rules does create problem
and dislocation. Very often Government themselves get trapped on account of
their own mistakes or actions in excess of what is provided in the rules. Court
takes serious view of these lapses and hopes anti-trusts that the Govern- ment
both at the Centre and in the States would take note of this position and
refrain from acting in a manner not con- templated by their own rules. [643F-G]