India Limited Vs. Bibhu Ranjan Kumar  Insc 62 (5 February 2001)
Mohapatra & Shivaraj V. Patil. D.P.Mohapatra,J.
short question that arises for determination in this case is whether the
respondent possesses the prescribed qualification for holding the post of
Welfare Officer (Trainee) under the appellant- company which is a Government
Company. The question having been answered in the affirmative by the single Judge
of the Calcutta High Court, vide the judgment dated 7.10.1999 in W.P.No.1449/97
which was confirmed by the Division Bench vide the judgment/order dated
24.11.1999 in G.A.No.4468 of 1999, the company has filed this appeal by special
relevant facts leading to the present proceeding may be stated thus :
The respondent Bibhu Ranjan Kumar holds a post in the non- executive cadre of
the company. The management decided to promote qualified and suitable persons
in non-executive cadre to the executive cadre, By the letter dated 22.4.1997
addressed by the General Manager (Personnel) to the General Manager/Chief
General Managers of different companies under the management of the appellant a
request was made to send names of eligible departmental candidates for
appointment to the post of Welfare Officer (Trainee). In the said letter it was
specifically stated that the bio-data of the non-executive personnel who
possess MBA degree (two years course) with specialisation in personnel
management duly recognised by the Director General, Mines Safety (for short
DGMS) with 40 % and above marks be sent. The respondent claiming to be an
eligible candidate wanted his name to be recommended and his bio-data to be
sent to the centralised cell of the appellant-company for the purpose. The
appellant did not accept the respondent as a candidate possessing the
prescribed eligibility qualification.
supplied) The respondent filed a writ petition in the High Court seeking a writ
of mandamus to the appellant-company to consider his claim for the post. A
single Judge of the High Court by the interim order passed on 17th July 1997
directed the appellant-company to allow the petitioner to sit for the
examination but ordered that his result shall not be published for a period of
two weeks from the date of the order. It was made clear that the order will be
subject to the final order which will be passed in the writ petition.
hearing of the writ petition the main contention raised on behalf of the writ
petitioner (respondent herein) was that the petitioner holds a MBA degree (two
years course) from the Magadh University, Bodhgaya in the State of Bihar, with
a special paper in personnel management and therefore he is duly qualified for
holding the post of Welfare Officer (Trainee). On the other hand the stand
taken by the respondent in the writ petition (appellant herein) was that the
writ petitioner does not have the prescribed qualification inasmuch as he does
not possess MBA degree with specialisation in personnel management recognised
by the DGMS, and therefore, he is not eligible to be considered for the post.
learned single Judge allowed the writ petition and directed the respondent
(appellant herein) to publish the result of the examination within two weeks.
From the discussions in the judgment it appears that the learned single Judge
took the view that since the rules merely prescribed that the candidate must
possess a degree or post-graduate degree or diploma with specialisation in
certain subjects including 'Personnel Management; and the writ petitioner holds
a MBA degree which is a post graduate degree from a recognised University with
a special paper in 'Personnel Management' he possesses the prescribed
qualification. The Division Bench, in appeal, confirmed the judgment.
learned counsel appearing for the appellant referred to the provisions of Rule
72(2)(b) of the Mines Rules, 1955 (for short the Rules) and contended that a
candidate in order to be eligible to hold the post of Welfare Officer must have
a MBA degree with specialisation in 'Personnel Management' which is duly recognised
by the Director General Mines Safety. Since the MBA degree from the Magadh University has not been recognised by the DGMS the respondent cannot
be said to be a candidate possessing the eligible qualification.
counsel appearing for the respondents supported the judgment of the High Court.
the determination of the controversy raised in the case depends on
interpretation of Rule 72(2)(a) of the Rules it will be convenient to quote the
said provision before proceeding to consider the merit of the contention raised
on behalf of the parties.
of Rule 72 prescribes as follows:
No person shall act as a Welfare Officer of a mine unless he possesses –
degree or diploma in social science, (or social work) or labour welfare (recognised
by the Government for the purpose of this rule), and preferably practical
experience of handling labour problems in any industrial undertaking for at
least three years; and
knowledge of the language of the district in which the mine is situated or the
language understood by the majority of persons employed in the mine;
that in case of a person already in service as a Welfare Officer in a mine the
above qualifications may, with the approval of the Chief Inspector, be relaxed.
anything contained in sub-rule (2), the Labour Officers included in the Central
Pool under the provisions of the Labour Officers (Central Pool) Recruitment and
Conditions of Service Rules, 1951, shall be eligible for appointment as a
Welfare Officer in a mine." On a fair reading of the provisions of the
Rule quoted above it is clear to us that clauses (a), (b) and (c) of sub-rule
(2) of Rule 72 are to be read in conjunction with each other and a person in
order to be eligible to hold the post of Welfare Officer must fulfil these
conditions except the practical experience of handling labour problems in any
industrial undertaking for atleast three years which is optional.
not in dispute before us that the respondent does not have a degree or
post-graduate diploma in Social Science including any degree or post-graduate
diploma in Sociology/Social Welfare/Work/ Service/Science Techniques or Labour
Laws/Welfare or Industrial Relationas and Personnel Management.
qualification possessed by him is MBA degree (two years course) with 'Personnel
Management' as a special paper which on a bare reading of the provision of the
Rule does not come within the qualifications provided therein.
further question to be considered is whether the respondent possesses the
qualification stated in the letter of the General Manager (Personnel) dated
22.4.1997 (Annexure P IV) in which the heads of different units were requested
to send bio data of the non-executives who possess MBA degree (2 years course)
with specialisation in Personnel Management duly recognised by DGMS with 40%
and above marks. It is not the case of the respondent that MBA degree of Magadh University has been recognised by the DGMS. Indeed, it is the specific
stand of the appellant that the said degree has not been recognised by the
DGMS. Therefore, the respondent cannot be said to possess the qualification
stated in the circular letter.
the discussions in the foregoing paragraphs the resultant position that emerges
is that the High Court erred in holding that the respondent possesses the
qualification prescribed for the post of Welfare Officer (Trainee) or for
promotion from non-executive cadre to the executive cadre.
result the appeal is allowed. The Judgment/order of the learned single Judge
dated 7.10.1999 in W.P.No.1449/97 which was confirmed by the Division Bench in
judgment/order dated 24.11.1999 in Appeal G.A.No.4468 of 1999, is set aside.
will however, be no order for costs.