Prasad Sinha & Anr Vs. U.O.I. & Ors  Insc 288 (9 May 2001)
Pattanaik & S.N. Phukan Phukan, J.
this appeal the two appellants have assailed the order dated 26.05.1995 passed
by the Central Administrative Tribunal, Patna. The Tribunal rejected the prayer of the appellants for quashing the
seniority list issued by the Senior Divisional Personnel Officer (Danapur
Division) Danapur, Patna.
the appellants were appointed as Cleaners in Eastern Railway (Danapur Division)
Danapur and thereafter promoted to post of Fireman Grade C. On 11.10.1985 they
were promoted to the post of Fireman Grade B. The Railway Administration
decided to restructure the posts of Fireman and accordingly on 25.06.1985, the
Railway Board issued a circular and as a result of such restructuring the
appellants became Fireman Grade A with effect from 1.1.1986.
restructuring was done as a sequel to the report of the Pay Revision
Commission. After the appellants were so posted as Fireman Grade A, the
respondents held written examinations on different dates. On the basis of the
results of the said examinations, 31 persons were promoted from Grade B to
Grade A on 6.8.1985 and thereafter 23 and 31 more persons were so promoted on
7.2.1986 and on 8.7.1986.
appellants have alleged that as they were promoted as Fireman Grade A prior to
the promotions of the above persons after written examination, the promotees
could not have been shown senior to the appellants in the seniority list as has
been done by the impugned list. It is not disputed that all along the
appellants were senior to the promotees in all Grades and in fact in the
earlier seniority list for Fireman Grade A, the appellants were shown senior to
the above promotees. However, this seniority list was changed by the impugned
seniority list by placing the appellants below the promotees which was
challenged before the Tribunal. The Tribunal upheld the impugned seniority
list. Hence, the present appeal.
stand of the respondent was that by the circular of the Railway Board dated
25.06.1985 for restructuring of the above posts, the Board only conveyed a
general decision but keeping in view fast technological changes, the
respondents in order to find out more efficient persons for promotion conducted
written examinations on the basis of the earlier circular of the Railway Board
dated 17.12.1982 and as the promotees qualified through written test, they were
placed senior to the appellants.
learned senior counsel appearing for the appellants, Mr. Mishra has contended
that in view of Clause 5 of the circular of the Railway Board dated 26.05.1985,
as the next higher post for promotion of the appellants was Fireman Grade A,
they were entitled to be promoted to that grade only on scrutiny of service
records without holding any written and/or viva-voce test and therefore they
were legally promoted. It has been urged that the promotees who were promoted
subsequently, though selected through written tests, could not have been placed
above the appellants in the seniority list. In reply Mr. Kaushik, learned
counsel for the respondent has urged that as the promotees were selected after
written tests in terms of the circular of the Railway Board dated 17.12.1982
and being found efficient they were rightly shown senior to the appellants.
relevant Clause 5.1 of the circular of the Railway Board dated 25.06.1985 is
5.1 - .However,
for the purpose of implementation of these order if an individual railway
servant becomes due for promotion to only one grade above the grade of the post
held by him is classified as a Selection Post, the existing selection procedure
will stand modified in such a case to the extent that the selection will be
based only on scrutiny of service records without holding any written and/or
viva-voce test. Under this procedure, the categorisation Outstanding will not
ours) We have perused the circular and in view of the clear language of Clause
5.1, the contention put forward on behalf of the respondents is not
sustainable. By the above circular, the Board has taken a positive decision
that an employee due for promotion to only one grade above the grade of the
post held by him, promotion would be only on the basis of scrutiny of service
records and without holding any test.
is no dispute that Fireman Grade A is one grade above the post of Fireman Grade
B, therefore, in terms of the above clause the appellants were entitled to be
promoted to the post of Grade A only on scrutiny of their service records and
it was so done by the respondents as they promoted the appellants to the post
of Fireman Grade A on 1.1.1986, the date on which restructuring was done as per
the above circular. We are, therefore, of the view that the promotion of the
appellants was legal and proper.
well settled that in absence of any rule, seniority in a particular Grade has
to be determined on the basis of length of continuous service in that Grade.
The appellants were legally promoted Fireman Grade A whereas the promotees were
promoted subsequently. It is an admitted position that appellants were senior
to the promotees in all the grades of posts of Fireman. No rules have been
placed before us to show that persons promoted on the basis of written test
would get seniority over the persons promoted under Clause 5.1. We, therefore,
hold that the impugned seniority list where the appellants were shown junior to
the promotees is contrary to the legal position and accordingly it is quashed.
find merit in the present appeal and it is allowed with the direction to the
respondents to draw up a fresh seniority list placing the appellants above the promotees
in the post of Fireman Grade A. The revised seniority list shall be published
within a period of 3 months. Considering the facts and circumstances of the
case we direct the parties to bear their own cost of this appeal.