Singh Vs. Punjab Poultry Field Staff Association & Ors  Insc 623 (26 November 2001)
Babu & Ruma Pal Ruma Pal, J
appeal has been preferred from the decision of the High Court setting aside the
appointment of the appellant as a chick sexer in the Department of Animal Husbandary
of the Government of Punjab.
case is that he was appointed as a Bird Attendant/Hatchery Man in the
Department on 24th
November, 1981. In
1983, the appellant successfully underwent training as a chick sexer with the
Central Hatchery, Chengannur, Kerala. After completing his training, he
discharged the duties of a chick sexer and was appointed as chick sexer at
various places within the State.
example, one order dated 3.7.86 from the Deputy Director, Animal Husbandary
Poultry Development to the Assistant Director states:
the aforesaid subject, the duty of chick sexer for the work of Hatchery is as
S.No. Name of Sexer
Place of Place where
the p appointment farm /where the wo (sic) Chick Sexer will undertaken
Joga Singh Malerkotla Malerkotla & Patiala
Gobind Singh Gurdaspur Gurdaspur & Jalandhar
Jaswant Singh Patiala Kot-Kapura (the appellant herein) It is clarified here
that on the day of chick sexing no chick sexer should be given any leave. In
case chick sexer has to take leave under compelling circumstances they should
1980, instructions were issued by the Government laying down qualifications for
appointment to the post of chick sexer. These qualifications were:
Five weeks Chick Sexing Training of any recognised Govt. Institution in India or abroad.
Preference: Six months Poultry Training Course
at the Govt. Training Institute at Chandigarh.
Punjabi upto Matric standard. OR
with three months Poultry Training Course from Government Training
Institute/Stock Assistant Course from College of veterinary Medicine, Hissar/Punjab
Agriculture University, Ludhiana;
Sexing training at any recognised Government Training Institute in India or abroad.
Five years experience in any Government Poultry Farm.
years experience in Chick Sexing.
Punjabi upto Matric Standard.
to the appellant, he fulfilled these norms and was entitled to be promoted to
the post of chick sexer.
appellant filed a suit in 1989 against the State Government Authorities
claiming to be paid the same scale of pay as chick sexers. The suit was
dismissed in 1993. The appellant preferred an appeal. The only relief asked for
by the appellant before the Appellate Court was that the Department might be
directed to consider
the appellant had been working as a chick sexer ;
and was entitled to pay and other benefits. The State Authorities had no
objection to such an order being passed. The order of the Additional District
Judge accordingly was:
department is ordered to consider the fact as to whether the plaintiff was
working as chick sexer and if so his request for other benefits may also be
considered according to Law.
meanwhile, one Gobind Singh (whose case was substantially similar to the appellants
case) also filed a suit.
suit ultimately culminated in an order passed by the High Court in Second
Appeal by which the High Court directed that since Gobind Singh had been
discharging the duties of a chick sexer, he was entitled to get the pay and
allowances of that post. The State Authorities did not challenge this decision
and appointed Gobind Singh as a chick sexer.
as the appellant was concerned, in purported compliance with the direction of
the Additional District Judge and the decision of the High Court in Gobind Singhs
case, an order was passed on 22nd August 1996
promoting the appellant as chick sexer with effect from 17.10.94. This order
was challenged under Article 226 by the Punjab Poultry Field Staff Association
(the respondent No.1 herein) which claimed to represent the interest of one Kuldip
Inder Singh, Poultry Assistant. The association claimed that the appellant was
a Class-IV staff member and was not qualified nor eligible to be promoted to
the post of chick sexer which was a class III post. The Associations case was
based on a notification issued by the State Government in 1992 laying down
rules inter alia prescribing the method of recruitment and qualifications for
the different posts under the Punjab Animal Husbandry ( Non-Ministerial) Class
III Service. The Rules, which were called the Punjab Animal Husbandry ( Non-Ministerial)
Class III Service Rules, 1992, provided that the post of chick sexer would be
filled 50% by direct recruitment and 50% by promotion. We are not concerned
with the qualifications for direct recruitment. As far as promotion was
concerned, the feeder cadres were Poultry Assistants, Field Assistants, Poultry
Store Keepers and Poultry Farm Assistants. According to the Association, the
appellant did not belong to any of the feeder cadres mentioned for the post of
chick sexer as mentioned in the 1992 Rules.
the High Court, the appellant claimed that he was entitled to be considered
according to the position prevailing prior to the 1992 Rules. However, on the
basis of an affidavit filed by the respondent authorities, the High Court came
to the conclusion that there was no vacant post of chick sexer prior to the
notification of the 1992 Rules and that therefore, the 1992 Rules applied to the
appellant. The Associations writ application was allowed by the High Court
holding that the appellant was not qualified to hold the post of chick sexer
according to the 1992 Rules. The appellants promotion to the post of chick sexer
was accordingly quashed.
us the appellant has reiterated his arguments before the High Court.
Additionally, it has been claimed that the respondent authorities had misled
the High Court by stating that there were no vacancies in the post of chick sexer
prior to 1992. According to the appellant, three posts of chick sexers were
created by the State Government for the year 1972-73 which had not been filled
up till the appellants appointment with effect from 17th October 1994.
assuming that the appellant is correct in this contention, nevertheless the
order of promotion dated 22nd
August 1996 cannot be
upheld. The basis of the appellants claim for promotion is the order of the
Additional District Judge. It is the case of the respondent authorities also
that the order of promotion was passed pursuant to the Additional District
Judges directive. As already noted, the directive to grant the appellant
benefits etc. was conditional upon the respondent authorities determining
whether the appellant had been working as a chick sexer. We may, therefore,
assume that the respondent authorities passed the order of promotion only after
being satisfied that the appellant had in fact worked as a chick sexer. There
is also ample un- controverted evidence on record in support of this.
such a conclusion would not necessarily result in the benefit of promotion
being granted to the appellant unless promotion was permissible according to
law. The promotional rules whether prior or subsequent to 1992, both of which
have been quoted earlier, do not permit the promotion of the appellant. The
1980 Rules were amended in 1983 so that the three month Poultry Training Course
required in order to qualify for the post of chick sexer was changed to a
twelve month Poultry Training Course.
the appellant had not undergone training for one year. As far as the 1992 rules
are concerned, the respondent No.1 correctly submitted that the appellant could
not have been promoted as a chick sexer in terms thereof as he was not holding
any of the feeder posts.
High Courts decision in Gobind Singhs case did not direct the promotion of Gobind
Singh. What was directed was the payment of salary and allowances of the post
of chick sexer since Gobind Singh had been discharging the duties of that post.
Therefore, while the appellants promotion to the post of chick sexer cannot be
upheld, given the fact that the appellant had discharged the duties of a chick sexer,
he was at least entitled to the pay and other allowances attributable to that
post during the period he carried out such duties.
accordingly allow the appeal in part. While upholding the order of the High
Court, setting aside the order of the appellants promotion, we direct the
respondent authorities to pay the appellant for the period he rendered service
as a chick sexer at the scales of pay together with all allowances to which
chick sexers were entitled at the relevant time. However, this relief is
limited to the period commencing from three years prior to the filing of the
suit by the appellant upto the time he continued to discharge duties as a chick
sexer. All dues in terms of this order must be paid to the appellant within a
period of six months from the date of this judgment after adjustment of
payments already made to the appellant by the respondent authorities. The
appeal is disposed of accordingly without any order as to costs.