Chandra Sinha Vs. Union of India &
Ors  INSC 542 (31 March 2008)
H. K. Sema & Markandey Katju REEPORTABLE CIVIL APPEAL NO. 8058 OF 2001 WITH
CIVIL APPEAL NO. 8059 OF 2001 Union of India & Ors. .. Appellant (s)
-versus- Nirmal Chandra Sinha .. Respondent (s) MARKANDEY KATJU, J.
1. These two connected appeals have been filed against the impugned judgment
of the Andhra Pradesh High Court dated 14.12.1999 in Writ Petition No. 25555 of
2. Heard learned counsel for the parties and perused the record.
3. Appellant Nirmal Chandra Sinha belongs to the Indian Railway Service of
Mechanical Engineers (IRSME) having been appointed on 2.5.1958. When his turn
came for consideration for promotion as General Manager, he was working as
Chief Mechanical Engineer of Southern Eastern Railway. He was promoted to the
post of General Manager on 29.11.1996. He claimed notional promotion w.e.f.
13.3.1996 with consequential benefits. His O.A. was rejected by the Central
Administrative Tribunal, but against that order he filed a writ petition which
was partially allowed by the High Court.
4. Against the aforesaid judgment of the High Court appeals were filed both
by appellant Nirmal Chandra Sinha as well as the Union of India.
5. In the appeal filed by appellant Nirmal Chandra Sinha, the ground taken
was that the High Court partially allowed the writ petition by giving him
notional promotion as General Manager w.e.f. 13.3.1996 with consequential
benefits, but the High Court has wrongly rejected his prayer that he should be
senior to the contesting private respondent Nos. 3 & 4. On the other hand,
in the appeal filed by the Union of India it was alleged that the High Court
wrongly directed that appellant Nirmal Chandra Sinha should be notionally
promoted as General Manager w.e.f. 13.3.1996 with consequential benefits.
6. We are of the opinion that the appeal of appellant Nirmal Chandra Sinha
being Civil Appeal No. 8058 of 2001 deserves to be dismissed while the appeal
filed by the Union of India being Civil Appeal No. 8059/2001 deserves to be
7. It has been held in a series of decisions of this Court that a promotion
takes effect from the date of being granted and not from the date of occurrence
of vacancy or creation of the post vide Union of India and others vs. K.K.
Vadera and others 1989 Supp (2) SCC 625, State of Uttaranchal and another vs.
Dinesh Kumar Sharma 2007 (1) SCC 683, K. V. Subba Rao vs. Government of Andhra
Pradesh 1988(2) SCC 201, Sanjay K. Sinha & others vs. State of Bihar and
others 2004 (10) SCC 734 etc.
8. Learned counsel for appellant Nirmal Chandra Sinha, however, relied on a
decision of this Court in Union of India vs. B.S. Agarwal and another 1997 (8)
SCC 89. We have carefully perused the decision and we are of the opinion that
the said decision is distinguishable. In that case the facts were that, under
the relevant rule for promotion as General Manager it was necessary to have at
least two years' tenure on the lower post. The respondent did not actually have
two years' tenure, yet this Court held that he was eligible for promotion since
he had been empanelled and the vacancy on which he should be promoted had
occurred before two years of his consideration for promotion.
9. In our opinion, the aforesaid decision in Union of India vs. B.S. Agarwal (supra) was given on the special circumstances of that case and on
humanitarian considerations, but it cannot be said to be a precedent for other
cases. When the rule requires two years' actual service in the lower post
before a person can be considered for promotion as General Manager, that rule
cannot be violated by considering a person who has not put in two years'
service in the lower post. Moreover, in the aforesaid decision in Union of
India vs. B.S. Agarwal (supra), the respondent had not actually been promoted
as General Manager, but he only claimed that he was eligible to be considered
for promotion as General Manager. This fact also makes the aforesaid decision
10. In the present case, appellant Nirmal Chandra Sinha was promoted as
General Manager on 29.11.1996, but he claims that he should be deemed to have
been promoted w.e.f. 13.3.1996 with consequential benefits. We are afraid this
relief cannot be granted to him. It is settled law that the date of occurrence
of vacancy is not relevant for this purpose.
11. For the reasons given above, the impugned judgment is set aside. Civil Appeal No. 8058 of 2001 is dismissed and Civil Appeal No. 8059 of 2001
stands allowed. There shall be no order as to costs.
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