(Supreme Court Of India)

Special Leave Petition (Civil) No. 18584 Of 1996 | 26-08-1996

G.B. Pattanaik, J.

1. Delay condoned.

2. This SLP has been filed against the order of the Central Administrative Tribunal, Madras Bench made on January 30, 1996 in OA No. 1470/93. The admitted position is that the petitioner along with others came to be selected by internal selection for promotion under 25% quota. Undoubtedly, the process of selection was started in 1988 but the incumbents actually joined the promotional posts in October 1990. Thought the process of selection for direct recruits under 25% quota reserved for the candidates from open market was started in 1989, they came to join the posts after completion of the selection process earlier to the petitioner and others in August 1990. The petitioner claimed seniority over them. The Tribunal has rejected their claim. Thus, this SLP.

3. It is contended for the petitioners, relying upon Rule 302 read with Rule 306 of the Indian Railway Establishment Manual that since the process of selection had been made earlier to the direct recruits, the petitioner is entitled to seniority over the direct recruits since they were selected earlier to the respondents and, therefore, they should be made seniors to the direct recruits. We find no force in the contention. Rule 302 reads as under:

"302. Seniority in initial recrutment Grades - Unless specifically stated otherwise, the seniority among the incumbents of a post in a grade is governed by the date of appointment to the grade. The grant of pay higher than the initial pay should not, as a rule, confer on Railway servant seniority above those who are already appointed against regular posts. In categories of post partially filled by direct recruitment and partially by promotion, the criterion for determination of seniority should be the date of regular promotion after due process in the case of promotees and the date of joining the working post after due process in the case of direct recruit result, subject to maintenance of inter-se seniority of promotees and direct recruits among themselves. When the dates of entry into a grade of promoted railway servants and direct recruits are the same they should be put in alternate positions, the promotees being senior to the direct recruits, maintaining inter se seniority of each group."

Note - In case the training period of a direct recruit is curtailed in the exigencies of the service, the date of joining the working post in case of such a direct recruit shall be the date he would have normally come to a working post after completion of the prescribed period of training.

(No. E(NG) 1-78-SR-6-42 dated 7.4.1982 ACS 132)

Similarly, Rule 306 reads as under:

"306. Candidates selected for appointment at an earlier selection shall be senior to those selected later irrespective of the dates of posting, except in the case covered by para 305."

4. A reading of these Rules would clearly indicate that the process of selection bears no relevance. What is material in determination of the inter se seniority between regularly promoted in-service candidates and those selected by direct recruitment during the process of selection is that in the case of the former the seniority start from date on which they joined the working post after completion of the process while in the case of direct recruits their inter se seniority would start from the date of their entry into the grade. Therefore, as regards the direct recruits, the date of first entry and joining the post is the criteria, in the case of the promotees it would be the date on which they start working in the post after completion of the process. It is not in dispute that training is one of the conditions for completion of the process. Until the training is completed, they cannot work on regular basis in the promotional post.

5. As regards Rule 306, it regulates in an area where the selected candidates were appointed earlier to be candidates who subsequently came to be selected and the earlier candidates become seniors to the subsequent selectees irrespective of the date of posting. That criteria is inapplicable in determining the inter se seniority between the promotees and the direct recruits. The Tribunal, therefore, was right in rejecting the claim. It does not, therefore, warrant interference.

6. The SLP is accordingly dismissed.

7. Petition dismissed.

Advocates List

For the Petitioner - Mr. S. Muralidhar, Advocate.

For Petitioner
  • Shekhar Naphade
  • Mahesh Agrawal
  • Tarun Dua
For Respondent
  • S. Vani
  • B. Sunita Rao
  • Sushil Kumar Pathak

Bench List



Eq Citation

1997 (1) SCT 138 (SC)

1997 (1) SLJ 67 (SC)

(1991) 1 SCR 193

(1996) 10 SCC 340

1997 SCC (L&S) 83

1996 VIIAD (SC) 417

(1990) 185 ITR 56 (SC)

1996 Supp (5) SCR 216

1996 (7) SCALE 121

1996 (7) AD (SC) 417

JT 1996 (9) SC 696

1997 (1) SLJ 67

(1997) 1 SLR 579

1996 (7) SUPREME 667