WING COMMANDER J KUMAR Vs. UNION OF INDIA
SUPREME COURT OF INDIA (FROM: DELHI)
WING COMMANDER J.KUMAR
UNION OF INDIA
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Balakrishna Eradi, J. -
(1.) This appeal by special leave is directed against the judgment of a Division Bench of the Delhi High Court dismissing in limine a Letters Patent Appeal filed by the present appellant against the judgment of a learned Single Judge of that Court whereby the contentions raised by the appellant in Civil Writ Petn. No. 1423 of 1979 were rejected and the said writ petition was dismissed.
(2.) The appellant -- Wing Commander J. Kumar - was commissioned in the Indian Air Force on September 3 1956 with ante-dated seniority from December 10, 1955. He was permanently seconded to the Defence Research Development and Inspection Organisation (for short, the LRD and I Organisation) of the Ministry of Defence on October 14, 1971, On the bifurcation of the LRD and I Organisation effected in July 1976 by the separation of the Inspection Wing,the appellant was retained in the Defence Research and Development Organisation, which will hereinafter be referred to as the RandD Organisation. The Director-General of Defence Research and Development, who is also the Secretary to Government of India, Defence Research, is the controlling authority of the RandD cadre. The said cadre has service officers drawn from all the three Wings of the Armed Forces, namely, the Army, the Navy and the Air Force, and in addition thereto a large number of civilian employees are also borne on it.
(3.) In November 1979, in supersession of all previous Rules and Orders on the subject, the President of India promulgated under the proviso to Art. 309 of the Constitution rules laying down the procedure for the intake, of service officers in the RandD Organisation and the terms and conditions of service of those permanently retained therein. Those rules were issued by the Ministry of Defence of the Government of India in Office Memorandum No. Pers/1860/ RD/Sel. BD/7971/D (R and D) dated November 23, 1979. The provisions of the said Memorandum will hereinafter be referred to as the rules. Rule 16 deals with the subject of "Seniority after permanent secondment" That rule is in the following terms:
"As hithertofore seniority of all service officers permanently seconded to DRDO will continue to be based upon their seniority of substantive rank of Major/Sqn. Ldr./Lt. Cdr., subject to any penalty/loss of seniority that an officer might suffer subsequently and the seniority of officers with substantive ranks higher than Major/Sqn. Ldr./Lt. Cdr. will after their permanent secondment, also reckon vis-a-vis other officers in the RandD Cadre, for future promotion/confirmation, from the date of their substantive rank of Major/Sqn. Ldr./Lt. Cdr., subject to any penalty/ loss of seniority that an officer might have suffered in his parent Arm/Service.";
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