Decided on February 01,1978



- (1.) The rival claims to seniority between the petitioner and the 3rd respondent is the bone of contention in this writ petition. The petitioner claims that his seniority has been overlooked by Ext. P-8 order. The facts of the case, in brief, are as follows:
(2.) The petitioner originally belonged to the Madras service in the Forest Department. On the Re-organisation of States in 1956, he came under the Forest Department of Kerala State. The scheme of promotion in the Madras State for a Forester to become a Ranger was to undergo the Ranger's training. Then alone he becomes eligible for promotion. In the Travancore-Cochin area, the procedure is different. There a Forester can become a Ranger without undergoing training. Rangers can be recruited from the open market also. After the formation of the Kerala State, Ext. P-l order was issued which fixed a ratio between the Departmental candidates and others. By a subsequent G. O. MS. No. 614/59/ Agri. dated 4-6-1959, the procedure for selection of Departmental candidates was prescribed. The Foresters selected for Ranger's training after completion of the Course were absorbed as Rangers against the quota earmarked for trained foresters. The petitioner was one such forester, who was selected for ranger training against the quota of trained foresters. A trained forester means "forester trained as ranger."
(3.) The 3rd respondeat was permitted to apply and compete for selection to the 1957-59 course along with the candidates from the open market and he was selected. He was a direct recruit for 1957-59 ranger's course and he was appointed as ranger with effect from 1-7-1959. The Chief Conservator of Forests, the first respondent, issued Ext. P-2, which is a seniority list of rangers as on 1-4-1973. In this list, the petitioner was not given his proper rank. He therefore filed a re presentation dated 27-7-1974 against his placement in the list. His contention was that he belonged to the category of trained foresters and if the quota system in Ext. P-l is to be accepted, he should rank above the 3rd respondent. His representation is Ext. P-3. The first respondent accepted the petitioner's contention. Ext. P-2 list was modified by Ext. P-4 restoring to the petitioner the rank that he claimed. The 3rd respondent challenged Ext. P-4 before this Court in O. P. No. 4316 of 1974 on the ground that Ext. P-4 was passed without hearing him. This Court, as per Ext.P-5 judgment, directed the authorities concerned to re-consider the list with opportunity to persons aggrieved and quashed Ext. P-4 list. After hearing the parties concerned, the first respondent issued Ext. P-8 order altering the ranking in Ext. P-4 and including the 3rd respondent in the quota of trained foresters and placing him above the petitioner. Hence this writ petition.;

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