STATE OF MAHARASHTRA THROUGH ITS SECRETARY Vs. RAVIKANT S/O ARJUNRAO GEDAM
LAWS(BOM)-2017-7-399
HIGH COURT OF BOMBAY
Decided on July 28,2017

State Of Maharashtra Through Its Secretary Appellant
VERSUS
Ravikant S/O Arjunrao Gedam Respondents

JUDGEMENT

VASANTI A.NAIK,J. - (1.) By this writ petition, the State of Maharashtra challenges the common order of the Maharashtra Administrative Tribunal, dated 11.04.2014 allowing the original applications filed by the respondents and directing the petitioners to consider the respondents for promotion under the provisions of Rule 3(a)(i) and (ii) of the Junior Engineer (Civil) Group B Non Gazetted in the Public Works Department and the Irrigation Department (Recruitment) Rules, 1998.
(2.) The feeder cadre for the promotion to the post of Junior Engineer is the post of Civil Engineering Assistant. As per the Civil Engineering Assistant Group C in the Public Works Department Recruitment Rules, 1998, a Civil Engineering Assistant Group C could be appointed by two modes, one being the mode of absorption and the other being the mode of nomination. As per Rule 5 of the Rules, a candidate who is appointed to the post of Civil Engineering Assistant Group C is required to pass the departmental examination unless he has already passed the examination or is exempted from passing the said examination. All the respondents were appointed as Civil Engineering Assistants under the Civil Engineering Assistants Group C Recruitment Rules, 1998. A seniority list of Civil Engineering Assistants was prepared on 30.08.2012 and the names of the Civil Engineering Assistants that were eligible for promotion to the post of Junior Engineer were placed in the seniority list. The appointment or promotion to the post of Junior Engineer could be made under the Junior Engineer Civil Group B Non Gazetted in the Public Works Department and the Irrigation Department Recruitment Rules, 1998. In this petition, we are concerned with Rule 3 of the said rules. Under the said rules, the appointment to the post of Junior Engineer could be made by nomination and promotion. 25% of the posts of Junior Engineer are required to be filled by the selection process conducted by the Maharashtra Public Service Commission. 75% of the posts are required to be filled through the Staff Selection Board. 75% of the 75% posts of junior Engineer that are required to be filled by the Staff Selection Board are to be filled by nomination and 25% posts that are required to be filled by the Staff Selection Board are to be filled by promotion. Out of the 25% posts that are required to be filled by the Staff Selection Board, 20% are required to be filled by adhering to Rule 3(a)(i) of the rules pertaining to the recruitment of Junior Engineers. In terms of Rule 3(a)(i), the Civil Engineering Assistants who have passed the qualifying examination for the post of Junior Engineer conducted by the Engineering Staff College and who have the experience of not less than three years of regular service as a Civil Engineering Assistant, are required to be considered for promotion. 5% of the 25% posts that are liable to be filled by promotion are required to be filled, in accordance with the provisions of Rule 3(a)(ii) of the Rules. The said rule provides that the Civil Engineering Assistants, who possess a part time or distance learning diploma would be entitled to be promoted on the basis of their seniority. Admittedly, none of the respondents had passed the qualifying examination for the post of Junior Engineer conducted by the Engineering Staff College and none of them possessed a part time or distance learning diploma when they filed the original application before the Maharashtra Administrative Tribunal. It was the case of the respondents before the Maharashtra Administrative Tribunal that since they possess a regular three years diploma in Civil Engineering, they were not required to pass the qualifying examination for the post of Junior Engineer conducted by the Engineering Staff College and they were also not required to possess a part time or distance learning diploma as they possessed a three years diploma in Civil Engineering. The Tribunal found favour with the submission made on behalf of the respondents and allowed the original applications filed by them. The common order of the Maharashtra Administrative Tribunal is challenged by the State of Maharashtra and others, in the instant petition.
(3.) Shri Kilor, the learned Special Counsel for the petitioners, took this Court through the relevant recruitment rules of the year 1998 pertaining to the promotion of Junior Engineers to submit that a Civil Engineering Assistant desirous of seeking promotion to the post of Junior Engineer is required to either pass the qualifying examination for the post of Junior Engineer conducted by the Engineering Staff College as per Rules 3(a)(i), or he is required to possess a part time or distance learning diploma as per Rule 3(a)(ii) of the Rules of 1998. It is submitted that the respondents had neither passed the qualifying examination for the post of Junior Engineer, conducted by the Engineering Staff College nor did they possess a part time or distance learning diploma. It is submitted that the respondents have not challenged Rule 3 of the Rules of 1998 and in the absence of any challenge to the rules, the respondents cannot be heard to say that they would be entitled to promotion though they have not passed the qualifying examination for the post of Junior Engineer and they did not possess the part time or distance learning diploma, as they possessed a three years diploma in Civil Engineering. It is submitted that merely because Rule 2 of the Rules of 1998 provides that part time or distance learning diploma in Civil Engineering, recognised by the Government should be equivalent to three years diploma in Civil Engineering, the respondents cannot claim that they would be entitled to promotion in view of Rule 3(a)(ii) though they do not possess a part time or distance learning diploma. It is submitted that the Tribunal did not consider Rule 3 of the Rules in the right perspective before holding that the respondents were entitled to promotion to the post of Junior Engineer.;


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