Decided on March 18,1982



Madhava Reddy, J. - (1.) This writ appeal arising out of Writ Petition No.664 of 1965 disposed of by this Court on 19th October, 1970, comes up before us on remand by the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court in Civil Appeal No. 2050 of 1973 set aside the judgment of the Division Bench and directed the High Court to dispose of the writ appeal afresh in accordance with law.
(2.) The few facts necessary to appreciate the rival contentions raised by the parties may be briefly stated. For the sake of convenience, in this judgment we would refer to the parties as they were arrayed in the writ petition.
(3.) One B. R. Ramachandraiah filed the writ petition for issuing a writ of mandamus directing respondents 1 and 2, Secretary, Food and Agriculture Department, Government of Andhra Pradesh, Hyderabad, and the Government of India respectively not td implement or act upon G. O. Ms. No. 153-GAD (SRD) Department dated 27th January-1962 or take any other proceeding in pursuance thereof. The writ petitioner was selected by the Government of the then Mysore State for appointment to a post in the Superior Forest Service and was deputed to Dehra Dun to undergo training in the Superior Forest Service Course in 1948. He underwent the two year course of training from 1948 to 1950 and passed the examination held at the end of the said course on 31st March, 1950. He joined the Mysore State Service on 16th April, 1951. However, when some posts in the Forest Department were advertised, he appeared before the Public Service Commission, Madras and he was selected by the Madras Public Service Commission of 16th April, 1951 to undergo training in the Superior Forest Service Course before he could be appointed. Before he was appointed to the Mysore State Service, orders were issued in G. O. Ms. No.963, Development dated 7th March, 1951 appointing him as an Assistant Conservator of Forests by direct recruitment and he joined duty in Madras State on 16th April, 1951. He was declared to have satisfactorily completed the probation on 16th April, 1953. On the formation of the Andhra State, he was allotted to the Andhra State. Respondent No. 6-A. Lakshmipathi Rao was selected for appointment as an Assistant Conservator of Forests on 2nd December, 1949 and sent for training in 1950 which he completed in March, 1952 at Dehra Dun. He passed the examination held at the end of the Course on 31st March, 1952, and he joined duty as an Assistant Conservator of Forests on 16th April, 1952, and commenced his probation. He was declared to have completed his probation somewhere in December, 1954. it may be seen that both these officers were recruited to the Superior Forest Service by the State of Madras before the State of Andhra was formed. A seniority list was prepared by the State of Madras and the half-yearly classified list of Gazetted Officers of the Forest Department in the Madras State (with Coorg) corrected upto 1st January, 1953, showed A. Lakshmipathi Rao, 6th respondent herein, at serial No. 24 and B. R. Ramabhadraiah, the writ petitioner, at serial No. 25 i. e., as junior to the 6th respondent. It is common ground that the Madras Special Rules of Service applied to the category of Assistant Conservators of Forests to which both of them were recruited by the Madras State. Rule 5 of the Madras Service Rules gorerning the Officers of the Forest Department requires a total period of five years on duty for declaring the probation of a directly recruited Assistant Conservator of Forests. In declaring the probation of the writ petitioner this rule was relaxed in G. O. Ms. No. 2158 (Development Department) dated 13th December, 1954 and thus he was declared full member of the service on 16th April, 1953 and the probation of the appellant was declared on 1st October, 1954. But nonetheless the appellant was declared to be senior having regard to the fact that in the Madras State the 6th respondent was selected as probationer Assistant Conservator of Forests on 2nd December, 1949, while the writ petitioner was selected on 16th April, 1951. This position continued as long as both these officers were in the service of the Madras State and also after they were allotted to the Andhra State. That position also continued after the formation of the State of Andhra Pradesh on 1st November, 1956. As in the case of services of several other States effected by Reorganisation of States, when the services of the Officers of the State of Andhra and those of Telangana region of former Hyderabad State were integrated under the provisions of the States Re-organisation Act, the question of inter se seniority of the members of the two services came up for consideration. The determination of the seniority of the Officers of the Andhra State vis-a-vis the officers of the Telangana region posed some difficulties and the States Re-organisation Act itself envisages these difficulties to be resolved in accordance with the principles laid down at the Chief Secretaries' Conference and to be ultimately decided by the Central Government. On the formation of the Andhra Pradesh State the writ petitioner claimed that he was senior to respondents 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8. Respondents 4, 5 and 7 were officers of the former Hyderabad State allotted to the State of Andhra Pradesh. Their rank in the integrated seniority list was shown at serial Nos. 15, 16 and 17. Respondents 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 were assigned respectively 15, 16, 17, 18, 19 and 20th rank.;

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