Decided on January 02,2020

Akshaya Kumar Tripathy Appellant


BISWANATH RATH,J. - (1.) This writ petition is filed for quashing of the order at Annexure-9, for issuing a mandamus against the opposite parties to consider the grievance of the petitioner for promotion at least to the post of Junior Manager (HR) and also to direct the opposite parties to provide promotional avenue for the petitioner keeping in view his qualification and long service of 27 years in one post.
(2.) Short background involving the case is that petitioner joined as a Telecom Operator in High Skilled 'B' Category under Administration and Clerical Classification on 12.08.1981 in the erstwhile Office of Orissa State Electricity Board (in short 'OSEB'). OSEB was subsequently taken over by GRIDCO. Subsequently, the establishment of GRIDCO is also taken over by the Orissa Power Transmission Company Limited (in short 'OPTCL'), which is in charge of power transmission policy. Petitioner is continuing as an employee under opposite party no.1 presently. Petitioner passed M.A. in Public Administration with special paper as HRM from Utkal University. He obtained his Diploma in Electrical Engineering from Oxford College, Kolkata. GRIDCO while existing issued a circular vide Circular No.11031, dated 21.5.2002 inviting applications from departmental candidates for the post of Assistant Manager (HRD)/ Assistant Manager (IT)/Assistant Manager (FIN) and qualifications for various disciplines were discussed in the said Circular. For the post of Assistant Manager (HRD), a candidate should possess Post Graduate in any subject or Graduate in Engineering or MBA/PGDBM (of minimum two years duration) from any recognized Institution/University with experience in Establishment, Service Matters, Policies, Industrial Relations, Domestic Enquiries, Welfare and Labour Law etc. It was also decided therein to open the post to the internal candidates in relaxation of age and qualification. In the year 2005, some posts of Assistant Manager/Junior Manager have fallen vacant in different establishment of the GRIDCO, such as, HRD, PR Guest House Management and Junior Manager (HR)/Service Tech. SLDC. Petitioner since got due qualifications for the higher post like Assistant Manager, he had applied to the opposite party no.1 and his application was duly forwarded by the opposite party no.3. However, authority remained silent. Petitioner also applied the authority for considering his case to the post of Junior Manager (HRD) on 22.03.2006. However, opposite party no.3 vide his letter dated 03.06.2006 advised the petitioner to apply to the Director (HRD) along with his HSC certificate and other higher educational qualification certificates for appropriate consideration. In the meanwhile, opposite party no.3 given promotion to one Subodh Chandra Mishra, who of course retired in the meantime. Petitioner submitted another representation on 14.08.2006, wherein he has stated that opposite party no.3 given promotion to Subodh Chandra Mishra to the post of Section Officer, which is a post in E-2 category. It was also submitted therein that one post of Grade-1 Assistant has fallen vacant after promotion of Sri S.C. Mishra to the post of Section Officer and thus, requesting for considering his case for the said post or at least to re-designate the post as Grade-1 Assistant. Simultaneously, he also prayed for promotion to the post of Junior Manager (HRD). Lastly on 20.9.2006, petitioner also represented to opposite party no.2 with copies to opposite party nos.1 and 3 to consider his case for Grade-1 Assistant or Junior Manager (HRD). It was also alleged that in spite of repeated request, petitioner's case has not been considered and on the other hand, there has been appointment of several Assistants in the post of Assistant Manager. Even the petitioner was not provided opportunity to compete along with others. Finding repeated requests of the petitioner even unheard, petitioner was constrained to take shelter of this Hon'ble Court by filing W.P.(C) No.1475/ 2007. This Court disposed of the writ petition directing therein that the petitioner to pursue the representation pending before the opposite party no.2 and opposite party no.2 was also thereby directed to dispose of the said representation within a period of two months. It is pursuant to such direction of this High Court, the opposite party no.2 though considered the representation but while rejecting the representation claimed that since the petitioner was holding the post of Telecommunication Operator his promotion to the post of Junior Manager (HRD) was not permissible. Petitioner also averred that General Manager vide Office Order No.1487, dated 30.04.2001 addressed to opposite party no.2 has recommended and requested either for higher scale or for creation of higher post to the Telecommunication Operator, but however, the authority remained silent. In the meantime, GRIDCO vide Office Order No.12772(5), dated 18.06.2002 circulated the revised GRIDCO structure with field staff norms under implementation plan pertaining to the field office unit, which is relevant for the petitioner as he was also serving in the field unit. In the revised GRIDCO structure, the posts of Section Officer and Telecom Operator are absent. Assailing the rejection order at Annexure-9, petitioner made the prayer as quoted hereinabove in filing the present writ petition.
(3.) Sri Bose, learned counsel appearing for the petitioner on reiteration of the above facts while justifying the claim of the petitioner contended that a person cannot be appointed in a post and retired in such post after serving for more than three decades and further for the petitioner having sufficient qualifications to hold the higher post, further for the recommendation of the competent authority to either step up the salary of the Telecom Operator or to create promotional post, case of the petitioner should have been considered. It is thus submitted that the rejection of the request of the petitioner is not only opposed to the legitimate expectation of an employee to have minimum stepping up pay by way of promotion in his service career but also involving an inhuman attitude by an employer to its employee. Referring to a decision of the Hon'ble Apex Court in the case of State of Tripura and others Vrs. K.K.Roy, reported in AIR 2004 SC 1249 and the direction therein Sri Bose, learned counsel for the petitioner attempted to justify the petitioner's claim.;

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