Vyas Dev Misra, C.J. -
(1.)This writ petition raises an interesting and indeed an important question. The petitioners seek a direction from this Court prohibiting the State from preparing seniority list according to Division Bench decision of this Court, dated 7th Oct., 1977, in Civil Writ Petn. No. 227 of 1974 - P. S. Chandel Vs. State .
(2.)The petitioners were appointed by promotion to the Himachal Pradesh Forest Service Class II (referred to as Class II Service) with effect from 1st May, 1958. They were subsequently duly confirmed. At that time there were no statutory rules governing the conditions of Class II Service. There were, however, executive directions fixing the proportion of direct recruits and promotees. 60 per cent of the posts were to go to the direct recruits and 40 per cent were to go to the promotees. The Himachal Pradesh Forest Service Class II (Recruitment, Promotion and Certain Conditions of Service) Rules, 1966 (referred to as Statutory Rules) were framed and enforced on 28/29th Jan., 1966. These, inter alia, provided that 25% of the posts will be filled by direct recruitment whereas 75% of the posts will be filled by promotion. Before the rules came into force, tentative seniority list of 20 officers belonging to Class II Service was prepared and circulated. Pending finalisation of this list Statutory Rules came into force. Now a new list of 20 officers of the cadre was prepared and circulated on 21st March, 1968. It may be noticed that whereas in the first tentative seniority list the ratio of 60 per cent direct recruits and 40 per cent promotees was followed, the second list was prepared in accordance with the Recruitment Rules keeping the ratio of 25 per cent by direct recruitment and 75 Per cent by promotion. One Amin Chand Karwasra, a direct recruit, challenged the list dated 21st March, 1968 by Civil Writ Petition 37 of 1969 in the High Court of Delhi, Himachal Pradesh Bench. He claimed that the list should be prepared in accordance with the executive directions and not according to the Statutory Rules since they had no retrospective operation. P.N. Khanna, J., by his judgment dated 19th Oct., 1970 allowed the petitioner directing the Government of Himachal Pradesh "to prepare the seniority list wherein the seniority of the petitioner and also of the other candidates shall be fixed in the ratio of 60 per cent direct recruits and 40 per cent promotees which was the ratio governing the recruitment of candidates on the date of the petitioners joining the service." The State as well as two respondents filed Letters Patent Appeals 39 and 40 of 1970 against the judgment of the learned single Judge. The appeals were allowed by a Division Bench in the following words :
"The result is that we allow these appeals to the extent that we set aside the order of the learned single Judge giving a direction to apply a supposed rule or order fixing a quota of 60 : 40 as between direct recruits and promotees. While maintaining the order of the learned Judge quashing the impugned seniority list, which appeared to us to be based on no intelligible or explicable and justifiable policy, we leave the Government of Himachal Pradesh free to act in accordance with law, as found in the Rules of 1966 in preparing a future list."
(3.)Amin Chand Karwasra filed a Special Leave Petition (Civil) 57 of 1973 in the Supreme Court against the decision of the Division Bench but this was dismissed on 12th March, 1974.