Decided on November 18,1993

C L Mattoo Appellant
STATE Respondents


- (1.)THE petitioner is a Superintending Engineer in the Public Works Department of the State. He complains that he has been superseded and wants to be promoted to the post of Chief Engineer selection post. His grievance in nutshell is that he has not been considered for promotion to the post and his juniors have been promoted in violation of his rights guaranteed to him under Article 16 of the Constitution. He accordingly seeks quashment of promotion of respondents 2 to 4 made vide order No: 414 -PW of 1992 dated 16.12.1992 and also a direction to the respondent State to promote him to the post of Chief Engineer with all consequential benefits from the date respondents 2 to 4 were so promoted.
(2.)THE petitionerâ„¢s service graph shows that he was appointed as Asstt. Engineer in 1959; promoted as Executive Engineer in 1970 and was further promoted to the post of Superintending Engineer with effect from 31.12.1986. He was appointed as Member -Secretary of the J&K Pollution Control Board in the pay -scale of Rs. 1850 -2300 by Govt. Order No.452 -GD of 1986 dated 29.9.1986 wherein he was also declared to be the ex -officio Addl. Secretary to Govt. (Technical), Housing and Urban Development Deptt. He was subsequently transferred to the newly created department of Environment, Ecology, UEE and was posted as Member -Secretary of the Pollution Control Board vide Govt. Order No. 962 -GD of 1986 dated 8.12.1986. While the petitioner continued to be member -secretary of the Pollution Control Board, the Govt. issued the final seniority list of Superintending Engineers vide Govt. Order No 253 -PW of 1992 dated 21.7.1992 wherein he was placed at S.No. 8 while respondents 2, 3 and 4 figured at S.Nos. 5, 9 & 10 respectively. He claims that he has challenged the placement of respondent No.2 in this seniority list and his representation in this regard is still pending and on that basis asserts that he was the senior -most Superintending Engineer eligible for promotion. But that is besides the point.
(3.)THE petitioners downhill journey seems to have started when he received a communication from his Chief Engineer dated 10.9.1992 asking him to expedite his APRs with the concerned initiating authorities under whom he had worked for the last three years. Pursuant thereto he approached the Commissioner/Secretary, Environment and Forests Deptt., who by his letter addressed to the Commissioner/Secretary, Public Works Deptt. dated 22.9.1992 reported that his APRs for 1986 to 1992 had not been written by his superior officers though from the record his performance was found to be good. This was followed by the impugned order promoting respondents 2 to 4 which is the bone of contention in this petition.
Before adverting to the grounds of challenge it would be appropriate to briefly refer to Govt. Order No.l605 -GD of 1971 and Govt. Order No. 1586 -GD of 1983 which constituted the selection committee for promotion to the post of Chief Engineer. Similarly Govt. Order No. 2055 -GD of 1978 dated 19.9.1978 lays down the criteria to be followed by the selection committee for making selection to selection grades/posts borne on the cadre of various services. It provides : The selection committee should classify the officers eligible for promotion to the selection posts/grades as outstanding , very good  and good  or unfit  as the case may be on an overall relative assessment of their service records.  In reply to the petitionerâ„¢s case the respondent -State has filed two sets of objections on 11.5.1993 and 4.6.1993. Both sets are supported by the affidavits sworn by one Shri R.N. Raina, Addl. Secretary to Govt., PWD on the basis of his information and available record. In the first set the stand taken is that the select committee considered all eligible candidates on the basis of their merit, suitability and overall assessment of the record available and placed the petitioner at S.No.5 in the panel. The committee placed the eligible officers in the following order:

i) Shri. Abdul Rashid, ii) Shri. Saffar Ahmed, iii) Shri Abdul Khaliq, iv) Shri K.K.Mattoo and v) Shri C.L. Mattoo 
It is, however, submitted that the State Administrative Council approved promotions of respondents 2 & 3 and accorded sanction to the deputation of respondent No.4 as Managing Director of the J&K Housing Board.

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