PRADYOT KUMAR BANERJEE, J. -
(1.)IN this rule the petitioner has challenged the order of seniority as also the provisional list published on the ground that Rule 171(1) of the Rajasthan Land Revenue (Land Records) Rules, 1957 be declared ultra -vires and illegal and that the petitioner should get seniority computed as per the Rajasthan Civil Services (Absorption of Surplus Personnel) Rules, 1969 and for other reliefs namely, restraining the respondents from effecting the reversion of the petitioner from the post of Naib Tehsildar to post the of Inspector (Land Records) and for quashing the order of reversion. Mr. Mridul argued that in consequence of his prayers in (a) and (b) the petitioner may not be reverted.
(2.)THE facts leading to the rule are as follows. The petitioner was appointed as Amin on October 2, 1954 and was promoted as Surveyor with effect from August 14, 1957 in the Consolidation Department after passing the Surveyhr examination. It Appears that every time the seniority list was being prepared and the petitioner moved this Court and obtained the stay order, but every time the rule was disposed of as being infructuous. It was further alleged that the petitioner was declared surplus due to economy eut effected by the Government and came to be absorbed as Inspector Land Records by transfer in Jalore district vide order dated November 4, 1963 of the Board of Revenue for Rajasthan, The petitioner joined the post on November 14, 1963. The petitioner also obtained a Diploma from the Ail -Purpose Revenue Training School, Tonk, as required by the Rajasthan Land Revenue (Land Records) Rules, 1957, on July 20, 1964, when he was asked to take the training referred to herein above by the competent authority. On September 21, 1966 the Collector, Jalore, proceeded to order mentioning therein that for existing 9 clear vacancies in the scale of Rs. 90 -4 -170 the names be arranged in order of seniority -cum merit of the incumbent concerned and the petitioner's name came to be mentioned at serial No. 9. The date of his continuous service as Kanugo came to be shown as November 14, 1963 and was also shown to be a trained Kanugo. The petitioner filed objections stating inter -alia that he was appointed as Surveyor, a post equivalent to the cost of Inspector, Land Records on August 14, 1957 and was absorbed by transfer from that post and he should be treated as Inspector, Land Records with effect from that day and assigned seniority accordingly. But by order dated April 23, 1971, the Collector, Jalore confirmed the petitioner with 9 other Inspectors, Land Records with effect from September 28, 1967. The petitioner again objected to such confirmation, but no order for confirming the petitioner with effect from August, 14, 1957, however, as passed. The petitioner was promoted as Naib Tehsilder by order dated May 27, 1968 and was ordered to be posted as Famine Naib Tehsildar in Jaisalmer district, which appointment was, however, on temporary and ad -hoc basis. By order dated September 26, 1970 the petitioner, however, was reverted from the post of Naib Tehsildar to the post of Inspector, Land Records. Aggrieved from this order, the petitioner filed a writ application and this Hon'ble Court was pleased to stay the order of reversion and the petitioner thereafter was transferred as Naib Tehsildar Chauttan Tehsil, District Barmer and presently holding the post of Naib Tehsildar, Ajmer District, Ajmer. On September 24, 1973 an order was made by the Board of Revenue, Rajasthan, Ajmer reverting the petitioner from the post of Naib Tehsildar to the post of Inspector, Land Records in District Sirohi. In the writ petition filed by the petitioner, a statement was made on behalf of the Board of Revenue for Rajasthan that new Rules have been made in regard to the promotion of the post of Naib Tehsilders and a seniority list has also been prepared once again and that the petitioner will not be reverted till his case has been considered according to the new Rules and new seniority. On such statement being made, it is alleged, the petitioner withdrew the writ petition on September, 12, 1973. But unfortunately it is alleged that the seniority list which came thereafter also contained the same vice and the seniority list was again challenged. It appears that as many as 165 persons, who were Surveyors of the Consolidation Department and were declared surplus in the year 1962 and the petitioner, who was senior to all 165 persons who were declared surplus, was made junior to those persons. It is further stated that all these persons were holding the same scale of pay and same type of work and responsibilities which was being discharged by the Surveyors of the Consolidation Department and the Inspectors, Land Records at that relevant time. With this and in view in so far as seniority is concerned, it is alleged, that in view of the provisional seniority list of confirmed Inspectors, Land Records the petitioner's name was not shown, though according to him, the petitioner's name should have been shown above serial No. 380. Subsequently another seniority list was published in 1972, wherein the petitioner's name appears at serial No. 592. In the circular dated September 21, 1973 notifying the seniority list it was stated that seniority list is determined on the basis of date of continuous officiation on the post of Inspector, Land Records and it was further said that the seniority of persons who were said to have held the post equivalent to that of Inspector, Land Records has also been determined on the basis of their continuous officiation on that post prior to their appointment as Inspector, Land Records by transfer and or absorption. On these grounds the petitioner has challenged the provisional seniority list, because according to him the principle has not been properly applied to.
In the affidavit in opposition filed by the respondents it has been stated inter -alia that the petitioner was no doubt declared surplus on the post of Surveyor in the Consolidation Department on 'August 31,1963 (A.M.), but he was taken on transfer on the post of Inspector, Land Records from the post of Inspector, Consolidation, Ajmer vide Board of Revenue's order dated November 4, 1963 and not through process of absorption through the Absorption Committee (Central Administration Department). Rajasthan Jaipur. It is stated that the petitioner was not confirmed on the post of Inspector, Land Records along with the confirmation of 7 other Inspectors, Land Records as the petitioner's work was unsatisfactory. Moreover, it is alleged that the post of Surveyor in Consolidation Department is equivalent to that of Inspector, Land Records is entirely unfouded as it has not been declared to be so, under Sub -rule (2) of Rule 171 -A of the Rajasthan Land Revenue (Land Records) Rules, 1957. It was submitted by the respondents that in these circumstances the petitioner was reverted from the post of Naib Tehsildar. The seniority list of Inspectors, Land Records issued in 1973 was superseded by the new list issued in 1975 as Rule 171A of the Rajasthan Land Revenue (Land Records) Rules 1957 was amended on July 11, 1974. The petitioner was assigned seniority at proper place in the new list at serial No. 553. It is stated that the affected seniority list of 1973 was superseded by the seniority list published in Rajasthan Rajpatra on April 24, 1975. It is stated that the Rajasthan Land Revenue Act and Rules applied in the facts and circumstances of the case and the Rajasthan Subordinate Service (Recruitment and other Service Conditions) Rules, 1960 are not applicable to the petitioner. It is further asserted that the petitioner was not absorbed on the post of Inspector, Land Records on his being declared surplus, but was on transfer on his own request routed through the Settlement Commissioner and ex -officio Director of Consolidation, Rajasthan, Jaipur on January 14, 1963. Thus, his seniority in the cadre of Inspectors, Land Records would be determinable under Rule 171 -A of the Rajasthan Land Revenue (Land Records) Rules, 1957 and not under the Rajasthan Civil Services (Absorption of Surplus Personnel) Rules, 1969. No reply seems to have been given about the validity or otherwise of the reversion order from the post of Naib Tehsildar to the post of Inspector, Land Records.
(3.)THE petitioner, however, filed a rejoinder to the affidavit in opposition filed by the Board of Revenue. He has stated the same thing what has been stated in the writ petition.