K JAGADEELSAN Vs. UNION OF INDIA
SUPREME COURT OF INDIA (FROM: ANDHRA PRADESH)
UNION OF INDIA
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Kania, J. -
(1.)This is an appeal by special leave against a decision of the Central Administrative Tribunal, Hyderabad in Transfer Application No. 1185 of 1986(W.P. No. 8226 of 1985).
(2.)All the relevant facts have been set out by the Tribunal in its judgment. As we are in agreement with the reasoning and conclusions of the Tribunal in the impugned judgment, we propose to set out only the brief facts necessary for the disposal of the appeal.
(3.)Under the relevant rules, the recruitment to the post of Superintending Mechanical Engineer was by promotion and failing that by direct recruitment. It may be mentioned that for direct recruitment to the said post, the qualifications of a degree in Mechanical or Automobile Engineering was prescribed asessential. For promotion to the post of Director (M.E.) the requisite qualification was five years of service in the grade of Mechanical Engineer (Senior). The appellant became eligible for promotion in 1978, but he was not promoted as there were some senior persons in his grade, who were promoted to the said post. On January 31, 1984, a Notification was issued by respondent No. 1, amending the said Rules and the said Notification was duly published in the Gazette of India. By the said amendment, the said Rules were amended and it was prescribed that for promotion to the post of Director (M.E.) a degree in Engineering was a requisite qualification. The appellant challenges the validity of this Notification on the ground that it affected his chances of promotion or alternatively his right to be considered for promotion to the post of Director (M.E.). The appellant is a Mechanical Engineer (Senior) in the Geological Survey of India, Southern Region, Hyderabad. The appellant is a diploma holder and does not hold any degree in engineering. On April 27, 1964 he was appointed as Transport Officer (Class-I Technical Grade, Group 'A). This post was redesignated and merged with the post of Mechanical Engineer (Junior) in March, 1968. On November 28, 1969, the Geological Survey of India (Group 'A' and Group 'B' posts) Recruitment Rules, 1967, made under Art. 309 of the Constitution were brought into force. The appellant was promoted as a Mechanical Engineer (Senior) with effect from March 17, 1973 and his conditions of service were governed by the aforesaid rules. These rules have been amended from time to time. It was submitted by learned counsel for the appellant that the said amendment purported to be carried out by the said Notification was bad in law as it adversely affected a condition of service relating to promotion. It was submitted by learned counsel for the appellant that if the rule, requiring a degree qualification for promotion to the post of Director (M.E.), was applied as far as the appellant was concerned, it would amount to giving a retrospective effect to the operation of the said rule and no retrospective rule could be framed under Art. 309 of the Constitution. This contention was rejected by the Tribunal which held that it was for the Government to prescribe such qualifications as it considered fit for the post of Director (M.E.) and the Tribunal could not go into the question whether that qualification was necessary unless the prescribing of the requirement could be said to be perverse. The Tribunal further took the view that the appellant had no vested right to promotion but had a mere chance of promotion and he was not entitled to challenge the rule merely on the ground that it affected his chance of promotion. The said appeal is directed against the said decision.
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