Decided on February 28,2002

Thangavelu T. Appellant
UNION OF INDIA Respondents

Cited Judgements :-



- (1.)THIS appeal is directed against the judgment of the Central Administrative Tribunal (for short "the Tribunal") dealing with the inter se seniority of the appellants and the private respondents. The appellants were appointed as casual labourers in Steam Loco Shed, in the year 1978 and after continuing there for four months, they acquired a temporary status as provided in the Railway Establishment Manual. In the year 1979 they were absorbed on permanent basis after being screened and selected regularly as Group D khalasis. In the year 1982, the Steam Loco Shed got abolished and the appellants were absorbed in Diesel Loco Shed w.e.f. different dates in March 1982. One of the terms and conditions of the absorption was that their seniority would be reckoned from the date of their absorption in Diesel Loco Shed. Necessarily, therefore, the appellants would have their seniority w.e.f. March 1982.
(2.)THE private respondents were appointed as substitutes in Diesel Loco Shed right from the inception in the year 1981 and they got their temporary status on expiry of four months. Their regular absorption, however, was only in the year 1985 after they were screened and selected. In accordance with the provisions of the Railway Establishment Manual, a provisional seniority list was drawn up on 15-6-1986 and in that seniority list the appellants' seniority had been shown as junior to the private respondents. The appellants had filed their objections before the authority concerned and ultimately the seniority inter se was redetermined by the Railway Administration on 9-5-1988. In the said seniority list while the appellants' services were reckoned from different dates in March 1982, the date of their absorption in the Diesel Loco Shed, the private respondents' seniority was reckoned from 1985, the date of their absorption on regular basis. Against this seniority list, a representation appears to have been filed before the authority which was dismissed on 8-8-1988. Five years thereafter, another representation appears to have been filed on 21-4-1993 by one of the private respondents and that stood rejected on 21-6-1993. The private respondents then filed an application before the Tribunal, which disposed of the matter by order dated 19-9-1994 directing that a fresh representation be filed and, on such representation being filed, the appropriate authority was directed to consider and dispose of the same.
Pursuant to the aforesaid direction of the Tribunal a representation was filed by the private respondents on 4-10-1994 and the same stood rejected by the authority concerned on 1-12-1994. Against the said order of rejection, the private respondents filed the OA which was registered as OA No. 609 of 1995. That OA having been allowed on the basis of an earlier judgment of the Tribunal relating to the Mechanical Department of the Railways, the present appeal has been preferred.

(3.)BE it stated that the Tribunal has taken the view following the earlier judgment of the Tribunal that the seniority of the private respondents would be reckoned from the date they acquired the temporary status in the Diesel Loco Shed and this conclusion is reinforced by a letter of the Railway Board dated 19-9-1979.

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