THANGAVELU T. Vs. UNION OF INDIA
SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
UNION OF INDIA
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(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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