Decided on January 07,1983

Shambu Nath Basu Etc. Appellant
Union Of India Etc. Respondents


S.B. Wad, J. - (1.)The three petitions raised the question of the correct principles of determining seniority in the Grade III service of Indian Inspection Service. They also raise a question of inter-se seniority between the petitioners and respondents in the three petitions. Civil Writ Petition No. 1457 of 1981 is filed by Shri S. N. Basu. Apart from the governmental agencies Shri D. B. Jain and Shri K. M. Taneja are joined as respondents. Civil Writ Petition No. 1973 of 1981 is filed by Shri A. Basak. Apart from the governmental agencies Shri D.B. Jain, Shri K.M. Taneja and Shri S. N. Basu are joined as respondents, Shri S. C. Anand was impleaded as a respondent on his application. Civil Writ Petition No. 1590 of 1981 is filed by Shri R. S. Arora. Apart from governmental agencies the other respondents in the petition are S/Shri D. B. Jain, K. M. Taneja & S. N. Basu. Shri A. Basak was impleaded as party respondent on the application. In civil writ 1457 of 1981 an application has been moved by S. C. Anand for impleading him as a party respondent in C. M. 2057 of 1982. I have allowed the said application.
(2.)The Indian Inspection Service (Class I) is regulated by Indian Inspection Service (Class I) Rules, 1961. Grade III and Grade II service are divided into four branches. They are engineering branch, textile branch, metallurgical branch and chemical branch. Mr. Taneja belongs to metallurgical branch. Rest of the petitioners and respondents belong to the engineering branch.
(3.)The method of recruitment is proved in Rule 8. They are direct recruitment by competitive examination, promotion, deputation or transfer and adhoc appointments. Direct recruitment to Grade III is done by combined competitive examination conducted by the Public Service Commission. After passing the examination the appointments are made according to Rule 12. The Rule reads :
"Appointment how made :

(i) After every examination the Commission shall make a list of candidates in order of their merit as disclosed by the aggregate marks finally awarded to each candidates, and in that order, so many candidates upto the number of vacancies announced under Rule 10, as are found by the Commission to be qualified by the Examination and are considered by Government to be suitable in all other respects shall be appointed. The selected candidates shall be appointed to any of the posts included in Grade III (Engineering Branch) of the service.
Their is a period of probation for two years. On the completion of period of probation, the officers of Grade III (Engineering Branch) of the service shall, if considered fit for permanent appointment, be confirmed in their appointments, subject to availability of permanent posts. The Government may extend the period of two years. This is provided by Rule 13. Grade III officers can be promoted to a corresponding Branch in Grade II service. The distinction in the Branches ends there. For promotion to Grade I service officers of all the four branches are considered. This is provided by Rule 14(1). Sub-Rule III of Rule 14 provides for the basis for promotion. It reads as follows:-
"For the purpose of promotion under this rule to Grade I and grade II of the Service, only Officers who have completed service for at least five years in Grade II and four years in Grade III after appointment thereto on a regular basis respectively, shall be eligible.

Provided that the Government may for reasons to be recorded in writing and in consultation with the Commission, exempt any person from the application of this sub-rule.

Provided further that for promotion to Grade II, Officers of Grade III shall be considered in the order of seniority irrespective of the period of service in that grade but that actual promotion of an Officer approved for, promotion shall be made only after he completes four years' service in Grade III after appointment thereto on a regular basis, and on such promotion he shall be assigned the same seniority in Grade II as was allotted to him by the Departmental Promotion Committee in the panel of approved officers, irrespective of the actual date of his promotion."
According to Rule 9(5) "the relative seniority of different types of recruits shall be determined according to the general principles of seniority are laid down by the Ministry of Home Affairs O.M. No. 9/11/55-RBS dated 22-12-1959. It is agreed between the parties that para 3 & 4 of the said O M. governed the question of the seniority. The two paras read as follows :
"Para 3. Subject to the provisions of para 4 below, permanent officers of each grade shall be ranked senior to persons who are officiating in that grade.

Para 4 Direct recruits:

Notwithstanding the provisions of para 3 above, the relative seniority of all direct recruits shall be determined by the order of merit in which they are selected for such appointment, on the recommendation of the UPSC or other selecting authority, persons appointed so as a result of an earlier selection being senior to those appointed as a result of a subsequent selection.

Provided that where persons recruited initially on a temporary basis are confirmed subsequently in an order different from the order of merit indicated at the time of their appointment, seniority shall follow the order of confirmation and not the original order of merit."


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