Decided on March 24,1982



B.K.MEHTA,J. - (1.)A short question whether the petitioners who are promoted as Aval Karkuns from the cadre of clerk after their allocation to the Panchayat Service from the Revenue Department of the State Government are entitled to the benefit of Rule 2 of the Gujarat Panchayat Services (Promotion to Cadre in State Service) Rules 1974 (herein after referred to as the Promotion Rules) arises in this petition.
(2.)The claim of the Petitioners is founded on the ground that as prescribed in Item No. 7 of the Schedule read with Rule 2 of the aforesaid Promotion Rules the Petitioners being Aval Karkuns are entitled to seek promotion to the post and cadre of Mamlatdar in the Revenue Department of the State Services since they have exercised option for promotion to the State Services within the prescribed period of four months after their promotion to the post of Aval Karkun from the post of Clerk. The claim of the petitioners is resisted on behalf of the State Government respondent No. 1 herein and on behalf of the contesting respondents employees on the ground that on true construction and effect of the said Item 7 only those allocated Aval Karkuns from the Revenue Department to the Panchayat Services are entitled to claim promotions to the posts of Mamlatdars in the Revenue Department provided they satisfied the conditions prescribed in that behalf.
(3.)The next question which therefore arises is about the construction of Item No. 7 of the Schedule to the Promotion Rules read with rule 2 thereof. Before I deal with the rival interpretations canvassed on the question of construction it is necessary to dispose of shortly the preliminary objection that has been raised by the State Government to this petition. It has been urged that the petition is bad on the ground of delay and laches on the part of the Petitioner since in effect and substance they are challenging the promotion granted to respondents Nos. 2 3 and 4 by the order of the State Government of 25/11/1980 and inasmuch as they have moved this Court for appropriate writs orders and directions in February 1982 they are now stopped from seeking the relief's which they have prayed for in this petition. I do not think that there is much substance in this preliminary objection since the Petitioners have inter alia stated in paragraph 9 of the petition that they have learnt that the District Development Officer Banaskantha district communicated to the Revenue Department that these petitioners were entitled to be promoted to the posts of Mamlatdars in the Revenue Department and they belong to the Schedule Cast but the said recommendation was negatived on the ground that since the Petitioners when allocated to the Panchayat Services were merely Clerks and not Aval Karkuns they are not entitled to the benefit of promotion to the posts of Mamlatdars as prescribed in Item 7 of the Schedule to the Promotion Rules. It is no doubt true that the Petitioners have not precisely stated as to on what date the recommendation was made and on what date that recommendation was turned down. But I have been told by Mr. Zhaveri learned Advocate for the Petitioners and also affirmed by the learned Assistant Government Pleader appearing on behalf of the State Government that the said recommendation of the District Development Officer was turned down on 20/11/1981 I do not therefore think that there can be any bar of delay or laches to this petition which was lodged in this Court on 1/02/1982 since in the very nature of things the Petitioners would learn about the rejection of the recommendation only after some time of the receipt of the communication by the District Development Officer from the State Government. The preliminary objection therefore stands rejected.

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