Decided on February 10,1992



P.Venkatarama Reddi, J. - (1.)The petitioner worked as Village Munsif of Gunjepalli village, Anantapur District during the period 13-4-1981 to 6-1-1984, as revealed from the Certificate issued by the Mandal Revenue Officer, Mudigubba (filed as one of the material papers in the writ petition). It is stated in the affidavit that the petitioner was appointed against a vacancy arising out of the resignation of the 5th respondent. The petitioner submits that he satisfies the requisite criteria and qualifications laid down for selection to the post of Village Administrative Officer for which he was called for interview. He was not selected for the post of Village Administrative Officer. Instead the 5th respondent herein was selected and appointed by the Revenue Divisional Officer Penukonda by his proceedings dated 31-1-1992. Aggrieved by this, the petitioner has filed the present writ petition seeking for a writ of mandamus directing the concerned respondents to appoint the petitioner as part-time Village Administrative Officer in accordance with the judgment of this Court in W.P.15280/87 (W.P.15218/87 mentioned in the writ petition is a mistake) and in accordance with the judgment of the Supreme Court in R.K.Ramarao vs. State of A.P., AIR 1987 S.C 1467. There is also a further prayer to declare Rules' 8 and 9 of the Andhra Pradesh Village Administrative Officers Service Rules, 1990 framed under G.O.Ms.No.942 dated 7th November 1990 as illegal and unconstitutional.
(2.)It is the case of the petitioner that he being a village officer working on 6-1-1984 which is the date on which the posts of village officers in the State were abolished by A.P. Ordinance No.1 of 1987, the petitioner is entitled to preference over 5th respondent, who resigned the job long prior to that date. In other words, the contention of the petitioner is that the 5th respondent ought not to have been preferred on the ground of longer service inasmuch as he was not in service on the crucial date viz., 6-1-1984. Giving credit to the service rendered by the 5th respondent and preferring him on that basis would, according to the petitioner, amount to violation of the judgment of the Supreme Court (in the decision referred to supra) and the relevant Rules framed under Article 309 of the Constitution authorising such preference would be violative of the judgment of the Supreme Court and hence, void ab initio. In the context of the contentions raised by the learned Counsel, the validity of Rule 8 which prescribes the qualifications for appointment of Village Administrative Officers does not arise for the reason that it is not the case of the petitioner that he was disqualified by reason of non-compliance with any of the requirements of Rule 8. Perhaps only a part of Rule 9 is relevant for the purpose of this case. Rule 9(C) provides for calling for applications from the eligible Ex. Village Officers/Village Assistants. Clause (d) lays down the criteria to be observed by the Selection Committee. Under the head Marks for Experience and past record", one mark for every year of service subject to a maximum of ten marks is provided for. In sum and substance, the relief sought for by the petitioner is that the appointment of the 5th respondent as Village Administrative Officer shall be set aside and a direction be given to appoint the petitioner to that post.
(3.)According to the Division Bench judgment of this Court in R.V.N.Ranaratna Rao vs. State of A.P., 1992(1) APLJ 168 a writ petition of this nature cannot be entertained by this Court because the subject matter falls within the exclusive jurisdiction of the Administrative Tribunal. The Division Bench consist- ing of Sardar All Khan.J and Subhashan Reddi, J, held that (1) the post of Village Administrative Officer is a civil post (2) the matters pertaining to recruitment to 'civil service' or 'civil posf under the State and all matters arising in relation thereto, having been vested in the Tribunal under Section 15 of the Administrative Tribunals Act, 1985, the jurisdiction of the High Court to entertain disputes of this nature is expressly excluded under Section 15 of the said. Act; (3) the High Court cannot exercise its power under Article 226 of the Constitution on the ground that what is involved is the question of absorption of erstwhile village officers and not appointment as such. Following the above judgment, this writ petition would have merited dismissal in limine without any further argument. However, the learned Counsel for. the petitioner has contended mat the decision of the Division Bench (cited supra) is erroneous and requires reconsideration. According to the learned Counsel Mr. S.Ramachandra Rao, what is sought for in effect in this writ petition is a mere implementation of the earlier judgment of the Supreme Court in Rama Rao vs. State of A.P. (1 supra) Which modified to certain extent the order of this Court and such implementation of the Judgment of the Supreme Court does not fall within the domain of the Administrative Tribunals Act. The learned Counsel submits that the Division Bench had not noticed the Full Bench decision of this Court in A.P. Village Officers Assn. vs. Govt. of A.P., AIR 1988 A.P.180. The learned Counsel interprets the Full Bench decision as laying down the law that for the purpose of enforcement or implementation of the directives given by the High Court and the Supreme Court, the jurisdiction under Article 226 of the Constitution is available to the aggrieved party and the Tribunal need not be approached. Before considering this aspect, it is necessary to notice as to what is said by this Court and the Supreme Court in regard to appointment of erstwhile village officers and how far the petitioner is right in contending that his right to appointment inheres from the proper implementation of the judgment of the Supreme Court

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