RANA RATNA RAO Vs. STATE OF ANDHRA PRADESH
HIGH COURT OF ANDHRA PRADESH
RANA RATNA RAO
STATE OF ANDHRA PRADESH
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Sardar All Khan, J. -
(1.)This batch of writ petitions has been filed for issue of appropriate writs relating to appointment to posts of Village Administrative Officers under the Andhra Pradesh Village Administrative Officers Service Rules, 1990.
(2.)When the matter came up before the learned single judge, a preliminary objection was raised with regard to jurisdiction of the High Court to entertain the writ petitions on the ground that it is the Andhra Pradesh Administrative Tribunal which has jurisdiction to deal with the matter and not the High Court. The learned single Judge has thus made an order of reference of the cases to Division Bench stating that the Rules referred to above have been framed under Article 309 of the Constitution of India, and the contention raised on behalf of the State Government that the Andhra Pradesh Administrative Tribunal alone has got jurisdiction under Section 15 of the Administrative Tribunals Act, 1985 to deal with the matter becomes an important question of law which requires to be decided by a Division Bench of this Court.
(3.)We have heard the matter in considerable detail mainly with regard to the question of jurisdiction. It may be noticed that the Andhra Pradesh Village Administrative Officers Service Rules, 1990 ha ve been framed under Article 309 of the Constitution of India for regulating recruitment and conditions of service of Village Administrative Officers. It is also to be noted that these Rules have been framed for appointment of Village Administrative Officer which is undoubtedly a "civil post". The contention of the writ petitioners is that, this matter can be decided by the High Court in exercise of its powers under Article 226 of the Constitution of India inasmuch as the writ petitioners in all these cases are erstwhile Village Officers who are to be absorbed as Village Administrative Officers under the said Rules. We do not find any force in this contention because, under Rule 3 of the said Rules what is visualised is, appointment of Village Administrative Officer for every village or for a group of villages as the Government or Commissioner of Land Revenue or the District Collector may, from time to time, consider necessary. The appointing authority for these posts shall be the Revenue Divisional Officer. Therefore, it will be a misnomer to say that it is a question of absorption of erstwhile Village Officers as Village Administrative Officers and not appointment as such.
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