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If the Tribunal comes to a conclusion that it’s earlier judgment requires reconsideration, the Tribunal can refer the question to a larger Bench: Odisha High Court

This Judgment was delivered by the single bench comprising Hon’ble Chief Justice Mr. Mohammad Rafiq & Hon’ble Justice K.R. Mohapatra of Odisha High Court in the matter of Bakul Kumar Mishra V. UOI & others, [W.P.(C) NO. 10668 OF 2003].

This writ petition has been filed calling in question the legality and propriety of the order dated 16.04.2002 (Annexure-6) passed by the Full Bench of the Central Administrative Tribunal, Principal Bench, New Delhi in O.A. 1525 of 2001 and the order dated 18.07.2003 (Annexure-7) passed by the Central Administrative Tribunal, Cuttack Bench, Cuttack in O.A. No. 276 of 1993 filed by the present petitioner.

The case of the petitioner has a chequered career. The petitioner was an ex-army personnel for twelve years. After taking retirement from the defense service, the petitioner pursuant to an advertisement dated 21.02.1972 applied for the post of Assistant Commandant in Class-II Cadre of the Odisha Military Police. On being successful in the interview, he got selected and joined as Assistant Commandant on 16.11.1972. Before joining in the Odisha Military Police Service, the petitioner had rendered five years eleven months and two days of approved commissioned service out of his twelve years career in defense service. Thus, he made a representation to the Secretary, Government of Odisha, Home Department, Bhubaneswar-opp. party no. 2 to fix seniority taking into consideration his past service in the Army and to antedate his date of joining in the Odisha Military Police. He also requested the opp. party no. 2 to re-fix his scale of pay accordingly. The State Government vide its letter dated 18.01.1978 granted the benefit of military service from 3 30.08.1964 to 31.07.1970 to the petitioner. Accordingly, a revised gradation list was published and circulated, wherein the petitioner was placed at Sl. No. 9, whereas the name of one Shri Gopabandhu Biswal was placed at Sl. No. 10 in the cadre of Assistant Commandant. When the matter stood thus, said Gopabandhu Biswal moved this Court in OJC No. 2414 of 1982 challenging the action of the State Government in not considering his case for promotion as Deputy Superintendent of Police in the I.P.S. Cadre. After creation of the Central Administrative Tribunal pursuant to the enactment of the Administrative Tribunal Act, 1985, the writ petition was transferred to the Central Administrative Tribunal, Cuttack Bench, Cuttack (for short „the Tribunal‟) and the same was registered as T.A. No. 1 of 1989. Vide order dated 24.12.1991, said T.A. was disposed of directing the State Government to consider the case of Shri Gopabandhu Biswal for promotion in the cadre of I.P.S. in respect of the vacancies available from 1977 till January, 1980. The judgment passed by learned Tribunal in T.A. No.1 of 1989 was challenged by the State of Odisha and others before the Hon‟ble Apex Court in SLP(C) No. 7479 of 1992, which was dismissed on 03.08.1992.

After examining all the submissions, arguments and evidences forwarded by the councils, the Hon’ble HC observed that, “There cannot be any quarrel over the fact that Special Leave Petition filed by the State Government assailing the 22 judgments and order passed in T.A. No.1 of 1989 filed by Gopabandhu Biswal was dismissed in lemini. In that view of the matter, it cannot be said that the Tribunal has to follow the said judgment and order, more particularly when the Hon‟ble Apex Court while remitting O.A. No. 276 of 1993 and other similar Original Applications to the Tribunal for fresh adjudication has categorically opined that if the Tribunal comes to a conclusion that its earlier judgment requires reconsideration, the Tribunal can refer the question to a larger Bench.”

The bench further added that, “There is no dispute about the correctness of the ratio of the judgments relied upon by learned counsel for the petitioner but learned counsel for the petitioner failed to substantiate the applicability thereof to the instant case.”

In lieu of the above made considerations and observations, the bench in this present case held that, “In that view of the matter, this writ petition fails and is dismissed. Resultantly, the impugned judgment and order passed by the Tribunal under Annexures-6 and 7 are confirmed. In the circumstances, there shall be no order as to costs.”

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