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Determination of seniority to be governed by Seniority Rules enforced at the Time of Appointment of the Personnel: Supreme Court of India

For determination of seniority which is a different concept and determination of seniority is governed by seniority rules enforced at the time of appointment of the personnel under 1972 Rules. This honorable judgement was passed by Supreme Court of India in the case of Jagmohan Singh Dhillon Etc. v. Satwant Singh & Ors[CIVIL APPEAL NOS.4616-4618/2010] by The Hon’ble Ashok Bhushan.

The appeal was filled by appellant as The High Court vide the impugned judgment had allowed the LPA filed by the State of Punjab and set aside the judgment of learned Single Judge and dismissed the writ petitions. The appellants are ex-servicemen, who after being released from the Army were appointed to Punjab Civil Service. Rules were framed namely Demobilized Indian Armed Forces Personnel Rules, 1972, under which Rules Twenty percent of the vacancies in the Punjab Civil Service were to be filled in by direct recruitment from amongst Released Indian Armed Forces Personnel, who joined military service or were commissioned on or after the first day of November, 1962. The vacancies existed under Rules, 1972 for direct recruitment were from 1979 to 1981. Another set of Rules were framed namely Punjab Recruitment of Ex-servicemen Rules, 1982 which were gazetted on 12.02.1982. Fifteen percent of the vacancies to be filled by direct appointment were reserved for being filled in the recruitment by ex-servicemen. The examination was held in the year 1985 and the appellants were appointed vide order dated 18.03.1986 to Punjab Civil Service. The seniority list was issued in the year 1994 in which seniority of the appellant was fixed at S.No.25 without granting him any benefit of earlier services in the Army. The appellant submitted representation against wrong fixation of his seniority.

The learned council referred the case of State of Punjab and other versus Dr. Balbir Bharadwaj, LPA No.168 of 2004, decided on 29.01.2007 has rightly been distinguished by the Division Bench in the impugned judgment.

The court opinioned that, “The Division Bench has rightly taken the view that saving clause under Rule 9(3) does not extend any benefit to the appellant since there is nothing to show that any right of weightage for army services for seniority has already accrued before he joined services. Saving clause in Rule 9(3) cannot be availed by the appellant. We fully endorse the above view of the Division Bench taken in the impugned order.”

The appeal was dismissed stating that, “the appellant was not entitled to claim benefit of military service for purpose of seniority for appointment to Punjab Civil Service(Executive Branch) since the benefit of Rule 4(1) of 1972 Rules was not continued in 1982 Rules. His seniority was to be governed by statutory rules applicable after the enforcement of 1982 Rules.”

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