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delhi high court 2

Candidate cannot blame authority for administrative delay if selection process not over: High court of Delhi

When a seniority list has been created that is in contravention of the established principles laid down by law, such a list cannot be used for the purpose of promoting a candidate by the official authorities.  This was decided in the case of Yash Rattan & Ors vs. Union Of Indian And Ors [W.P.(C) 3576/2021] by the Hon’ble Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw and Hon’ble. Justice Amit Bansal in the High court of Delhi.

The present writ petition impugns the order passed by Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) wherein the applicants before the CAT were allowed and the seniority list, which was the subject matter of challenge before the CAT, was set aside. The present petition has been filed by the petitioners, who were the respondents before the CAT. The petitioner of this case were inspectors in the Delhi Commissionerate recruited in the year 2011 and at their request, they were transferred to the Delhi Zone in 2014. On account of the increase in number of vacancies, the private respondents took a transfer to Delhi Commissionerate from their parent cadre and were placed at the bottom of the seniority list. This seniority list was prepared in terms of the ratio of the Hon’ble Supreme Court in Union of India & Ors. Vs. N.R. Parmar and Ors. (2012) 13 SCC 340. This seniority list itself is the subject matter of the writ petition.

The counsel on behalf of the petitioners has strenuously argued that the impugned order of the CAT is erroneous as it fails to consider that, while preparing seniority list, the recruitment year of the candidates is relevant and not the year in which they join the cadre. The seniority list impugned before CAT was prepared strictly in terms of OM dated 4th March, 2014 which was based on N.R. Parmar judgment. Relevant provisions of the OM dated 4th March, 2014 relied on behalf of the petitioners are set out below: “d) Recruitment Year would be the year of initiating the recruitment process against a vacancy year;

The learned counsel for the private respondents submits that the petitioners have wrongly stated that the private respondents are transferees. It was contended that the N.R. Parmar judgment was not applicable because the said judgment dealt with seniority between direct recruits and promotees, whereas the controversy in the present case relates to seniority between two different categories of direct recruits, inasmuch as the private respondents are also direct recruits.

The court observed that in service jurisprudence, seniority cannot be claimed from the date when the incumbent is yet to be borne in the cadre and therefore, norms on assessment of inter se seniority, suggested in N.R. Parmar) case were disapproved. It was also stated by the court “Persons aspiring to be appointed to a vacant post do not have any vested right. Only upon completion of the selection process, a candidate becomes a selected candidate and therefore, the finding in above case that the selected candidate cannot be blamed for administrative delay, was not correct.”

The petition was dismissed after upholding the judgement of the tribunal

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