“…The principle of the State is that the seniority is to be followed and in every known field of service if there is no other conditions laid down in selection of persons for a post wherein a selection is to be made from equally placed candidates, seniority is given preference”, held the Hon’ble High Court at Calcutta in the matter of Samsul Haque vs. The State of West Bengal [W.P.A. 23034 of 2018].
The facts of the case relate to the selection and appointment of Mukhya Samprasarak In-charge in Madhyamik Siksha Kendra (MSK). The petitioner, Samsul Haque, alleged that he should have been given the responsibility of the Mukhya Samprasarak In-charge after the retirement of the Mukhya Samprasarak of the MSK on 2nd June 2018, since he was the senior-most Siksha Samprasarak. However, the Block Development Officer (BDO) of the Sagardighi Block submitted a report before the Hon’ble Court stating that a person junior to the petitioner namely Rafikul Islam, was appointed as the Mukhya Samprasarak by the Administrative Committee of the said MSK. Such a decision was taken on 14.12.2018 without any available guideline or circular or order of the Government of West Bengal as to the appointment of Mukhya Samprasarak In-charge at the material point of time, which had been stated by a Report in an order dated 27th May 2019. It was also stated in such order that the new Mukhya Siksha Samprasarak/Samprasarika In-charge or Samprasarak/Samprasarika In-charge would be selected by the Administrative Committee out of the working Samprasarak based on seniority in service and preference would be given to the person who carried a B.Ed. Degree.
The Learned Advocate for the petitioner submitted that when the Mukhya Samprasarak In-charge was selected by the Administrative Committee of the Maliadange MSK, the order of 27th May 2019, was not yet published, hence, in absence of any such retrospective order, it would not apply to the petitioner and in case of any event of any submission, preference would be given to ‘seniority of service’ in MSK and if there happen to be two similarly situated Samprasaraks in one MSK, then, the B.Ed. Degree would be considered.
The Learned Advocate for the State stated that when Rafikul Islam was selected as the Mukhya Samprasarak In-charge, there was no guideline concerning the fact that who could be appointed as the Mukhya Samprasarak In-charge, and hence, on the director of the BDO, the Administrative Committee selected the Rafikul Islam as the Mukhya Samprasarak In-charge of the concerned MSK.
The Hon’ble Court adhered to the fact as to when there was no guideline of who could be appointed the Mukhya Samprasarak In-charge in MSK, the seniority should be taken into account and not anything else. Based on the resolution taken by the Administrative Committee dated 14.12.2018, it was still unclear as to why Rafikul Islam, being junior to the petitioner, was still considered as the Mukhya Samprasarak In-charge and not the junior. The said resolution solely focused on the cooperating attitude and acceptability and hence, Rafikul Islam was considered as the Mukhya Samprasarak In-charge in the MSK and not the petitioner.
Thus, the Hon’ble Court stated that the appointment of Rafikul Islam in such posts was not done following the policy, and hence, His Lordship set aside the appointment of Rafikul Islam as the Mukhya Samprasarak In-charge of the said MSK. The Hon’ble Court, further, directed the concerned authority to cancel the appointment of Rafikul Islam as the Mukhya Samprasarak In-charge and to appoint the petitioner, Samsul Haque as the Mukhya Samprasarak In-charge of the MSK.