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If the petitioner is considered for promotion to the next higher post of, the promotion cannot be given with retrospective effect: High Court of Meghalaya

The writ Court, which exercises its high prerogative jurisdiction under Article 226 of the Constitution of India is not so readily equipped for the purpose of quantification of damages which is required to be awarded in favour of the respondent/writ petitioner on account of wrongdoing, if any, on the part of the concerned authority as held by the Hon’ble High Court of Meghalaya through a learned bench of Hon’ble Mr. Justice Biswanath Somadder, Chief Justice, and  Hon’ble Mr. Justice W. Diengdoh, Judge in the case of The Union of India & Ors Vs Kumar Keshab Kalita. [WA No. 58 of 2017]

Brief facts of the case are that, he respondent/writ petitioner was enrolled as Rifleman General Duty and thereafter, remustered to the post of Havildar Store Keeper Technical. The next promotional post of Havildar Store Keeper Technical is Naib Subedar SKT. It is an admitted case of the parties that as per the Assam Rifles Recruitment Amendment Rules, 2009, a new recruitment process has been implemented for promotion from the post of Havildar Store Keeper Technical to Naib Subedar SKT.

It is the case of the respondent/writ petitioner that he was denied the opportunity of undergoing Technical Trade Test II while his juniors had been deputed for undergoing Technical Trade Test I and as a result, further promotion to the post of Naib Subedar SKT was denied to him. The respondent/writ petitioner had filed many representations to the concerned authority for sending him to undergo Technical Trade Test II and I. In support of this fact, the respondent/writ petitioner also annexed the copies of the representations. It is a fact that at the time of holding the DPC on 15th July, 2009, the respondent/writ petitioner was not eligible for promotion to the post of Naib Subedar SKT.

The learned Single Judge in the impugned judgment and order at the very outset observed, inter alia, to the effect that the Court had full sympathy for the respondent/writ petitioner in the given case but because of hard fact that he was not eligible at the time of consideration for promotion to the post of Naib Subedar SKT (Engineer), by the duly constituted DPC held on 15th July, 2009, the relief sought for in the writ petition could not be granted in full.

The Hon’ble court, after a perusal of the facts on record, was of the view that “If the respondent/writ petitioner is considered for promotion to the next higher post of Naib Subedar SKT (Engineer), his promotion cannot be given to him with retrospective effect. The wrongdoing, if any, on the part of the concerned authority cannot be compensated in such a manner. At first, it has to be translated into damages and is thereafter required to be quantified by a competent Civil Court. The writ Court, which exercises its high prerogative jurisdiction under Article 226 of the Constitution of India is not so readily equipped for the purpose of quantification of damages which is required to be awarded in favour of the respondent/writ petitioner on account of wrongdoing, if any, on the part of the concerned authority.”

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Judgment Reviewed by – Aryan Bajaj

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