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HOW TO PREPARE SENIORITY LIST – .The law is clear that seniority is an incidence of service and where the service rules prescribe the method of its computation, it is squarely governed by such rules. In the absence of a provision ordinarily the length of service is taken into account

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Their lord ships of Apex court of India in the following case discussed the methods of  preparing of seniority list.

Case facts in Brief :-

 in the year 1983, the first batch 

  of   the   Specialist   Medical   Officer   (SMO)   in   the 

  Ordnance   Factories   Organization   was   recruited   in 

  the   category   of   Obstetrics,   Gynecology,   Medicine 

  and   Surgery.   The   appellant   was   one   of   the   five 

  recruited persons and he belonged to the category 

  of Surgery.

 In   the   year   1991,   on   the   recommendation   of   the 

  Fourth   Pay   Commission,   one   post   in   the   Indian 

  Ordnance   Factories   Health   Services   (Group   A, 

  grade of Rs.5900-6700) was sanctioned for filling 

  up   amongst  the   SMOs  cadre.   The  specialists   cadre 

  was in different disciplines and hence, there was 

  necessity   of   preparing   a   combined   gradation   list 

  in   the   SMOs   cadre.   The   respondent   No.1   referred 

  the   matter   to   the   UPSC   for   preparation   of   the 

  common   seniority   list.   Further,   the   SMOs   were 

  recommended by the UPSC by three different lists, 

  two   of   which   were   made   on   the   same   date   and 

 therefore   the   UPSC   was   requested   to   furnish   the 

  relative order of seniority of those SMOs who are 

  recommended on the same date.
Dispute arose the appellant who has accepted this seniority list fight
justice and finally came to apex court.

Findings of Apex court:-

The   Supreme   Court   in  M.B.   Joshi   &   others.  V. 

  Satish   Kumar   Pandey   &   Ors.,  AIR   1993   SC   267   has 

  laid   down   that   it   is   the   well   settled   principle 

  of   service   jurisprudence   then   in   the   absence   of 

  any   specific   rule   the   seniority   amongst   persons 

  holding similar posts in the same cadre has to be 

  determined   on   the   basis   of   the   length   of   the 

  service   and   not   on   any   other   fortuitous 


.Determination   of   seniority   is   a   vital   aspect   in 

   the   service   career   of   an   employee.   His   future 

   promotion   is   dependent   on   this.   Therefore,   the 

   determination   of  seniority   must  be   based  on   some 

   principles, which are just and fair. This is the 

   mandate of Articles 14 and 16.

 In     The   Manager,   Government,   Branch   Press   and 

   another  v.  D.B.   Belliappa  reported   AIR   1979   SC 

   429, a three-Judge Bench of this Court construing 

   Articles   14   and   16   interpreted   the   equality 

   clause of the Constitution as follows:- 

   "...The          executive,         no         less         than         the 

     judiciary,   is   under   a   general   duty   to   act 

     fairly.  Indeed, fairness  founded on  reason 

     is the essence of the guarantee epitomized 

     in   Articles   14   &   16(1)."   (see   para   24   at 

     page 434)

 Another   three-Judge   Bench   of   this   Court   in 

   Bimlesh   Tanwar        v.     State   of   Haryana   &   other, 

  (2003) 5 SCC 604, while dealing with the question 

  of   absence   of   a   rule   governing   seniority   held 

  that an executive order may be issued to fill up 

  the   gap.   Only   in   the   absence   of   a   rule   or 

  executive   instructions,   the   court   may   have   to 

  evolve   a   fair   and   just   principle   of   seniority, 

  which   could   be   applied   in   the   facts   and 

  circumstances   of   the   case.   (see   para   47   at   page 

In  the  instant  case,  no  record  has  been  brought 

  before the Court to ascertain merit wise position 

  of   the   persons   who   were   directly   recruited. 

  Except   the   office   memorandum   of   1946,   which   is 

  still   in   force,   no   other   rule   or   executive 

  instruction has been shown to apply to the facts 

  of the case.

From   the   analysis   of   the   executive   instructions 

  referred   to   hereinabove,   it   is   clear   that   the 

  1946   instruction  has   not  been   superseded  and   the 

  same   refers   to   the   acceptance   of   the   age   of   the 

  candidate         as         the         determining         factor         for 

  seniority. Such a basis is not fortuitous and is 

  otherwise just and reasonable.
The   contrary   view   taken   by   the   High   Court   of 

  fixing   seniority   on   the   basis   of   date   of 

  interview,   being   wholly   fortuitous,   cannot   be 

The   reliance   by   the   respondent(s)   on   judgment   of 

  this   Court   in  B.   Premanand   and   others  v.  Mohan 

  Koikal   and   others,        (2011)   4   SCC   266,   is 

  misconceived   in   the   facts   of   the   case.   In   that 

  case   this   Court   was   dealing   with   Rule   27(c)   of 

  the   Kerala   State   and   Subordinate   Services   Rules, 

  1958.   In   the   instant   case   there   is   no   rule. 

  Therefore in this case, this Court has to evolve 

  a   fair   and   just   basis   of   seniority   on   the   basis 

  of the office memorandum discussed herein above. 

Result :-
For   the   reasons   aforesaid   this   Court   holds   that 

  for   determination   of   seniority   of   the   officers 

  who were recommended on the same date, age is the 

  only valid and fair basis as such their seniority 

  should   be   decided   on   the   basis   of   age   of   the   candidates who have been recommended.
The apex court allowed the case.
for full details see APEX COURT CASE LAW MY WEB SITE

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