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no court should give directions against the law for consideration of promotion=We, therefore, find that although the respondent no.1 was eligible for consideration for promotion to the post of

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insigne de grade de Lance naik de l'armée indienne

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 IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

 CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION

 CIVIL APPEAL NO. 3692 OF 2006

Union of India & Ors. ... Appellants

 Versus

B.S. Darjee & Anr. ... Respondents

 J U D G M E N T

A. K. PATNAIK, J.

 This is an appeal against the order dated 26.08.2004 

of the Division Bench of the Madras High Court in Writ 

Petition No. 7929 of 2000 (for short `the impugned order').

2. The facts very briefly are that the respondent no.1 was 

working as Constable (General Duty) under the Central 

Industrial Security Force (for short `the CISF'). In 1993, he 

was considered for promotion to the rank of Lance Naik and 

was empanelled for such promotion. Before he was 

appointed as Lance Naik, however, he was awarded the 

punishment of withholding of one increment for a period of 

 2

one year and as per circulars of the Department of 

Personnel and Training, Government of India, his 

empanelment for promotion to the rank of Lance Naik had 

to be cancelled on account of the punishment. In 1994, 

respondent no.1 was again considered for promotion and he 

was found fit, but before his actual promotion he was 

awarded punishment of withholding of one increment for a 

period of one year and his promotion was again cancelled. 

In 1995, he was again considered and empanelled for 

promotion to the post of Lance Naik, but before he could be 

appointed, he was awarded the punishment of censure and 

his empanelment for promotion was cancelled. In 1996-

1997, he was again considered for promotion but he was 

not found fit by the Departmental Promotion Committee (for 

short `the DPC'). 

3. The rank of Lance Naik in CISF was rationalized and 

Lance Naiks also became Constables with effect from 

10.10.1997, but in the seniority list, Constables who were 

junior to respondent no.1 in service but had been promoted 

as Lance Naiks were placed above the respondent no.1 as he 

had not been promoted to the rank of Lance Naik. From 

 3

1998 onwards, Constables who had completed ten years of 

service in the rank of Constables including the service 

rendered by them in the rank of Lance Naik prior to 

10.10.1997 were eligible for promotion to the post of Head 

Constables. Under the relevant circulars, however, such 

Constables were to be considered only if they came into the 

zone of consideration as per the seniority list and as the 

respondent No.1 did not come into the zone of consideration 

for promotion to the post of Head Constable in the years 

1998, 1999 and 2000, he was not considered for such 

promotion. 

4. Aggrieved, the respondent no.1 filed Writ Petition No. 

7929 of 2000 before the High Court and contended that 

though as a Constable he had put in ten years of service 

and was eligible for consideration for promotion, he has not 

been considered for promotion since 1998. By the 

impugned order, the High Court held that the respondent 

no.1 was considered by the DPC for promotion in the year 

1997 and was not found fit for promotion, but he has not 

been considered for promotion in the years 1998, 1999 and 

2000. The High Court further held in the impugned order 

 4

that in the counter affidavit it was indicated that as per the 

messages received from the Head Quarters, only Lance 

Naiks had been considered for promotion, but such 

consideration was not proper as under the rules, Constables 

on completion of ten years of service were also eligible and 

there was no justification to ignore the case of the 

respondent no.1 for promotion to the post of Head 

Constable in the years 1998, 1999 and 2000. Accordingly, 

the High Court, by the impugned order, directed the 

appellants to consider the case of respondent no.1 for 

promotion from 1998 onwards. 

5. We have heard Mr. A.S. Chandhiok, learned Additional 

Solicitor General appearing for the appellants. No one has, 

however, appeared for the respondents despite notice. 

6. We find that under the relevant rules and circulars 

issued by the Directorate General, CISF, Constables who 

have completed ten years of service in the rank of Constable 

including the service rendered in the rank of Lance Naik 

prior to 10.10.1997, were eligible for promotion to the post 

of Head Constable and also came within the zone of 

 5

consideration, could only be considered for promotion to the 

post of Head Constable. The case of the appellants in the 

counter affidavit filed before the High Court was that the 

respondent no.1, though eligible, did not come within the 

zone of consideration for promotion to the post of Head 

Constable in the years 1998, 1999 and 2000. The relevant 

portion of the counter affidavit filed on behalf of the 

appellants before the High Court is extracted hereinbelow:

 "The DPC held in the years 1998, 1999 and 

 2000 for promotion to the rank of HC/GD had 

 considered the cases of L/Naiks upto PSL No. 

 9197, 9286 and 11704 respectively. Since the 

 petitioner is not holding the rank of L/Naik, he 

 could not come under the zone of 

 consideration for promotion to the rank of 

 HC/GD on the basis of his seniority in the 

 rank of Constable so far."

The aforesaid averments made in the counter affidavit filed 

on behalf of the appellants before the High Court are 

supported by circulars dated 21.01.1998, 07.01.1999 and 

08.01.2000, copies of which are annexed to the Special 

Leave Petition as Annexures P5, P6 and P7. 

7. We, therefore, find that although the respondent no.1 

was eligible for consideration for promotion to the post of 

 6

Head Constable having completed ten years of service as 

Constable, he could not be considered for promotion in the 

years 1998, 1999 and 2000 on account of his lower position 

in the seniority list of Constables and Lance Naiks, who had 

been rationalized as Constables, were considered for 

promotion because they had been placed above respondent 

no.1 in the seniority list. The High Court has by impugned 

order directed consideration of the respondent no.1 for 

promotion to the post of Head Constable during the years 

1998, 1999 and 2000 because it took the view that not only 

Lance Naiks but also Constables who have put in ten years 

service were eligible to be considered for promotion to the 

post of Head Constable. The High Court has failed to 

appreciate that, for consideration for promotion, a 

Constable must not only be eligible, but also must come 

within the zone of consideration and as per the circulars 

dated 21.01.1998, 07.01.1999 and 08.01.2000 (Annexures 

P5, P6 and P7 to the Special Leave Petition), the respondent 

no.1, though eligible, did not come within the zone of 

consideration for promotion to the post of Head Constable. 

The High Court was, therefore, not right in issuing a 

 7

direction in the impugned order to the appellants to 

consider respondent no.1 for promotion in the post of Head 

Constable for the years 1998, 1999 and 2000. (We may 

mention here that the respondent no.1 has been considered, 

in the meanwhile, and has been promoted as Head 

Constable in the year 2000).

8. We accordingly allow this appeal and set aside the 

impugned order of the High Court with no order as to costs. 

 .............................J.

 (P. Sathasivam)
Lance Naik (Lance Cpl.) Fateh Singh, a member ...

Image via Wikipedia

 .............................J.

 (A. K. Patnaik)New Delhi,October 20, 2011. 

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