OA No. 418/2010, OA No. 679/2010, OA No. 2690/2010, MA No. 2121/2010. Case: 1. Pumchinkhup Guite, Desk Officer, Department of Personnel and Training, North Block, New Delhi, 2. Joseph Atul T. Barla, Section Officer, Department of Higher Education, Ministry of Human Resources Development, 3. Johan Topno, Under Secretary (Ad hoc), Ministry of Labour and Employment, 4. Sushil Ekka, Under Secretary (Ad hoc), Ministry of Home Affairs Vs 1. Union of India, Through Secretary, Department of Personnel and Training, New Delhi, 2. Pankhi Lal Meena, Under Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs, 3. Shiv Singh, Under Secretary, Department of Telecommunications, 4. R. C. Meena, Under Secretary, Ministry of Defence, 5. Sunita Beck, Under Secretary, Planning Commission, New Delhi, 6. Union of India, Through Secretary, Department of Higher Education, Ministry of Human Resources Development, 7. William Minz, Under Secretary, Department of Telecommunication, Ministry of Human Resources Development, 8. Union of India, Through Secretary, Ministry of Labour and Employment, 9. Union of India, Through .... Central Administrative Tribunal

Case Number:OA No. 418/2010, OA No. 679/2010, OA No. 2690/2010, MA No. 2121/2010
Party Name:1. Pumchinkhup Guite, Desk Officer, Department of Personnel and Training, North Block, New Delhi, 2. Joseph Atul T. Barla, Section Officer, Department of Higher Education, Ministry of Human Resources Development, 3. Johan Topno, Under Secretary (Ad hoc), Ministry of Labour and Employment, 4. Sushil Ekka, Under Secretary (Ad hoc), Ministry of Home Affairs Vs 1. Union of India, Through Secretary, Department of Personnel and Training, New Delhi, 2. Pankhi Lal Meena, Under Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs, 3. Shiv Singh, Under Secretary, Department of Telecommunications, 4. R. C. Meena, Under Secretary, Ministry of Defence, 5. Sunita Beck, Under Secretary, Planning Commission, New Delhi, 6. Union of India, Through Secretary, Department of Higher Education, Ministry of Human Resources Development, 7. William Minz, Under Secretary, Department of Telecommunication, Ministry of Human Resources Development, 8. Union of India, Through Secretary, Ministry of Labour and Employment, 9. Union of India, Through ...
Judges:G. George Paracken (Judicial Member) & Dr. Ramesh Chandra Panda (Accountant Member)
Issue:Administrative Tribunals Act, 1985 - Sections 19, 21
Judgement Date:July 06, 2011
Court:Central Administrative Tribunal
 
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Judgment:

Dr. Ramesh Chandra Panda (Accountant Member), (Principal Bench New Delhi)

  1. By this common order, we are intending to decide the issues and controversies which are common to all the 3 OAs with the consent of the counsel for the parties.

  2. Brief factual matrix of the case would reveal that the Applicants were appointed as Assistants through Assistant Grade Examination, 1989 conducted by the Staff Selection Commission in April 1991 and they were finally selected in the open competition and their names were incorporated in the Assistant's Grade Select List/Supplementary Common Seniority List for the year 1989. Vide OM dated 29.10.1997, the Respondent No.1 DOPT issued the select list for the year 1995 wherein there were 26 vacancies for Scheduled Tribes and only 10 candidates were promoted for the said category leaving 16 vacancies unfilled. Thereafter, vide OM dated 16.10.1998, the Respondent No.1 issued select list for the year 1996 wherein there were 19 vacancies whereas only 6 ST candidates were promoted and included in the select list for the year 1996. As per OM dated 22.06.1999, there were 10 vacancies meant for ST category and only 1 ST candidate was promoted, thereby leaving 9 notified posts as vacant. The Respondent No.1, DOPT has issued another OM dated 20.04.2000 thereby relaxing in reckoning of approved service of Direct Recruit Assistants recruited through Assistant Grade Examinations of 1988, 1989 and 1990. It is the case of the Applicants that the names of the private Respondents figures in the seniority list of Assistants for the year 1989 and 1990 after the name of the Applicants. Thereafter, on 25.04.2001, the official respondents issued OM dated 25.04.2001 (Pages 58-62) releasing the select list of the Section Officers (SOs) Grade (Seniority Quota) for the year 1999. But, the official Respondents have not considered the Applicants for the said select list for the year 1999.

  3. It is stated by the Applicants that this Tribunal has allowed the Original Application No.1606/2007 in the case of Shri P. C. Meena versus Union of India and Other by passing the following order dated 4.07.2008:-

    21. On the basis of the above analysis, the OA has to succeed. The first Respondent i.e. Secretary, Department of Personnel and Training shall convene a meeting of review DPC to consider the inclusion of the Applicant in the Select List of 1998. If the Applicant is found suitable for the Select List 1998 of the Section Officer, he will be promoted with effect from 19.04.2000, when officers junior to him were promoted. If he is not found fit for the Select List 1998, he will be considered for the subsequent lists. The Applicant will be eligible for all consequential benefits including consideration for promotion for the post of Under Secretary as per the OM dated 14.08.2007 of the DOP & T. The above directions should be complied with within a period of three months from the date of receipt of a certified copy of this order. The Applicant will be eligible for cost of litigation which we compute as Rs.15,000/- (Rupees fifteen thousand only) to be paid by the first Respondent herein.

  4. Against the said judgment of this Tribunal, the Respondents preferred Civil Writ Petition No.636 of 2009 (Union of India and Others versus P. C. Meena) before the Hon'ble High Court of Delhi which was dismissed vide order dated 02.02.2009. The operative part of the order reads as follows:

    It is clear from the above that the direction to the petitioner herein is to convene a meeting of Review DPC to consider the inclusion of the applicant in the Select List 1998. It is also very categorically stated that 'if the respondent is found suitable for the Select List, 1998 of the Section Officer, he would be promoted w.e.f. 19 April, 2000 when officers junior to him were promoted.' It is also clarified that if he is not found fit for select list, 1998 he could be considered for the subsequent lists.

    With the aforesaid clarification, we otherwise, dismiss the writ petition.

  5. In pursuance of the above directions, on 6.05.2009 the name of Shri P. C. Meena was considered by the Review DPC and included in the select list of Section Officers for 1998. The Applicants in the 3 OAs claim that they are senior to the private Respondents in the respective OAs who figure in the select list of Section Officers for the year 1998 or 1999. Further, it is averred that vide order dated 7.01.2010 (Pages 42-50), the Respondent No.1 has promoted the Private Respondents from the post of Section Officers to the post of Under Secretary. Aggrieved by the same, the Applicants have preferred representations dated 29th and 30th April, 2010 (Annexure-A2 colly) to the Respondents. But the same were rejected vide OM dated 21.05.2010 (Pages 31-33). Hence, aggrieved by the said action, the Applicants have approached this Tribunal under Section 19 of the Administrative Tribunals Act, 1985.

  6. Relief(s) prayed for being more or less same in 3 OAs, we take below the extract of relief(s) sought in OA No.2690/2010 which read as follows:-

    (a) Summon the original records of the case,

    (b) Pass an appropriate order, direction or writ in the nature of certiorari or any other appropriate writ quashing the letter vide OM dated 21.05.2010 and OM dated 02.07.2010 and the Section Officers Grade Select List for the year 1998 issued vide OM dated 06.05.2009 and OM dated 29.04.2000 and Section Officer Grade Select List for the year 1999 issued vide OM dated 25.04.2001 (Annexure A-1 colly) or modify the same, thereby incorporating the names of the humble applicants, over and above the private respondents, in the interest of justice.

    (c) Pass an appropriate order, direction or writ in the nature of mandamus or any appropriate writ directing the Respondent No.1 to incorporate the names of the applicants in the select list of Section Officers (Promotion Quota) for the year 1998 or 1999 or as per their seniority, over and above the private respondents from the day from which the private respondents were promoted as Section Officers with all consequential benefits in the interest of justice and consequently;

    (d) Pass an appropriate order, direction or writ in the nature of mandamus or any appropriate writ directing the Respondent No.1 to promote the applicants as Under Secretary by modifying OM dated 12.10.2009 and OM dated 07.01.2010 (Annexure A-1) along with their juniors after correcting the select list of Section Officers (Promotion Quota) for the year 1998 or as per the seniority of the humble applicants, over and above the private respondents from the day from which the private respondents were promoted as Section officers with all consequential benefits in the interest of justice.

    (e) Pass such other further order or orders as this Hon'ble Tribunal may deem fit and proper in the facts and circumstances of this case and in the interest of justice.

  7. The Respondents have raised two preliminary objections namely; (i) the application suffers from the infirmity of gross delay and latches and (ii) the application also suffers from the infirmity of non-joinder of the necessary parties. We would like to deal with these objections in the first instance before we take up the OAs on merits.

  8. With regard to the first preliminary objection, it is noted that the Applicants have declared in their OAs that application has been filed within the limitation period under Section 21 of the Administrative Tribunals Act, 1985 but the Respondents submit that the cause of action in the instant case arose way back in 2000 and 2001 when the orders were issued by DOP & T appointing eligible officers as Section Officers by including them in the Select List (SQ) of Section Officers Grade for the year 1998 and 1999 respectively. Thus, it is contended that filing the OA in the year 2010 is after considerable delay which will be hit by the provisions under Section 21 of the Administrative Tribunals Act, 1985. In this context, Shri R. N. Singh, the learned Counsel for the Respondents placed his reliance on the judgment of Punjab and Haryana High Court in the case of Union of India and Others versus Central...

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