O.A. No. 248 of 2010. Case: Ater Singh Vs Chief of the Army Staff and Ors.. Armed Forces Tribunal

Case NumberO.A. No. 248 of 2010
Party NameAter Singh Vs Chief of the Army Staff and Ors.
CounselFor Appellant: P.N. Chaturvedi, Advocate and For Respondents: D.K. Pandey, Central Government Add. Standing Counsel
JudgesD.P. Singh, J. (Member (J)) and Air Marshal Anil Chopra, Member (Ad.)
IssueArmed Forces Tribunal Act 2007 - Section 14; Constitution of India - Article 226
Judgement DateAugust 26, 2016
CourtArmed Forces Tribunal

Order:

D.P. Singh, J. (Member (J)), (Regional Bench, Lucknow)

  1. Present Original Application has been preferred under section 14 of the Armed Forces Tribunal Act, 2007 (In short the "Act") being aggrieved by denial of seniority as well as consequent promotion.

  2. We have heard learned counsel for the Applicant as also learned counsel for the respondents assisted by OIC Legal Cell. We have also gone through the materials on record.

  3. The controversy in question has its genesis in the order dated 7th August 2009, whereby the Adjutant General Branch, Ministry of Defence, while deciding the statutory complaint of the Applicant (vide order dated 7th August 2009) directed the applicant to be reinstated in service, though he had already attained the age of superannuation on Ist May 2009 (forenoon).

    The factual controversy seems to be admitted according to which the Applicant was enrolled in the Army Medical Corps as Ambulance Sepoy (Ambulance Asstt) on 13.04.1984. At the time of entry in the service, the Applicant had studied upto 8th standard. However, during the course of service, he acquired the requisite qualification of matriculation on 16.07.1986. Consequent upon attaining the requisite qualification, the Applicant applied for re-mustering into clerical category. The application of the Applicant was accepted and he was re-mustered in the clerical cadre and was despatched to undergo training of the rank of clerk (G.D) to Army Training Centre at Aurangabad w.e.f 20.07.1987. The Applicant successfully completed the training of class 3 category for clerk (G.D) and was re-mustered accordingly on 20.02.1988 and he was accorded seniority on the rank of clerk with effect from 29.11.1986. It thus follows that the period of service rendered by the Applicant in lower grade was deducted while fixing his seniority. However, the Applicant in due course of time was promoted to the rank of Havildar/clerk on his own turn. After completing 24 years of required service on the rank of Havildar, the Applicant attained the age of superannuation on the said rank and was struck off/discharged with effect from May 1, 2008 (forenoon).

  4. It may be noted here that being aggrieved by seniority being given with effect from 29.11.1986, based on deduction of service rendered in lower cadre, the Applicant submitted a statutory complaint on 31.03.2008 by which he claimed seniority from the date of enrolment with all consequential benefits. Before the statutory complaint could be decided, the Applicant retired form Army service on Ist May 2008. The statutory complaint of the Applicant dated 31.03.2008 was decided and communicated vide letter dated 29.12.2008 issued from Adjutant General Branch, Integrated Headquarters, MoD a copy of which has been annexed as Annexure CA 3. The operative portion of the order supra being relevant is reproduced below.

    "(c) The complaint has been anlaysed in conjunction with related documents relevant rules, policy letters, recommendations of intermediary Authorities and viewed against the redress sought in pursuance whereof, considering the facts and circumstances of the case, it emerges that No. 13958204N Hav/Clk Ater Singh (Retd) deserves to be given suitable relief by restoring his seniority from the date of enrolment.

    (d) I, therefore, direct that No. 13958204N Hav/Clk Ater Singh (Retd) be granted seniority from the date of enrolment with all consequent benefits.

    (e) Hav/Clk Ater Singh (Retd) be informed accordingly".

  5. It appears that the order dated 29.12.2008 (supra) of the Adjutant General Branch, was not complied with. Rather A.M.C Records vide letter dated 20.01.2009 (Annexure CA 4) raised certain queries which are referred to in para 11 of the counter affidavit. Para 11 of the counter affidavit being relevant is reproduced below.

    That by means of letter dated 20 January 2009 (Ann.CA-4) following clarification were sought:--

    (i) Will No. 13958204N Havildar/Clerk Ater Singh (Retd) be required to deposit all the financial benefits in...

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