W.P.(C) Nos. 681 of 2013 and 1018 of 2015. Case: Huidrom Rajen Singh and Ors. Vs The State of Manipur and Ors.. Manipur High Court

Case Number:W.P.(C) Nos. 681 of 2013 and 1018 of 2015
Party Name:Huidrom Rajen Singh and Ors. Vs The State of Manipur and Ors.
Counsel:For Appellant: H.S. Paonam, Sr. Advocate, A. Arunkumar, N. Bipin and S. Gunabanta, Advocates and For Respondents: Th. Sobhana, G.A., Y. Nirmolchand, L. Raju and U. Augusta, Advocates
Judges:N. Kotiswar Singh, J.
Issue:Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (CPC) - Order VI Rule 7
Judgement Date:February 10, 2017
Court:Manipur High Court
 
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Judgment:

N. Kotiswar Singh, J.

  1. Heard Mr. H.S. Paonam, learned Sr. counsel assisted by Mr. N. Bipin, learned counsel for the petitioner in W.P.(C) No. 681 of 2013. Also heard Mr. Kh. Tarunkumar, learned counsel for the petitioner in W.P.(C) No. 1018 of 2015. Also heard Mr. Y. Nirmolchand, learned counsel for the respondent No. 2 and Ms. Th. Sobhana, learned G.A. for the State respondents.

  2. These two writ petitions namely, W.P.(C) No. 681 of 2013 and W.P.(C) No. 1018 of 2015 are clubbed and heard together considering the commonality of issues involved and are disposed of by this common judgment.

  3. W.P.(C) No. 681 of 2013 has been filed by one, Shri H. Rajen Singh seeking for a direction to consider his case for promotion to the post of Assistant Engineer in the IFCD, Manipur. During the pendency of the writ petition, the final seniority list of the Section Officers came to be published vide seniority list dated 25.11.2015 in which the name of the petitioner has been included amongst the Section Officers, GradeI Mechanical Degree Holders of the IFCD, Manipur. However, the final seniority list has been challenged by one Dhruva Oinam who is the petitioner in W.P.(C) No. 1018 of 2015 contending, inter-alia, that the said H. Rajen Singh and 7 (seven) others were appointed under similar circumstances and under the same order by way of conversion from Work-charged establishment to regular establishment under a policy decision which debars further benefits/promotion. The said Sri H. Rajen Singh has been impleaded as respondent No. 3 and six others as respondents No. 4 - 10 in W.P.(C) No. 1018 of 2015 filed by the said Dhruva Oinam.

  4. The case of Sri H. Rajen Singh, petitioner in W.P.(C) No. 681 of 2013 is that the petitioner was initially appointed in the Work-charged establishment of the IFCD, Manipur as a Technical Assistant in the year 1983 and subsequently, on the basis of a policy decision of the State Government which provided for conversion to regular establishment of those Work-charged employees who had rendered 10 (ten) years or more in service, the services of the petitioner along with other eligible persons were converted to regular establishment in the posts of Section Officers vide order dated 05.12.1998. It may be stated that the private respondents No. 4 to 10 in W.P.(C) No. 1018 of 2015 who were similarly situated as the petitioner were also converted to regular establishment as Section Officers along with H. Rajen Singh under the said policy decision taken by the authority which was notified on 16.04.1987, a copy of which has been annexed by the petitioner, Sri Dhruba Oinam in his petition W.P.(C) No. 1018 of 2015 as Annexure R/2. The relevant portion of the said policy decision for the purpose of this case is reproduced herein below:

    (iii) The posts being created for regularisation of the eligible Work-Charged employees shall stand abolished automatically in the retirement on superannuation or termination of the services of the incumbent as the case may be.

  5. On the basis of the said policy decision notified on 16.04.1987, the State Government issued an order on 20.11.1998 for conversion of 1002 Work-charged posts to regular posts (plan) in the Irrigation and Flood Control Department as reproduced herein below:

    GOVERNMENT OF MANIPUR
    SECRETARIAT IFC DEPARTMENT

    ORDER BY THE GOVERNOR: MANIPUR Imphal,
    the 20th November, 1998

    No. 4/2/90-IFC: In pursuance of the Government decision circulated by the D.P. dated 15th April, 1997 vide their letter No. 53/54/09(Pt) the Governor of Manipur is pleased to order the conversion of 1002 (one thousand and two) Work-charged posts in to regular posts in to regular posts (Plan) of Irrigation & Flood Control Department as detailed below:-

    2. This conversion shall be effective from the date the incumbents holding the work-charged posts are regularized brought into regular establishment.

    3. The posts so converted as regular ones from work-charged establishment shall stand abolished automatically on the retirement on superannuation on termination of the services of the incumbents concerned.

    This issues in consultation with Finance Department, Manipur.

    By orders & in the name of the Governor,

    Sd/-
    (Kh. Raghumani Singh)
    Deputy Secretary (DP)
    Government of Manipur

  6. On the basis of the aforesaid policy decision of the State Government, after posts were created on 20.11.1998, Sri H. Rajen Singh and other eligible Work-charged employees including the respondents No. 4-10 in W.P.(C) No. 1018 of 2015 were appointed as Section Officers in the regular establishment by way of conversion vide order dated 05.12.1998 [Annexure A/2 to W.P.(C) No. 618 of 2013].

  7. It is the case of the petitioner, Sri H. Rajen Singh in W.P.(C) No. 681 of 2013 that the petitioner having been appointed as Section Officer on regular basis by way of conversion in terms of the aforesaid policy decision was borne into the cadre of Section Officer in the regular establishment of the IFCD and as such he is to be treated as a regular Section Officer and hence, is entitled to be included in the seniority list of Section Officers and also entitled to be considered for promotion to the higher post of Assistant Engineer as he fulfills all the essential/required qualifications as per the relevant Recruitment Rules. As to the appointment of the petitioner in the regular establishment as Section Officer in the IFCD by way of conversion and about the eligibility of the petitioner under the Recruitment Rules for the higher post of Assistant Engineer, these are not in dispute. According to Sri H. Rajen Singh, his name has been included in the final seniority list of Section Officers as notified in the order dated 25.11.2015 and is entitled to be considered for promotion to the higher post of Assistant Engineer, which has been seriously contested by the petitioner Sri Dhruva Oinam in W.P.(C) No. 1018 of 2015.

  8. Sri Dhruba Oinam, the petitioner in W.P.(C) No. 1018 of 2015 has objected the claim of Sri H. Rajen Singh, the petitioner in W.P.(C) No. 681 of 2013 on the following, inter alia, grounds.

  9. Firstly, it has been contended by Mr. Kh. Tarunkumar, learned counsel for Sri Dhruva Oinam in W.P.(C) No. 1018 of 2015 that the private respondents including Sri H. Rajen Singh could not have been included in the final seniority list of the Section Officers. According to him though they were converted to regular establishment as Section Officers under certain policy of the Government, they were not entitled to any further benefits. In this regard, Mr. Kh. Tarunkumar has drawn attention of this Court to the Office order dated 19.03.2001 containing the said policy decision of the Government, in which it has been provided under Para No. 9 thereof that,

    9. Conversion of Work Charge Staff to regular establishments.

    Conversion of Casual Staff to work charge and work charge staff to regular establishments notified by the State Government was a one time measure. Further promotion/appointment/benefits under the scheme shall not be extended with immediate effect.

    Sri Kh. Tarunkumar, submits that once such Work-charged employees have been given the benefit of conversion to regular establishment, no further benefit either by way of promotion or otherwise can be given to such converted employees as they were given the benefit of regularization once. According to him since the private respondents were already given benefit under the scheme by converting to regular establishment, they cannot be included in the seniority list of regular employees of the Section Officers, much less considered for promotion to the higher post of Assistant Engineer as these would amount to further benefits.

  10. Secondly, it has been submitted by Sri Kh. Tarunkumar that the State Government had taken a stand in an earlier proceeding before this Court i.e. in W.P.(C) No. 1 of 2012 which was filed by the same petitioner, Sri H. Rajen Singh, in which the State Government in their affidavit-in-opposition filed on 07.09.2012 had stated in the Para No. 6 thereof that for the purpose of seniority list, there is no provision for inclusion of Work-charged employees who were converted into regular establishment as clarified by the Administrative Department as recorded in Note No. 74 of the concerned Government file. A copy of the said file noting was annexed to the said affidavit-in-opposition as Annexure R/4 which reads as follows:

    Ref. note ante.

    The clarification sought by IFC Department as to whether W/C employees converted into regular establishment shall be included in the seniority list of Section Officer Gd-I and considered for appointment on promotion to the higher post was processed and examined in FC/PIC'S/O. file No. 16/8/2009-FD(PIC) and it is to mentioned that as per para 9 of Office Memorandum No. 1/15/2000-FC, dated 19/03/2001, conversion of Casual Staff to W/C and W/C staff to regular establishment was a one time measure and further promotion/appointment/benefits under the scheme shall not be extended.

    As such, A.D.C. clarified that it will not be appropriate to include W/C staff converted into regular in the seniority list of Section Officer Gd-I as the benefit of further promotion is not allowed.

    Under Secretary (Finance/PIC)

    Addl. Secretary/IFCD

    Sri Tarunkumar submits that in terms of the aforesaid file noting, the Government respondents reiterated the same decision in Para No. 8 of the said affidavit-in-opposition stating that the Administrative Department, Government of Manipur made a clarification that it will not be appropriate to include the Work-charged employees who had been converted into regular establishment in the seniority list of the Section Officers, Grade-I. Sri Kh. Tarunkumar submits that the State Government has now taken a contrary stand in the present proceedings holding that the private respondents are entitled to be included in the seniority list. He submits that though the State Government has not...

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