OA-1854/2013 and MA-1043/2014. Case: Sh. Gaurav Singh and Ors. Vs Union of India through the Secretary, Ministry of Finance, Department of Revenue, Govt. of India and Ors.. Central Administrative Tribunal

Case NumberOA-1854/2013 and MA-1043/2014
CounselFor Appellant: Sh. A.K. Behera, Advocate and For Respondents: Shri R.N. Singh, Counsel for official respondents and Shri Ajesh Luthra, Counsel for private respondents
JudgesG. George Paracken, Member (J) and Shekhar Agarwal, Member (A)
IssueConstitution of India - Article 141
Judgement DateMay 12, 2014
CourtCentral Administrative Tribunal


Shekhar Agarwal, Member (A), (Principal Bench, New Delhi)

1. The applicants of this O.A. are directly recruited Income Tax Inspectors of Delhi Region. According to them, they had all applied for the post of Income Tax Inspector in response to an advertisement dated 23.07.2005 issued by Staff Selection Commission (SSC). The preliminary examination was held on 13.11.2005 followed by the main examination in the year 2006. Subsequently, interviews were held in 2007. All the applicants qualified in the said examination and the final result was declared by the SSC in 2008 after which their dossiers were forwarded, the character and antecedents of the applicants were verified and they were also asked to undergo medical examination. Finally, they joined their posts on different dates in the year 2008-09.

2. Prior to their joining, Gujarat High Court in the case of UOI & Ors. Vs. N.R. Parmar & Ors. (Special Civil Appeal No. 3574 of 2004) had delivered a judgment on 17.08.2004 in which it was held that the seniority of direct recruit Income Tax Inspectors was to be determined on the basis of their actual appointment. This judgment was challenged before the Hon'ble Supreme Court by both direct recruit Income Tax Inspectors as well as UOI by means of SLPs. The Hon'ble Supreme Court granted special leave in all these SLPs which were challenged in Civil Appeal Nos. 7514-7515 of 2005 and connected CAs in the case of UOI & Ors. N.R. Parmar & Ors.

3. On 20.03.2006 the Hon'ble Supreme Court passed the following interim Order:-

Learned Additional Solicitor General states that in terms of the observations made by this Court in its order dated 17.2.2006, an application for transfer of the Writ Petition pending before the Rajasthan High Court, Jodhpur Bench shall be filed within four weeks.

In the meantime the judgment and order passed by the Gujarat High Court may be implemented, if not already implemented, subject to the result of these special leave petitions. However, those who have already been promoted, shall not be reverted.

Thus, the Hon'ble Supreme Court permitted the respondents to implement the judgment of Hon'ble Gujarat High Court subject to final outcome of the Civil Appeals subject to the condition that those who have already been promoted shall not be reverted.

4. In pursuance of these interims directions of the Hon'ble Supreme Court, the official respondents herein issued a seniority list dated 26.04.2010. This seniority list was prepared in accordance with the judgment of Hon'ble Gujarat High Court and was subject to the final outcome of the Civil Appeals pending before Hon'ble Supreme Court.

5. On 27.11.2012 the Hon'ble Supreme Court has decided the Civil Appeals. The order of the Hon'ble Supreme Court is available at pages 60 to 84 of the paper-book. The operative part of the judgment reads as follows:-

33. Having interpreted the effect of the OMs dated 7.2.1986 and 3.7.1986 (in paragraphs 20 and 21 hereinabove), we are satisfied, that not only the requisition but also the advertisement for direct recruitment was issued by the SSC in the recruitment year in which direct recruit vacancies had arisen. The said factual position, as confirmed by the rival parties is common in all matters being collectively disposed of. In all these cases the advertised vacancies were filled up in the original/first examination/selection conducted for the same. None of the direct recruit Income Tax Inspectors herein can be stated to be occupying carried forward vacancies, or vacancies which came to be filled up by a "later" examination/selection process. The facts only reveal, that the examination and the selection process of direct recruits could not be completed within the recruitment year itself. For this, the modification/amendment in the manner of determining the inter-se seniority between the direct recruits and promotees, carried out through the OM dated 7.2.1986, and the compilation of the instructions pertaining to seniority in the OM dated 3.7.1986, leave no room for any doubt, that the "rotation of quotas" principle, would be fully applicable to the direct recruits in the present controversy. The direct recruits herein will therefore have to be interspaced with promotees of the same recruitment year.

34. In view of the above, the Civil Appeals, the Transferred Case, as well as, the Transfer Case (filed by the direct recruits and the Union of India) are hereby allowed. The claim of the promotees, that the direct recruit Income Tax Inspectors, in the instant case should be assigned seniority with reference to the date of their actual appointment in the Income Tax Department is declined.

Review Application filed by the promotee Income Tax Inspectors has also been dismissed by the Hon'ble Supreme Court.

6. Following this judgment, the applicants made several representations to the respondents to recast the seniority list dated 26.04.2010 in accordance with the aforesaid judgment of the Hon'ble Supreme Court. However, they did not receive any reply. On 23.05.2012 the respondents initiated the process of holding DPC for promotion to the next higher level of Income Tax Officers by calling for vigilance clearance of those officers who were in the eligibility list for promotion. The eligibility admittedly was determined on the basis of seniority list dated 26.04.2010. Thus, the contention of the applicants is that the official respondents proposed to make promotions on the basis of seniority list dated 26.04.2010 which was only an interim list pending decision of the Hon'ble Supreme Court in the Civil Appeals under consideration before them and which has now become non est following the judgment of Hon'ble Supreme Court in the case of N.R. Parmar (supra). Hence, they have filed this O.A. before us seeking the following reliefs:-

(A) By an appropriate Order or Direction the respondents be directed to prepare/recast the seniority list dated 26.04.2010 as per the judgment dated 27.11.2012 of the Apex Court in the case of N R Parmar before effecting any further promotion to the post Income Tax Officers. Further, the seniority list of Inspectors under the covering letter dated 26.04.2010 be declared as defunct and inoperative immediately on the pronouncement of the judgement of the Hon'ble Apex Court on 27.11.2012.

(B) By an appropriate Order or Direction the respondents be directed to recast/modify the seniority list dated 26.04.2010 as per the judgment dated 27.11.2012 of the Apex Court in the case of N.R. Parmar within a time frame and place the applicants at the appropriate place in that seniority list with all consequential benefits.

(C) That respondents be directed to conduct Review DPCs based on the said recast seniority list of Inspectors within a specified time frame.

(D) The action of the respondents in issuing the letter dated 23.05.2013 based on the now defunct seniority list dated 26.04.2013 be declared as null and void and be quashed with all its consequences.

(E) Any other order or direction, which this Hon'ble Tribunal deems fit and proper in the facts and circumstances of the case, may kindly be passed in favour of the applicant.

(F) Cost of the present case may be awarded in favour of the applicants.

7. When this O.A. was admitted by this Tribunal on 30.05.2013 the following interim directions were given:-

In the meantime respondents are directed not to hold any DPC for further promotion to the posts of Income Tax Officer on the basis of impugned seniority list dated 26.04.2010 till the next date of hearing.

At the time of filing this O.A. the applicants had impleaded only three official respondents. However, on 28.07.2013 some promotee Income Tax Inspectors filed MA-1928/2013 for impleadment in this O.A. This was allowed and these MA applicants...

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