Principle Of Initial Date Of Appointment Valid Principle To Determine Inter-Se Seniority In Absence Of Rules To Contrary: Supreme Court

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Principle Of Initial Date Of Appointment Valid Principle To Determine Inter-Se Seniority In Absence Of Rules To Contrary

Case: Sudhir Kumar Atrey vs Union of India & ors

Coram: Justice Ajay Rastogi and Justice Abhay Oka

Case No.: (Arising out of SLP(Civil) No(s).6572 OF 2014)

Court Observation: ” In case of applicants selected in June 1983 in Western Command, whether their date of joining service at a later stage will be a guiding factor when the combined All India seniority of the five Commands is prepared or seniority will relate back to their placement assigned in the select panel of June 1983 of Western Command regardless to the fact of their joining at a later stage, anterior to the period one has taken birth in the Department.”

“We are also of the view that in the matter of adjudging seniority of the candidates selected in one and the same selection, placement in the order of merit can be adopted as a principle for determination of seniority but where the selections are held separately by different recruiting authorities, the principle of initial date of appointment/continuous officiation may be the valid principle to be considered for adjudging inter se seniority of the officers in the absence of any rule or guidelines in determining seniority to the contrary.” “The appointment of individual which was made at a later stage after five years from the select panel notified on 29th June, 1983 in the Western Command cannot be countenanced by this Court but in the peculiar circumstances, we are not inclined to open the dead issue at this stage, but as a matter of caution, we would like to observe that the authorities must be held accountable for their arbitrary action and save the institution from uncalled for litigation.”

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