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Saturday, September 19, 2015

Service Matter - upholding the cancellation of departmental promotion of the appellant observing that the appellant has not worked on the post of Steno-typist continuously for a period of five years before departmental promotion and thus does not possess the eligibility criteria for promotion as a Stenographer.We have heard the submission of the learned counsel for the parties at considerable length and perused the material on record. 5. State Government’s letter No.C-3-7/09/3/49 dated 23.02.1989 prescribed the criterion for promotion to the post of Stenographer by departmental examination, as five years experience as a Steno-typist and passing of exam of Shorthand and Typing from Madhya Pradesh Stenography Typing Council or from any recognized institution with a speed of hundred words per minute. Admittedly, the appellant passed the said shorthand and typing exam only in the year 2000 and not prior to that. As noticed earlier, the appellant was absorbed on the post of Steno-typist by an order dated 12.04.2002. As per the eligibility criteria prescribed by the Government in letter dated 23.02.1989, the appellant will further become eligible for promotion on the post of Stenographer only in the year 2007 that is on completion of period of five years after he was absorbed on the post of Steno-typist by the said order dated 12.04.2002. Thus the appellant cannot claim the benefit of being posted as in charge ‘Office Steno’ vide order dated 09.12.1992. When the appellant was working as LDC, merely because he was placed in charge as Office Steno, that will not confer upon him any right to claim that he satisfied the eligibility criteria from that date. Be it noted that the appellant obtained the requisite qualification by passing the Council Examination only in the year 2000 and he was absorbed on the post of Steno-typist vide order dated 12.04.2002; when appellant has passed the Council exam of shorthand only in the year 2000, it is inconceivable as to how the appellant can claim his seniority as Steno-typist before ever he was qualified. 6. Learned counsel for the appellant placed much reliance upon the recommendation of the Divisional Forest Officer dated 01.01.2003 in which DFO has stated that appellant has performed all duties of Stenographer and recommended that he be given seniority of Steno-typist from the year 1998. By perusal of the said recommendation of Divisional Forest Officer dated 01.01.2003, it is seen that the appellant filed an application on 30.12.2002, seeking seniority on the post of Steno-typist and in response to that application, the said letter dated 01.01.2003 seems to have been sent by the Divisional Forest Officer, Shivpuri addressed to Conservator of Forest recommending that appellant has performed all duties of Steno-typist and he may be given seniority from the year 1998. Although such recommendation was made by Divisional Forest Officer to Conservator of Forest, there is no order from the Conservator of Forest to show that the recommendation was accepted. As noticed earlier, the appellant qualified himself in the Council exam only in the year 2000 and he was absorbed on the post of Steno-typist by an order dated 12.04.2002, there is no question of granting seniority to the appellant on the post of Steno-typist from the year 1998. The appellant was eligible to be promoted to the post of Stenographer only in the year 2007. 7. The High Court rightly held that the appellant did not satisfy the eligibility criteria of having continuously worked for a period of five years as Steno-typist before being promoted as Stenographer. The impugned orders do not suffer from any infirmity warranting interference exercising jurisdiction under Article 136 of the Constitution of India. Appeals are dismissed. No order as to costs.

                                                                  REPORTABLE

                        IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
                        CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION

                     CIVIL APPEAL NOS. 5853-5854 OF 2008

RAVINDRA KUMAR SHRIVASTAVA                          ...Appellant

                                   Versus
STATE OF M.P. & ORS.                                ...Respondents

                               J U D G M E N T

R. BANUMATHI, J.


Challenge in these appeals is the judgment dated  20.05.2006 and  21.04.2006
passed by High Court of  Madhya  Pradesh  at  Gwalior  dismissing  the  Writ
Appeal No.24 of 2006 and also the Writ  Petition  No.420  of  2003,  thereby
upholding the  cancellation  of  departmental  promotion  of  the  appellant
observing that the appellant has not worked  on  the  post  of  Steno-typist
continuously for a period of five years before  departmental  promotion  and
thus  does  not  possess  the  eligibility  criteria  for  promotion  as   a
Stenographer.
2.          Appellant was initially  appointed  as  a  daily  wager  in  the
Forest Department before 1990 and his service was regularized  on  the  post
of Lower Division Clerk (LDC) w.e.f. 17.01.1990.  In  the  year  1992,  vide
Order No.253 dated 09.12.1992, the appellant was made in  charge  of  Office
Steno. Vide Order No.Stha./47 dated 12.04.2002, the Conservator  of  Forest,
Shivpuri Circle directed the absorption of the  appellant  on  the  post  of
Steno-typist and special salary of Rs.125/- was sanctioned to him for  doing
the work of Steno-typist.  Vide  Order  No./Stha/32  dated  22.01.2003,  the
appellant was promoted to the post of  Stenographer  in  the  pay  scale  of
Rs.4500-125-7000.   The  Chief  Conservator  of  Forest  passed  the   Order
            No.Prash.Araj/Stha/Fa-2/1169  dated  22.09.2003  cancelling  the
appointment of appellant on the post of Stenographer holding that  promotion
was granted to the appellant by ignoring the condition  of  completing  five
years of service as Steno-typist.
3.          Aggrieved by the cancellation of his promotion, appellant  filed
a Writ Petition No.420 of 2003 challenging the  order  of  cancellation  and
reversion from the post of Stenographer to the post  of  Steno-typist.   The
writ petition was dismissed by the Single  Judge  of  the  High  Court  vide
order dated 21.04.2006 observing that the  appellant  was  not  holding  the
minimum eligibility criteria for the promotion to the post  of  Stenographer
and therefore his order of promotion was  rightly  cancelled.   Writ  Appeal
preferred by the appellant also came to be dismissed. The appellant  assails
the correctness of the dismissal of his writ  petition  and  also  the  writ
appeal in these appeals.
4.          We have heard the submission of  the  learned  counsel  for  the
parties at considerable length and perused the material on record.
5.          State  Government’s  letter  No.C-3-7/09/3/49  dated  23.02.1989
prescribed the criterion for  promotion  to  the  post  of  Stenographer  by
departmental examination, as five years experience  as  a  Steno-typist  and
passing of exam of Shorthand and  Typing  from  Madhya  Pradesh  Stenography
Typing Council or from any recognized institution with a  speed  of  hundred
words per minute.  Admittedly, the appellant passed the said  shorthand  and
typing exam only in the year  2000  and  not  prior  to  that.   As  noticed
earlier, the appellant was absorbed on the post of Steno-typist by an  order
dated  12.04.2002.  As  per  the  eligibility  criteria  prescribed  by  the
Government in letter dated 23.02.1989, the  appellant  will  further  become
eligible for promotion on the post of Stenographer only  in  the  year  2007
that is on completion of period of five years after he was absorbed  on  the
post  of  Steno-typist  by  the  said  order  dated  12.04.2002.   Thus  the
appellant cannot claim the benefit of being  posted  as  in  charge  ‘Office
Steno’ vide order dated 09.12.1992.  When the appellant was working as  LDC,
merely because he was placed in  charge  as  Office  Steno,  that  will  not
confer upon him any  right  to  claim  that  he  satisfied  the  eligibility
criteria from that date.  Be  it  noted  that  the  appellant  obtained  the
requisite qualification by passing the Council Examination only in the  year
2000 and he was absorbed on  the  post  of  Steno-typist  vide  order  dated
12.04.2002; when appellant has passed the Council exam of shorthand only  in
the year 2000, it is inconceivable as to how the  appellant  can  claim  his
seniority as Steno-typist before ever he was qualified.
6.          Learned counsel for the appellant placed much reliance upon  the
recommendation of the Divisional Forest Officer dated  01.01.2003  in  which
DFO has stated that appellant has performed all duties of  Stenographer  and
recommended that he be given seniority of Steno-typist from the  year  1998.
By perusal of the said recommendation of  Divisional  Forest  Officer  dated
01.01.2003,  it  is  seen  that  the  appellant  filed  an  application   on
30.12.2002, seeking seniority on the post of Steno-typist  and  in  response
to that application, the said letter dated 01.01.2003  seems  to  have  been
sent by the Divisional Forest Officer, Shivpuri addressed to Conservator  of
Forest recommending that appellant has performed all duties of  Steno-typist
and  he  may  be  given  seniority  from  the  year  1998.   Although   such
recommendation was made by  Divisional  Forest  Officer  to  Conservator  of
Forest, there is no order from the Conservator of Forest to  show  that  the
recommendation was accepted.  As noticed earlier,  the  appellant  qualified
himself in the Council exam only in the year 2000 and  he  was  absorbed  on
the post of Steno-typist by an order dated 12.04.2002, there is no  question
of granting seniority to the appellant on the post of Steno-typist from  the
year 1998.  The appellant was  eligible  to  be  promoted  to  the  post  of
Stenographer only in the year 2007.
7.          The High Court rightly held that the appellant did  not  satisfy
the eligibility criteria of having continuously worked for a period of  five
years as Steno-typist before being promoted as  Stenographer.  The  impugned
orders do not suffer from any infirmity warranting  interference  exercising
jurisdiction under Article 136 of the Constitution of  India.   Appeals  are
dismissed.  No order as to costs.
                                    .……………………J.
                                                 (DIPAK MISRA)

                                                                 ………………………J.
                                                 (R. BANUMATHI)
New Delhi;
September 4, 2015
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