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HC faults methodology adopted for promotion

Staff Reporter

MADURAI: The Madras High Court Bench here has found fault with the method adopted by the Government in promoting Office Assistants and Record Clerks as Junior Assistants.

Justice D. Hariparanthaman pointed out that the methodology led to juniors being promoted to higher posts by surpassing their seniors. Allowing a writ petition filed by one of the victims of the wrong mode of promotion, the judge said that the petitioner who was appointed as Office Assistant in 1974 and promoted as Record Clerk in 1992 was denied promotion to the post of Junior Assistant in 2005 whereas another individual who joined service as Office Assistant only in 1991 was directly promoted as Junior Assistant.

Pointing out that both Office Assistants and Record Clerks had been given 10 per cent reservation in filling up vacancies of Junior Assistant by promotion, the judge observed that the anomaly in calculating the seniority had occurred only due to the failure to take into account the service rendered by Record Clerks as Office Assistants before their elevation.

Mr. Justice Hariparanthaman said that the Record Clerks occupying the post through promotion and not direct recruitment must be included in the seniority list of Office Assistants in order to clear the anomaly.

The Record Clerks appointed through direct recruitment alone should be listed separately. In the present case, the petitioner M. Thangavelu of Madurai had joined as an Office Assistant in Sedapatti Panchayat Union near here in 1974. He passed his 10th Standard examinations in 1986 and got promoted as a Record Clerk in 1992. But when it came to promotion to the post of Junior Assistant in 2005, the government dumped him and promoted an Office Assistant who joined service in 1991.

“The method adopted by the respondent ignoring the service rendered by the petitioner as Office Assistant is highly arbitrary and in violation of Article 14 (Equality before law) of the Constitution,” the judge said.

As the present petition was pending adjudication since 2006 and the petitioner had attained superannuation in 2008, the judge directed the Rural Development Secretary to promote the petitioner notionally from 2005.

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