Jagannadha Rao, J.
1. The petitioner is the appellant in this appeal. He sought three reliefs in the writ petition. The first was for grant of higher fixation of grade after 10 years of service in the post held by the petitioner as Asst. Accounts Officer as per B.P.Ms.No. 371 dated 27-4-1983 and for payment of monetary benefits after such fixation. The second relief was for grant of higher fixation in special promotion post after 15 years of service held by him in the post of Asst. Accounts Officer with all the monetary benefits. The third relief claimed was for directing promotion of the petitioner to the post of Accounts Officers (Chief Accountant) and also for grant of subsequent promotion as Special Accounts Officer from the date on which persons junior to him were promoted to the said post and for payment of all the consequential monetary benefits.
2. So far as the first and second reliefs are concerned, the learned single Judge granted the same under the impugned order. So far as the third relief is concerned, the learned Judge stated that the petitioner might make a detailed representation to the respondent for quashing the promotion of his juniors. Aggrieved by the order of the learned single judge in so far as the third relief is concerned, the writ petitioner has preferred this Writ Appeal.
3. The appellant had his first promotion as Accountant in 1959 after the formation of the State of Andhra Pradesh on 1-11-1956. In fact he was employed in the Hyderabad Government (Electricity Department) prior to 1-11-1956. From the post of Accountant the appellant was promoted as Deputy Chief Accountant (otherwise known as Asst. Accounts Officer) on 3-3-1962. That was his second promotion after 1-11-1956. Thereafter, there was a reversion which the petitioner successfully challenged in the court and there was also a departmental enquiry in which the appellant succeeded. It is not necessary to refer to those proceedings for the purpose of the limited relief claimed in the present appeal. From 1-10-1973 the services of the appellant in the Government were taken over by the State Electricity Board.
4. For promotion from the category of Deputy Chief Accountant to the post of Chief Accountant, the regulations require that the appellant should have completed probation in the lower category of Deputy Chief Accountant. A person who has completed 45 years of age is entitled to such an exemption by virtue of B.P.Ms.No. 505 dated 26-8-1972. By that B.P.505 the Board adopted the provisions of G.O.Ms.No. 818 G.A.(Ser-C) Department dated 21-7-1972 which were applicable to Government employees Paragraph 4 of that G.O. provides that the Government of Andhra Pradesh, in consultation with the Government of India, have taken a decision that the employees of the erstwhile Government of Hyderabad who are allotted to this State, be permanently exempted from passing the departmental tests, on reaching the age of 45 years, for the second and subsequent stages of promotion after 1-11-1956. From the aforesaid B.P. and G.O. it is clear that the appellant was entitled for the exemption from passing the Account Test because of the fact that the promotion from the post of Accountant to the post of Deputy Chief Accountant on 3-3-1962 was a second stage of promotion, the appellant having already been promoted in 1959 to the post of Accountant which was his first stage of promotion. Exemption was in-fact granted in B.P.Ms.No 282 dated 4-4-1988.
5. Though the appellant was thus eligible for promotion as Chief Accountant from the post of Deputy Chief Accountant, when his juniors were promoted to the said post in 1982, the promotion was not granted to the appellant on the ground that the relaxation granted in his favour in B.P.Ms.No. 282 dated 4-4-1988 was a limited relaxation. That B.P. shows that the appellant's services art regularised with retrospective effect from 6-10-1973 in the category of Deputy Chief Accountant, (that being the date on which the appellant crossed 45 years) and that he "thus became eligible for exemption from passing the departmental test in terms of B.P.Ms.No. 505 dated 26-8-1972". It was further stated in para 4 of this B.P.Ms.No. 282 as follows:
"He is also informed that the commencement and completion of probation ordered in paras 1 and 3 above is without any claim for seniority in the category of A.A.O. (former D.C.) and further promotion."
It will be noted that by the time this B.P.Ms.No. 282 was issued on 4-4-1988 in favour of the appellant, he had already retired from service on 5-10-1986. But the question for consideration is whether it is open to the Board to confine the relaxation for purposes other than his claim for seniority and promotion to the post of Chief Accountant. In our view, B.P.Ms.No. 505 dated 26-8-1972 makes the appellant eligible for exemption on attaining the age of 45 years without any further condition and if the appellant became so exempt, there was no difficulty for declaring his probation in the category of Deputy Chief Accountant with effect from 6-10-1973. Once he became an approved probationer in that category, there was no impediment for considering his case for promotion to the category of Chief Accountant/Accounts Officer in accordance with the regulations. We are, therefore, of the view that para 4 of B.P.Ms.No. 282 dated 4-4-1988 in so far as it is stated that the relaxation granted by B.P.Ms.No. 505 dated 26-8-1972 does not hold good for the appellant's claim for seniority and for further promotion is illegal and violative of the rights of the appellant under Article 16 of the Constitution of India read with the regulations. It was not open to the Board to impose any such condition in the said B.P. No doubt, a contention has been raised before us that the appellant has not separately challenged para 4 of B.P.Ms.No. 282 dated 4-4-1988 but we are of the view that it was not necessary for the appellant to do so inasmuch as the third relief claimed in the writ petition is one for promotion to the post of Chief Accountant and is sufficiently wide to enable the appellant to claim that the restrictions imposed in para 4 of B.P.Ms.No. 282 are illegal. We, therefore, hold that the exemption granted in B.P.Ms.No. 282 dated 4-4-1988 will be available for all purposes including the claim of the appellant for promotion to the post of Chief Accountant.
6. It is not denied that for promotion to the post of Chief Accountant the regulations require a process of assessing the merit and ability of the appellant by a Departmental Promotion Committee. Though the appellant has since retired from service, in view of the fact that his claims were ignored and his juniors were promoted in 1982, it becomes necessary for the Board to have the appellant's case considered for such promotion.
7. A question has, however, arisen as to the entitlement of the appellant for back wages in case the Board considers him fit for promotion when his juniors were promoted in 1982. The learned counsel for the Board has submitted that the present writ petition was filed in 1987, after the appellant's retirement and that at this distance of time, the appellant cannot be permitted to claim back wages in respect of a promotion, which according to the appellant, should have been given in 1982. On the other hand the learned counsel for the appellant has contended before us that the appellant has sent a representation in May, 1983 with regard to his non-promotion as Asst. Accounts Officer (Special Promotion Post) and that and in Dec.1985 for promotion as Accounts Officer and that there are no laches on the part of the appellant. The above contention advanced on behalf of the Board appears to us to be self-contradictory. The Board having issued the proceedings in B.P.Ms.No. 282 dated 4-4-1988, after the filing of the present writ petition in 1987, that proceeding gives a fresh cause of action to the appellant to claim that the restrictions imposed in para 4 therein are bad and that whatever consequences follow from quashing the said restrictions, have to follow. In our view, the argument that the appellant is guilty of laches for claiming back wages is inconsistent with the fact that a fresh cause of action has arisen in favour of the appellant by the passing of the proceedings in B.P.Ms.No. 282 dated 4-4-1988. By that order the probation of the appellant was declared in the lower category, but for purposes other than his seniority and promotion. If that part of the restriction in the order is bad, the appellant's case for promotion has to be considered on its own merits and he is entitled to tort sequential benefits whereupon the question of laches cannot arise. Unless the Board had passed an order declaring his probation, as it did the appellant could not have contended that his case for further promotion should be considered and that he should be given back wages. For that reason the appellant had in fact submitted a representation on 31-12-1985 claiming promotion from the date on which his juniors were promoted as Accounts Officers in 1983. The appellant had earlier submitted a representation in May, 1983 for promotion to the category of Asst. Accounts Officer (special promotion post) from the date on which his juniors were so promoted earlier from 1-4-1982. We are, therefore, of the view that the appellant cannot be denied back wages, on the ground of laches in case the Board comes to the conclusion that the appellant is otherwise fit for promotion as Chief Accountant.
8. For the aforesaid reasons, the Writ Appeal is allowed, para 4 of B.P.Ms.No. 282 dated 4-4-1988 in so far as it confines the exemption for purposes other than the appellant's seniority and further promotion, is quashed and it is declared that the exemption to which the appellant became eligible by B.P.Ms.No. 505 dated 26-8-1972 is available to him for all purposes including for the purpose of seniority and promotion. Even thought the appellant had retired from service on 6-10-86 on completion of 58 years, his case for promotion as Chief Accountant will be considered in accordance with the regulations, at the next meeting of the Departmental Promotion Committee without any further delay. In case it is held that the appellant is entitled to such promotion from the date on which his immediate juniors were promoted, the appellant shall be entitled for all the monetary benefits including arrears of salary. There is no doubt that the same will also be available for purposes of fixation of his pension. No costs.