LPA No. 516 of 2009 1
In the High Court of Punjab and Haryana, Chandigarh. LPA No. 516 of 2009
Date of Decision: 19 .01.2010
State of Punjab and others
Coram:- Hon'ble Mr. Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel Hon'ble Mr. Justice Alok Singh
Present: Mr. Rahul Sharma, Advocate
for the appellant.
Ms. Rita Kohli, Addl. A.G., Punjab
for respondents No.1.
Mr. Gurminder Singh, Advocate
for respondednts No.2 to 7.
Alok Singh, J.
1. Present Letters Patent Appeal has been filed questioning the order dated 29.5.2009 passed by the learned Single Judge of this Court, thereby dismissing the writ petition by observing that roster point appointment will not determine the seniority and the seniority will remain on the basis of merit in the case of direct recruitment and on the basis of length of service on the substantive basis in the feeding channel on the promotional post.
2. Brief facts of the case are that the writ petitioner and LPA No. 516 of 2009 2
respondents No.2 to 7 were recruited as Deputy Superintendent of Police on the recommendations of the Punjab Public Service Commission vide memo dated 24.10.1985. The writ petitioner made representation for fixing seniority on the basis of roster point. On the representation of the writ petitioner, Home Department modified the merit seniority to the roster point seniority. In the meanwhile, petitioner and the private respondents were considered for induction into IPS and all of them were inducted into IPS in the year 1995. The petitioner and the private respondents were further promoted to the rank of Deputy Inspector General of Police with effect from 1.1.2005 vide State government order dated 24.4.2006.
3. It seems that an instruction dated 22.10.1999 was issued to fix seniority by not treating roster point as seniority point. Consequently notice dated 12.3.2008 was issued to redetermine seniority on the basis of instruction dated 22.10.1999 ignoring the roster point. The petitioner replied to the notice vide reply dated 25.4.2008. Ultimately, order dated 22.9.2008 Annexure P-13 was passed redetermining seniority ignoring the roster system. The petitioner has questioned its legality, validity and constitutionality in the writ petition.
4. Learned Single Judge has upheld the impugned order re-fixing seniority ignoring roster system and strictly on the basis of merit prepared by the Punjab Public Service Commission.
5. Mr. Rahul Sharma, learned counsel for the appellant vehemently argued that after promotion to IPS, the State government has no jurisdiction to modify seniority ignoring the roster system on the basis of merit list prepared by the Punjab Public Service Commission. In the alternative, Mr. Rahul Sharma urged that even if the State government LPA No. 516 of 2009 3
wanted to change the seniority list that should be confined for the period prior to the induction of the petitioner and the private respondents into the Indian Police Service on promotion. According to Mr. Rahul Sharma, after induction into Indian Police Service, their inter se seniority can be decided by the Government of India and not by the State government. He further stated that judgement of the learned Single Judge directing the fixation of seniority in IPS cadre was beyond the scope of the petition.
6. We have heard learned counsel for the parties at length and perused the record.
7. Now, it is settled position of law that seniority cannot be fixed on the basis of roster system prepared for the purpose of granting appointment to the reserved categories. Roster system has nothing to do with the seniority. Seniority has to be granted as per the prevalent rules/regulations/by-laws and instructions. The learned Single Judge has rightly observed that seniority ought to have been and has validly been granted by the State government on the basis of merit prepared by the Punjab Public Service Commission. We do not find any ground to interfere with this observation of the learned Single Judge.
8. The second point raised by Mr. Rahul Sharma, that after being promoted to the IPS cadre, their seniority can be fixed by the Government of India and not by the State government. We find some force in it. Although, in IPS cadre, seniority is normally fixed as per seniority in the feeding cadre, however, any direction in this regard would be beyond the scope of the writ petition.
9. In view of the above, we find no merit in the appeal. However, we clarify that the order impugned in the writ petition is confined to the LPA No. 516 of 2009 4
cadre of Deputy Superintendent of Police, which was rightly corrected by the order impugned in the writ petition. For the purpose of grant of seniority in the IPS cadre, the Government of India may decide the question of seniority as per the prevalent law.
10. The appeal is dismissed.
( Adarsh Kumar Goel )
( Alok Singh )