A Petition was filed in January 2017 by 20 Directly recruited officers against the 2016 Seniority list. The recruited officers claimed that their objection against the seniority list and promotion of 43 promotee officers was dismissed by department of food, civil supplies and consumer affairs, Punjab in 2016. The main reason for dispute was the unjust elevation of promotee officers since 2011.

The government had contradicted that the elevation of the promotee officers, which was given without consideration of quota and minimum experience, was given after due approval from state cabinet. This was done to meet the urgent need and fill the shortage in the field of supervisory staff for procurement and Public Distribution Scheme, reasoning given by state.

In 2012, documents show that the department promoted four persons against direct quota posts and initially it was submitted in the court by the state that five officers were promoted but later the number rose upto 17 in 2018. The senior advocate Gurminder Singh argued that the promotions were in violations of service rules and the department had tried to mislead the court.

The 2016 Seniority List of food and supplies officers which was prepared by the Punjab government was quashed by the Punjab and Haryana Court which placed the promotee officers above the directly recruited officers.

The Punjab Government has been directed to pass fresh orders on promotions of promotee officers taking into consideration their quota and minimum experience by bench of Justice Jaswant Singh.

“…there is no reasonable explanation to justify the same  and the apology is tendered in the affidavit in a very casual manner. This court could not expect from the state to file an affidavit with wrong facts in the judicial proceedings that too on the aspect which constitutes the core of the controversy,” stated by the court with regards to the inconsistency in the number of promoted officers.

It was also held by the court that the promotions were given to the promotee officers in excess of their quota of 60% and against posts meant for direct recruited officers.

Seniority List Challenged in High Court Chandigarh
Seniority List Challenged in High Court Chandigarh

Certain rules on minimum experience and educational qualifications were ignored by the state while giving promotion to the promote officers, therefore, the court stated that, “There is no power to relax the provisions relating to the educational qualification and experience. There is no justification in the reply which could demonstrate the urgency to deviate from the said rule due to administrative exigencies or expediency by relaxing the experience condition for promotion,”

The High Court gave one month to the Punjab Government to Finalise a new Seniority List for Promotee Officers and Directly recruited officers.

For case specific advice one can contact top/best/expert service matter lawyer/advocate of Punjab Haryana High Court Chandigarh or other Service Tribunals across Chandigarh Panchkula Mohali.

This post is written by Kashish Sandha. For more info, dial 99888-17966.