The then Hon'ble Chief Justice, while promoting the third respondent relaxing the seniority criteria is incorrect, in not complying Articles 14 and 16 of the Constitution, the court said
The Punjab and Haryana High Court has observed that a former chief justice of the high court acted unconstitutionally while relaxing the seniority criteria to promote a person ‘out of turn’ to Superintendent Grade-II post.
Even though relaxation provision of any rule vested with the chief justice would be exercised at the same time such relaxation of provision in an individual case or class of persons that should comply Articles 14 and 16 of the Constitution, Justice PB Bajanthri said while allowing a writ petition filed by 18 senior high court assistants.
They alleged that one Rajbir was promoted by superseding them. The court also observed that giving out-of-turn promotion would lead to arbitrariness in the decision and the same would have enormous adverse consequences upon the administration of the court.
“While exercising relaxation provision to an employee, such action should in consonance with Articles 14 and 16 of the Constitution. Thus, the third party's right should not be affected, whereas in the present case, while promoting the third respondent, Rules 12 and 30 of Rules 1973 and Articles 14 and 16 of the Constitution are violated,” the court said.
Quashing the appointment, the court held that Relaxation of Rules 1973 is highly arbitrary, irrational and illegal to the 3rd respondent's case when the post of Superintendent Grade-II is required to be filled up by seniority-cum-merit , when the third respondent is much junior to the petitioners in the feeder cadre of Senior Assistant.
The court also directed to fill up the vacancy of Superintendent Grade-II in accordance with Rule 12 read with Rule 30 of Rules, 1973, and promote eligible petitioner to the post of Superintendent Grade-II from 22.07.2014 within a period of three months.
Read the Judgment here.