Begin typing your search above and press return to search.
News Updates

"Merging the Posts or Grant of Seniority Lies Within Exclusive Domain of Employer": Rajasthan HC Upholds Merger of Cadre of Feeder Manager with Asst. Engineers

ANIRUDH VIJAY
7 Jan 2022 8:58 AM GMT
Merging the Posts or Grant of Seniority Lies Within Exclusive Domain of Employer: Rajasthan HC Upholds Merger of Cadre of Feeder Manager with Asst. Engineers
x

A division Bench of Rajasthan High Court, Jodhpur the order of the Power Sector Companies by which the entire Cadre of Feeder Manager in 5 Power Sector Companies of Rajasthan was merged with the Cadre of Assistant Engineer (O&M) and they were adjusted in the seniority list of 2010-11 & 2011-12. The bench comprising Justices Dinesh Mehta and Rameshwar Vyas observed that it...

Your free access to Live Law has expired
To read the article, get a premium account.
    Your Subscription Supports Independent Journalism
Subscription starts from
10% discount
999
899+GST
(150 INR per month)
(For 6 Months)
Premium account gives you:
  • Ad Free Content
  • Special And Exclusive Stories First Available To Subscribers only
  • Copy Of Judgments/ Orders With Every Reports
  • Copy Of Petitions (Subject to Consent From Concerned Lawyers)
  • Weekly Round Ups Of Supreme Court High Court Judgments/Orders
  • Monthly Digests Of Supreme Court And High Courts
  • Yearly Digests Of Supreme Court And High Courts
  • Live Updates Of Supreme Court And High Courts Hearings
  • WhatsApp Updates
  • News Letters
Already a subscriber?
Your free access to Live Law has expired
To read the article, get a premium account.
    Your Subscription Supports Independent Journalism
Subscription starts from
1,499+GST
(For 1 Year)
Premium account gives you:
  • Ad Free Content
  • Special And Exclusive Stories First Available To Subscribers only
  • Copy Of Judgments/ Orders With Every Reports
  • Copy Of Petitions (Subject to Consent From Concerned Lawyers)
  • Weekly Round Ups Of Supreme Court High Court Judgments/Orders
  • Monthly Digests Of Supreme Court And High Courts
  • Yearly Digests Of Supreme Court And High Courts
  • Live Updates Of Supreme Court And High Courts Hearings
  • WhatsApp Updates
  • News Letters
Already a subscriber?

A division Bench of Rajasthan High Court, Jodhpur the order of the Power Sector Companies by which the entire Cadre of Feeder Manager in 5 Power Sector Companies of Rajasthan was merged with the Cadre of Assistant Engineer (O&M) and they were adjusted in the seniority list of 2010-11 & 2011-12.

The bench comprising Justices Dinesh Mehta and Rameshwar Vyas observed that it is settled position of law that equating the posts or merging the posts or grant of seniority lies within the exclusive domain of the employer or the State Government. The scope of interference or judicial review is very limited. Court added that interference of court in policy matters is permissible only when there is a lacuna or procedural lapse in the decision making process.

In the present matter, writ petitions involve challenge to the decision of the State & Power Sector Companies, whereby the posts of Feeder Managers have been merged with the posts of Assistant Engineers of respondent Electricity Companies and a corresponding amendment has been introduced giving them seniority below the Assistant Engineers, appointed in 2010-11 and 2011-12.

The bench held, "The amendment brought in the Regulations of 2016 in relation to merger of the post of Feeder Manager with Assistant Engineer and grant of seniority with retrospective effect, in our considered opinion, was brought in accordance with law, while following due procedure. We do not see any infirmity or irregularity in the process. The amendment does not smack of bias or reeks favouritism, falling foul to Article 14 of the Constitution of India."

The court further ruled, "the exercise of merger undertaken by the respondents was a bonafide exercise in order to address long pending demands of Feeder Managers, who were equally qualified and who were otherwise drawing the pay equivalent to Assistant Engineer and discharging more or less identical duties as that of Assistant Engineers at least after 2009."

The court added that neither the decision of the Power Sector Companies suffers from doctrine of dictatorship nor can it be held that they have abdicated their powers to the State Government.

The petitioners relied upon the Supreme Court judgment of Vodafone International Holdings B.V. Vs. Union of India & Ors.(2012) 6 SCC 613 and Heavy Engineering Mazdoor Union Vs. State of Bihar & Ors., reported in AIR 1970 SC 82 in support of their contention that Power Sector Companies being body corporate and the State Government being its shareholder, cannot dictate the Power Sector Companies to amend the Regulations in a particular manner.

The petitioners further relied on the Supreme Court' case of Ram and Shyam Company Vs. State of Haryana & Ors., AIR 1985 SC 1147 and submitted that the impugned decision taken by the State Government is illegal, as the same ought to have been taken by the Board of the respective Companies and not by the State. However, the court debunked petitioners' arguments and observed that Ram and Shyam (supra) is an authority on the doctrine of dictatorship, but after considering the extant facts, the impugned decision does not suffer from the vice of dictatorship. Hence, this judgment is of little help to the petitioners.

The counsel for the respondents contended that the Feeder Managers were comparatively meritorious and their entry on the post of Feeder Manager was from open market and many of the serving Junior Engineers had cleared the exam and were appointed as Feeder Managers. He further argued that if the respondents had not provided them any promotional avenues, it would have been violative of their fundamental rights, as at least two promotional avenues are required to be provided qua each service.

While maintaining that the duties and pay-scales of Feeder Manager and Assistant Engineers (E&M) have always been the same, it was argued by the respondents that by way of the decision under consideration, long pending demands of the Feeder Managers have been accepted, which was in the overall interest of the organisation, hence, this Court should refrain from interfering in this matter.

Advocate Vikas Balia for petitioner and Senior Advocate Ravi Bhansali for Respondents

Case Title: D.K.Garg and Anr. v. State of Rajasthan and Ors

Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Raj)4

Click Here To Read/Download Judgment





Next Story
Share it