The Allahabad High Court recently reiterated the law laid down a full Bench of the Court, wherein it was held that the benefit of reservation cannot be provided in promotions, if there are less than five sanctioned posts available.
“There is another aspect of the matter, namely, that there were only two sanctioned posts within the quota for promotion in the Lecturer's grade available in the institution following the law laid down by the Full Bench of this Court in the case of Heera Lal Vs. State of U.P. and others reported in 2010(3) ESC 2091, equal to 2010(3) UPLBEC 1761, no reservation can be applied, inasmuch as for reservation in favour of Scheduled Caste, it has been laid down that there must be at least five sanctioned posts within the cadre,” a Bench comprising Justice Arun Tandon and Justice Ritu Raj Awasthi observed.
The Court relied on a decision rendered by a Five-Judge Bench of the High Court in the case of Heera Lal Vs. State of U.P. and others, wherein it was held, “…either in cases of promotion or direct recruitment, the rule of reservation providing for 21% reservation to scheduled castes under U.P. Act No. 4 of 1994 as applicable to aided educational institutions cannot be pressed into service where the number of posts in the cadre is less than five.”
The Court was considering a Petition which pertained to an appointment made to the post of Lecturer (Economics) at Janta Inter College in Amroha. The College had only four sanctioned posts of lecturers, two of which were within the promotion quota and two were within the direct recruitment quota. Committee of Management of the institution had then decided to promote the Appellant, Mr. Tej Singh against the vacancy, within the quota for Scheduled Caste.
Two other senior teachers were, however, overlooked during this process, after which, one of them approached the High Court and obtained a stay against Mr. Singh’s appointment. The Court was now hearing a challenge to this stay.
Considering rival contentions, the Bench set aside the promotion, and ruled, “For both the aforesaid two reasons, we have no hesitation to record that the promotion which was granted to the appellant in the year 2003, after application of reservation in favour of scheduled caste was patently illegal and unsustainable and to that extent there was no reason for the Regional Level Committee to have reviewed its earlier order dated 30th December, 2015 and to have maintained the approval as already noticed above was patently illegal.”
It then directed the Regional Level Committee to consider the claim of all eligible candidates for promotion, strictly in accordance with Rule 14 of U.P. Secondary Education Services Selection Board Rules, 1998. Appropriate action was, thereafter, directed to be taken by the Committee of Management of the Institution.