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SC Upholds U'khand Rule Of Accelerated Promotion Quota On The Basis Of Higher Edu Qualifications [Read Judgment]

Ashok Kini
15 Oct 2019 9:25 AM GMT
SC Upholds Ukhand Rule Of Accelerated Promotion Quota On The Basis Of Higher Edu Qualifications [Read Judgment]
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The Supreme Court has upheld a service rule of providing accelerated promotion on the basis of higher educational qualificationsThe court was concerned with the promotion quota pertaining to the Irrigation Department cadre of the Uttarakhand State, for promotion from the post of Junior Engineer to the post of Assistant Engineer. It carved out a provision for accelerated promotion to the extent...

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The Supreme Court has upheld a service rule of providing accelerated promotion on the basis of higher educational qualifications

The court was concerned with the promotion quota pertaining to the Irrigation Department cadre of the Uttarakhand State, for promotion from the post of Junior Engineer to the post of Assistant Engineer. It carved out a provision for accelerated promotion to the extent of 7.33% for the JEs holding a more advanced qualification, of a Degree in Civil Engineering.

On a writ petition filed by JEs holding a qualification of Diploma, the Uttarakhand High Court struck down accelerated promotion quota (provided in Uttaranchal Service of Engineers (Irrigation Department) (Group 'B') Rules, 2003) as violative of Articles 14 & 16 of the Constitution. ( State of Uttarakhand vs. SK Singh)

While setting aside the High Court judgment, the bench comprising Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice MR Shah observed that bringing forth from the direct recruitment quota (for which the qualification is the Degree) to the promotion quota and giving that through accelerated promotion for such persons who have a degree can hardly be said to have any intrinsic defects which could violate Articles 14 & 16 of the Constitution. It made these observations:

The spectrum of judicial opinions referred to aforesaid leaves us with little doubt that though equality is the very bulwark of the provisions of the Constitution, in service jurisprudence, classifications are a matter of necessity and judicial pronouncements have sought to balance the equality principle with the principle of classification, dependant on the nexus for making the classification. Higher educational qualifications have been repeatedly emphasized as an aspect which can give exclusive promotion, earlier promotion or for that matter, as in this case, an accelerated promotion. A higher degree of qualification intrinsically would bring in certain skills, though undoubtedly, that should be useful and have a nexus with the job being performed. As to who should examine this nexus, that has been left to the wisdom of the administrative authorities, who are best equipped to do so. 

We are conscious of the fact that in further posts, higher than AE, there is no distinction between persons having different qualifications. There are no direct appointments. The posts are filled in only through promotions. The question is what is really being done? In our view, all that has been done is that, at a particular promotion stage, in the wisdom of the administration, recognising higher skills developed through higher qualifications, and as an incentive to others to acquire these higher qualifications, an accelerated promotion on a small percentage of posts had been granted

In our view, all that has been done is that, at a particular promotion stage, in the wisdom of the administration, recognising higher skills developed through higher qualifications, and as an incentive to others to acquire these higher qualifications, an accelerated promotion on a small percentage of posts had been granted 

Click here to Read/Download Judgment


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