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Seniority Cannot Be Claimed From A Date When The Incumbent Was Not Borne In Service: SC [Read Judgment]

Ashok Kini
19 Nov 2019 12:01 PM GMT
Seniority Cannot Be Claimed From A Date When The Incumbent Was Not Borne In Service: SC [Read Judgment]
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"The Law is fairly well settled in a series of cases, that a person is disentitled to claim seniority from a date he was not borne in service."

The Supreme Court has observed that, under Service Jurisprudence, seniority cannot be claimed from a date when the incumbent is yet to be borne in the cadre.The bench comprising Justice R. Banumathi, Justice AS Bopanna and Justice Hrishikesh Roy was considering appeals against Manipur High Court judgment in cases pertaining to an inter-se seniority dispute in the Manipur Police Service Grade...

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The Supreme Court has observed that, under Service Jurisprudence, seniority cannot be claimed from a date when the incumbent is yet to be borne in the cadre.

The bench comprising Justice R. Banumathi, Justice AS Bopanna and Justice Hrishikesh Roy was considering appeals against Manipur High Court judgment in cases pertaining to an inter-se seniority dispute in the Manipur Police Service Grade II Officers Cadre.

Relying on a judgement of Supreme Court in Union of India and others Vs. N.R. Parmar (2012)13 SCC 340, the appellants in this case had contended that when action was initiated for filling up the 2005 vacancies, the administrative delay in finalization of the recruitment leading to delayed appointment should not deprive the individual of his due seniority. In N.R. Parmar, it was observed that the selected candidate cannot be blamed for administrative delay and the gap between initiation of process and appointment. Disagreeing with such an observation made in NR Parmar, the bench in K. Meghachandra Singh vs. Ningam Siro, said:

Such observation is fallacious in as much as none can be identified as being a selected candidate on the date when the process of recruitment had commenced. On that day, a body of persons aspiring to be appointed to the vacancy intended for direct recruits was not in existence. The persons who might respond to an advertisement cannot have any service-related rights, not to talk of right to have their seniority counted from the date of the advertisement. In other words, only on completion of the process, the applicant morphs into a selected candidate and, therefore, unnecessary observation was made in N. R. Parmar (Supra) to the effect that the selected candidate cannot be blamed for the administrative delay.

Prospectively overruling the judgment in NR Parmar, the bench referred to Jagdish Chandra Patnaik vs. State of Orissa (1998) 4 SCC 456, the bench observed that the term "Recruitment Year" does not and cannot mean the year in which, the recruitment process is initiated or the year in which vacancy arises. While upholding the High Court judgment, it added:

These three judgments and several others with like enunciation on the law for determination of seniority makes it abundantly clear that under Service Jurisprudence, seniority cannot be claimed from a date when the incumbent is yet to be borne in the cadre. In our considered opinion, the law on the issue is correctly declared in J.C. Patnaik (Supra) and consequently we disapprove the norms on assessment of inter-se seniority, suggested in N. R. Parmar (Supra). Accordingly, the decision in N.R. Parmar is overruled.  


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