Delhi HC: No Challenge to HR Policy As Petitioners Participated In Selection Process

The Orders passed by the learned Armed Forces Tribunal, Principal Bench, New Delhi on 04.06.2021, refusing the grant of interim protection to the Petitioners was challenged by Petitioners.

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Facts of the case 

The Respondent issued an HR Policy dated 16.01.2019 which laid down guidelines for Short Service Commissioned (hereinafter SSC) Officers to be considered for a grant of a Permanent Commission.

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In the view of the said policy, the Petitioners- who were commissioned SSC Officers were considered for grant of Permanent Commission in 2019, 2020, and also 2021, but on all three occasions, the Petitioners were found to be unfit for the same. Aggrieved by the Order dated 24.05.2021 refusing to grant Permanent Commission, the Petitioners approached the learned Tribunal on 03.06.2021 making common prayers. The learned Tribunal by way of the Impugned Orders refused to grant interim protection to the Petitioners, which was challenged in the present batch of petitions.

Arguments Before the Court 

The learned Counsel for the Petitioners submitted that they had been denied the grant of Permanent Commission unjustly without legible reasons. Further, it was submitted that even if the Petitioners were granted a relief later, they might suffer prejudice in form of seniority and rank. She submitted that the learned Tribunal had also erred in placing reliance on the judgment dated 04.06.2021 of this Court in Wg. Cdr. Nidhi Badhani vs. Union of India & Ors., since in the present case there was no challenge to the HR Policy dated 16.01.2019 of the Respondent.

Decision 

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No infirmity or merit was found in the Impugned Orders before the Hon’ble High Court. The petitions were dismissed accordingly. The Court also made it clear that any observation made by them in the present Order in contention would not prejudice either party in the petitions pending before the learned Tribunal, in any manner.

Analysis 

Contrary to what was claimed by the Petitioners, it was found that the HR Policy dated 16.01.2019 had been challenged along with a prayer that challenged Petitioners’ consideration for the Permanent Commission in the years 2019, 2020, and 2021. There had been a considerable delay in filing of the petitions before the learned Tribunal but also the Petitioners could not challenge the retrospective application of the HR Policy since they participated in the selection process. The Court had rejected a similar plea in Wg. Cdr. Nidhi Badhani vs. Union of India & Ors, regarding interim protection and referred to its observation in the said case for clarity.

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