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Himachal Pradesh High Court Supports Promotion Based on Seniority of Post Rather Based on the Eligibility Test

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In the case of Ramesh Chand Versus State of Himachal Pradesh & Others, the petitioner, reached the court as he was aggrieved by the Respondents’ act of purportedly not promoting him to the post of Junior Basic Teacher (J.B.T.) against Scheduled Tribe Quota

Brief facts of the Case

In the case, the petitioner, Ramesh Chand approached the court for the arbitration of the current appeal based on the claims that the respondents have purposefully not promoted him to the post of T.G.T. (Arts) from the post of TET pass J.B.T. against Scheduled Tribe Quota when advancements of other qualified Junior Basic Teachers were done in the year 2013 despite the availability of opportunities. Further, he supported his claims by providing evidence of the availability of vacancy gathered by seeking information from the office of Deputy Director Elementary Education, Himachal Pradesh through the Right to Information Act. 

Ramesh stated that not all the vacant posts were filled up and candidates who were promoted have passed the eligibility test one year after the petitioner still they were given preference and promoted while the petitioner was not. 

Based on the aforementioned events, Ramesh, through this petition, demanded some reliefs. 

First, that the petitioner should be included by the respondent Department for advancement to the said post reserved for him (scheduled tribe) Under the ST quota.

Arguments by the Respondent

The respondent state has claimed the promotion that promotion is conducted as per Recruitment and Promotion Rules. Abiding by those rules, when senior candidates senior to the petitioner were eligible for promotion for the said post who also might have passed Test after the petitioner could not have been rejected. Moreover, the leftover vacancies were also subsequently filed as well.

Also, most importantly, Ramesh was also promoted in terms of his seniority.

Arguments by the Petitioner

The learned counsel for the petitioner argued that respondents have worked as per their whims and fancies and arbitrarily did not consider the petitioner for promotion before those who had passed the Eligibility Test year after the petitioner.

It further claimed that the petitioner has the right to be prompted.

Observations made by the Court

The court held that the petitioner did not have the right to be considered and prompted over and above those candidates just because he passed the test earlier. According to the rules, the eligibility for the post is seen as on the date when the Departmental Promotion Committee meets. On the date the committee met, all the incumbents fulfilled the required qualification. Also, the candidates promoted were senior to him even though they cleared the test one year later.

Court’s Decision

The court held that the petitioner cannot have a superior claim over his seniors and have fulfilled the eligibility requirements as on the date of the meeting of the Departmental Promotion Committee until stated otherwise by the committee. 

Case: Ramesh Chand Versus State of Himachal Pradesh & others

Coram: Mr Justice Ajay Mohan Goel

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