Supreme Court Dismisses Special Leave Petition Claiming Promotion to the Post of Junior Bailiff

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A group of persons working as Office Assistants/Record Clerks in various courts in the Erode District of Tamil Nadu filed a special leave petition in the Supreme Court. It came up after the High Court dismissed their claim for promotion to the post of Junior Bailiffs.

Brief Facts of the Case

A group of 22 persons working as Record Clerks and Office Assistants in Erode district at Tamil Nadu have filed a writ petition to consider their claim for promotion to the post of Junior Bailiff. The promotion was without insisting on the criteria of educational qualification of a pass in SSLC. The claim was based on a previous HC order, about vacancies under the Tamil Nadu Government Servants (Conditions of Services) Act, 2016. In this case, the SSLC pass was not insisted upon as a qualification for promotion to the post of Junior Bailiff. The other High Court rejected the claim on the ground that it holds no relevance in the present case.

Arguments Before the Court

All the 22 petitioners belong to various categories of Tamil Nadu Basic Services. Various recommendations by different committees laid down minimum educational qualification for recruitment purposes. They submitted that two posts of Junior and Senior Bailiff had different pay scales and benefits. The post of Junior Bailiff was an upgraded post and thus need not need a matriculation qualification for appointment. But, for the post of Bailiff, it prescribes the completion of SSLC as an essential qualification.

Court’s Ruling

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The Apex Court is of the view that the petitioner cannot take refuge. It stated the fact that the SSLC qualification should not be taken until an amendment to the statutory rules is issued. They can also not lay a claim on the basis of the unamended Tamil Nadu Judicial Ministerial Service Rules. Also, they cannot claim anything even on the basis of Special Rules for Tamil Nadu Basic Services, since it does not contain any post called Junior Bailiff. Section 68 of the Tamil Nadu Act makes it clear that the Special Rules will prevail over the provisions of the Act if any provision of the act is inconsistent.

Thus, despite the omission of the High Court in taking note of Section 68 of the Act and the interpretation of Section 20, the Court finds the impugned order unassailable. There was no ground to interfere with the order of the High Court. The Court dismissed the special leave petition.


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