(Prayer: These Writ Petitions are filed under Articles 226 and 227 of the Constitution of India, praying to direct the Respondents to consider the cases of the Petitioners on preference basis and select them as junior lineman by granting them necessary weight age for experience and also for having passed endurance test and include their names in the selection list as no consideration of their cases for selection is arbitrary and contrary to the directions given by this hon'ble court in w.p.nos. 173-195 of 2014 as per the order dated 13-2-2004 and also in contravention of articles 14, 16 and 21 of the constitution of india and etc.)
1. The petitioners have challenged the selection made on the basis of the notification dated 12-6-2015 to the posts of Junior Linemen for different subsidiaries including respondent No.2, M/s. Chamundeshwari Electricity Supply Company Limited (for short, 'CHESCOM') Their prayer before this Court is that the respondents should be directed to consider the case of the petitioners on preference basis, after giving them weightage, and to include their names in the selection list to the posts of Junior Linemen.
2. The brief facts of the case are that petitioners No.2, 3, 4 and 8 has completed their P.U. course, and petitioner No.6 has completed his I.T.I. course. On 4-5-2007, an advertisement was issued calling for applications for the posts of Gangmen to the Sub-divisions of Hassan. In pursuance of the said advertisement, the petitioners applied for the said posts. They were appointed temporarily by Office Memorandum, dated 23-11-2007. After their appointment, they were trained by the respondent - Company. However, after a lapse of three years, on 31-12-2010, the petitioners services were illegally terminated. Since the petitioners were aggrieved by the illegal termination, they raised an industrial dispute, which is presently pending before the Deputy Labour Commissioner, Division-II. On 12-6-2015, the K.P.T.C.L. issued an advertisement for Junior Linemen for different subsidiaries including CHESCOM. According to the advertisement, there were 857 vacancies for the said post. Although the petitioners have applied for the said posts, the petitioners have not been selected, ostensibly, on the ground that they have secured less marks, than the cut off marks of 65%. Therefore, on 13-7-2015, the petitioners submitted representations to the Managing Director, CHESCOM. They have requested that preference should be given to them by giving them weightage for the number of years they have worked for the Company. It is the case of the petitioners that if they were given the weightage, and given preference, they would certainly be selected for the said posts. Hence, these petitions before this Court.
3. Mr. K. Subba Rao, tire learned senior counsel for the petitioners, submits that in the case of MS. S. PUSHPA AND OTHERS v. GOVERNMENT OF KARNTAKA AND OTHERS (Write Petition Nos. 173-195 of 2004 and connected writ petitions), by order dated 23-2-2004, this Court had directed the respondents, which included the K.P.T.C.L. to formulate a scheme, and to give preference to those employees, who are/were working for the K.P.T.C.L., in case, vacancies arose in the future. Moreover, in case of MR. K.R. VIJAYKUMAR AND OTHERS v. STATE OF KARNATAKA AND OTHERS (Writ Petition Nos. 13711-13723 of 2015 decided on 9-4-2015), this Court again directed the Electricity Company, including BESCOM, to implement the order dated 23-2-2004. Hence, according the learned senior counsel, since a new set of vacancy has arisen in 2015, and since this Court had already directed the respondents to give preference to those employees, who are still working, or who have worked for the Company, the same benefits should have been extended to the petitioners with regard to the Junior Linemen as advertised on 12-6-2015.
4. On the other hand, Mr. Rajesh S., the learned counsel for the respondent - Company, submits that the case of Ms. S. Pushpa and others (supra) was not a judgment in rem, but it was a judgment in personam. For, this Court had molded the relief only for the benefit of the petitioners who had approached this Court. This Court had never laid down a principle of law that for every single future vacancy, preference needs to be given. Thus, this Court has not established a general principle of law. Even in the case of Mr. K.R. Vijaykumar (supra), the petitioners were the same who had approached this Court in the case of Ms. S. Pushpa and others. Therefore, this Court was of the opinion that the direction passed in the case of Ms. S. Pushpa and others had to be applied to the petitioners in the case of Mr. K.R Vijaykumar. However, the directions issued in the case of Ms. S. Pushpa and others cannot be stretched to the vacancies which have arisen in 2015. Secondly, the petitioners are seeking an appointment into a new post. Therefore, they are not justified for asking weightage for the previous services rendered by them. Lastly, there is no provision in the Service Rules of the Company which allows the Company to give weightage, or preference to its previous, or current employees, in case they have applied for direct recruitment. In absence of such provision, the benefit cannot be given to the petitioners as sought by them.
5. Heard the learned counsel for the parties, and perused the case law cited at the Bar.
6. A bare perusal of the order in the case of Ms. S. Pushpa and others (supra) clearly reveals that this Court had molded the relief only for the benefit of the petitioners, who were before this Court. While issuing directions, this Court had dearly instructed the respondents that "as and when vacancy arises, the same may be notified and in the event of these petitioners applying in terms of the notification, the Board is to provide preference in terms of the seniority list maintained by them in terms of the scheme" (emphasis added). Moreover, this Court also observed that the engagement in case of future vacancy is subject to the petitioners being found medically fit by the Board and subject to their eligibility and having necessary qualification. Their cases are to be considered not only for these jobs but also for other jobs in the light of the memo filed in this Court" (emphasis added). This Court further directed that age relaxation should be provided."
7. A bare perusal of the direction issued by this Court clearly reveals that the directions are qua the petitioners who had approached this Court. Thus, the judgment is in personal, and not in rem. Even "the age relaxation should be provided, the said relaxation is only for the benefit of the petitioners who had approached this Court. Even the said direction is not a general direction from times to come Therefore, the learned counsel for the respondents are certainly justified in claiming that the directions were issued for a given set of the petitioners, in a given circumstances. Thus, the directions cannot be extended for the future vacancy that may arise in the Company.
8. Even a bare perusal of the case of Mr. K. Vijaykumar clearly reveals that the petitioners were those who had already approached this Court in the case of Ms. S. Pushpa and others. Therefore, this Court was of the opinion that the directions given in the case of Ms. S. Pushpa and others has to be applied by tire respondents when a future vacancy arose, as the directions cover the case of the petitioners in the case of Mr. K.R. Vijaykumar as well. Therefore, the direction issued by this Court in the case of Ms, S. Pushpa and others cannot be extended to the present cases.
9. Admittedly, there is no provision in the Service Rules of the Company that permits the Company to give any preference, or weightage to the present petitioners, ostensibly, on the ground that they were previous employees of the Company. Although, the learned senior counsel has pleaded that the petitioners had already passed the exact endurance test while employed earlier, but even the said plea would not entitle the petitioners to be given any preference, in the absence of any provision of law in their favour. The candidates need to be selected on the basis of their performance in the present selection process. Since no preference can be given to the petitioners, their eligibility, and qualifications need to be adjudged in the present circumstances. Admittedly, they have not scored any marks higher than the cut of marks. Therefore, in the absence of any provision of law in their favour, they cannot be given the benefit of any preference, or weightage for their previous services.
10. For the reasons stated above, this Court does not find any merit in the present petitions. They are, hereby, dismissed. No order as to costs.