Somnath Iyer, J.
1. The petitioner was appointed on July 21, 1950, as an accountant in the department of social service of the erstwhile Hyderabad State and was confirmed in that post on March 29, 1952. He was promoted as a second grade clerk on December 4, 1953.
2. Respondent 4 was appointed as a third grade clerk on July 19, 1949 in what was called the 'Scheduled Castes Trust Fund' which it is stated was a private fund founded by the Nizam of Hyderabad. The petitioner states that the employees of that fund were not Government servants, and, that that is so is clear from the order made by the Government of Hyderabad State on October 20, 1955 under which the existing staff of the Scheduled Castes Trust Fund were treated as Government servants and placed under the control of the Director, Social Welfare Department.
3. Respondent 4 had become a second grade clerk in the service of that fund with effect from February 15, 1951, and, when the Government of the Hyderabad State made their order on October 20, 1955. he became transformed into a civil servant of the Government of Hyderabad.
4. When the provisional Inter-State seniority list was prepared by the new State of Mysore to which the petitioner and respondent 4 were allotted under the provisions of the States Reorganisation Act, the post of the second grade clerk in the erstwhile State of Hyderabad was equated with the post of a first division clerk in the new State of Mysore and in that cadre, respondent 4 was assigned a higher rank than the one assigned to the petitioner and that was also what was done by the Central Government when they prepared the final Inter-State seniority list.
5. In this writ petition, the petitioner asked us for a mandamus that he should be placed above respondent 4 and for a further mandamus that he should be promoted to the cadre of the Manager with effect from January 18, 1966 when respondent 4 was promoted to that cadre.
6. Although it is admitted by the petitioner that respondent 4 became a second grade clerk in the Scheduled castes Trust Fund as early as on February 15, 1951 whereas he became a second grade clerk in the service of the erstwhile Hyderabad State only on December 4, 1953, it is asserted on his behalf that the status of a second grade clerk as a Government servant could be claimed by respondent 4 only with effect from October 20, 1955 when the employees of the Scheduled Castes Trust Fund became Government employees, and that, by then, the petitioner had already become a second grade clerk with effect from January 1, 1954.
7. In support of the postulate that the antecedent service of respondent 4 as a second grade clerk of the Scheduled Castes Trust Fund could not be taken into consideration for the determination of his seniority as a Government servant, dependence was placed upon a letter written by the Assistant Secretary of the Hyderabad State on April 27, 1956, the relevant part of which reads:
'The Rajpramukh has been pleased to sanction that the services of the employees of Scheduled Castes Trust Fund working in the Hyderabad both at Headquarters and Districts prior to 1-4-1955 will be counted for purposes of fixation of their pay under the rules.'
But, another part of the Government Order of October 20, 1955 reads:
'6. The existing staff of the Scheduled Castes Trust Fund shall be treated as Government servants and placed under the control of the Director, Social Service Department.
8. We do not accept the interpretation suggested to us on behalf of the petitioner by Mr. Jagannatha Shetty that the Assistant Secretary's letter on which he placed dependence means that the antecedent service rendered in the Scheduled Castes Trust Fund has to be taken into consideration only for the fixation of pay and not in the context of the determination of seniority. If the employees of the Trust Fund became Government employees when the activity of that Trust Fund was taken over by Government and styled. 'The Scheduled Castes Scholarship Board,' they commenced to hold posts in Government service which corresponded to the posts which they held in the Trust Fund with all their attributes. The meaning of the words 'shall be treated as Government servants' occurring in the Government order means that the posts held by those employees of the Trust Fund should be regarded as Government posts for all purposes and the elucidation made by the Assistant Secretary which he perhaps made to eliminate a doubt with respect to the question whether for the fixation of pay of those employees, the antecedent service should also be taken into consideration, cannot make a variation in the Government order which was made on October 20, 1955 which is so clear and unambiguous. So, we do not accept the argument that we should understand the letter written by the Assistant Secretary as amounting to an elucidation that except for the purpose of fixation of pay, the antecedent service rendered in the Trust Board should not be taken into consideration as part of the service rendered under Government. In our opinion, the clear meaning of the Government order is that the service rendered in the Trust Fund should be treated as part of the service rendered under Government and we find nothing in the Assistant Secretary's letter which can persuade us to a contrary view, If that is the true consequence emanating from the Government order, it becomes indisputable that respondent 4 who became second grade clerk in the year 1951 was clearly entitled to a higher rank than the petitioner who became a second grade clerk only on December 4, 1953.
9. But, Mr. Jagannatha Shetty contended that the induction of the employees of the Trust Fund into Government service amounted to a clear transgression of the provisions of Article 16 of the Constitution.
10. We do not think that this argument is acceptable for the reason that when a non-Government activity becomes an activity of the State by a process by which the posts become governmental posts and the occupants or holders of those posts also become Government servants, such transformation of those employees in Government service excludes the concept of a fresh employment.
11. We do not accede to the view that the fact that respondent 4 and the other employees of the Trust Fund who became Government employees did not draw their salaries from the consolidated fund of the State from which they could not have drawn their salaries when the Trust Fund was a private organisation can make any difference to the position; nor does the decision in K. Chandrappa v. State of Mysore, 1964(2) Mys LJ 150 which pertained to the local candidates have any resemblance to the case before us.
12. We are, therefore, of the opinion that the assignment of a higher rank to respondent 4 is open to no criticism, and so we dismiss this writ petition without making any order as to costs.
13. Petition dismissed.