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S. Arunachalam and ors. Vs. the State of Tamil Nadu Represented by the Commissioner and Secretary, Rural Development and Local Administration, Department, Fort St. George, and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectService
CourtChennai High Court
Decided On
Reported in(1981)1MLJ489
AppellantS. Arunachalam and ors.
RespondentThe State of Tamil Nadu Represented by the Commissioner and Secretary, Rural Development and Local a
Cases Referred(Basheer Ahmed v. Government of Tamil Nadu and Ors.) W.P. No.
Excerpt:
- .....the writ petitions have been, filed for the issue of writs of certiorari to quash the order of the board dated 26th april, 1977.4. the transfer and allotment of respondents 3 to 8 to the service of the board has been specifically made under section 31 of the act. the specified date is 19th march, 1973. in the circumstances, it goes without raying that the petitioners are entitled to claim seniority over respondents 3 to 8.5. this conclusion of mine is supported by a decision of v. ramaswami, j. in (basheer ahmed v. government of tamil nadu and ors.) w.p. no. 1204 of 1977 in that case, one basheer ahmed was a permanent employees of the board. some of the other persons who were made respondents to the said writ petition had not opted in the beginning to join the service of the board as.....
Judgment:
ORDER

S. Padmanabhan, J.

1. The petitioners joined the Tamil Nadu Water Supply and Drainage Board (hereinafter referred to as the Board) as Junior-Engineers. At the time the petitioners joined the service of the Board, the respondents were employees of the Board. It may be noted that the Board was constituted in the year 1971. Section 30 of the Tamil Nadu Water Supply and Drainage Board Act, 1970(hereinafter referred to as the Act) provides that every person who immediately before the notified date is serving in connection with the affairs of the Department of Public Health Engineering and Municipal Works including the office of the Chief Engineer (Public Health Engineering and Municipal Works) under the Government shall as from that date be deemed to have been allotted to serve in connection with the affairs of the Board and shall cease to be an employee of the Government, subject to two provisos with which we are not concerned. Section 31 of the Act provides that as soon as may be after the notified date, the Government may after consulting the Board direct by general or special order that such of the employees other than those employees referred to in Section 30 serving, immediately before the said date in connection with the affairs of the state as are specified in such order shall stand allotted to serve in connection with the affairs of the Board with effect on and from such date as may be specified in such order. We are not concerned with the proviso. Section 31(b) of the Act provides that with effect on and from the date specified in the order under clause (a) the persons specified in such order shall become employees of the Board and shall cease to be employees of the Government.

2. On 6th January, 1977, the Government issued G.O. Ms. No. 32, Rural Development and Local Administration Department. By the said Government Order, respondents 3 to 8 were transferred to the control of the Board. The Government Order further stated that the said respondents shall stand allotted to serve in connection with the affairs of the Board with effect on and from 19th March, 1973.

3. It is not disputed that the petitioners in the writ petitions had joined the service of the Board from its very constitution in 1971 and on the basis of the date of appointment they are entitled to rank senior to respondents 3 to 8. In Board's proceedings Ms. No. 17, dated 22nd January, 1977, the seniority of all the petitioners was recognised and they were included in the panel of names considered fit for promotion as Assistant Executive Engineers in the Board. By proceedings No. C3/76511/76-3, dated 22nd March, 1977, the petitioners were temporarily promoted as Assistant Executive Engineers in the Board. However, by Board's proceedings Ms. No. 110, dated 26th April, 1977, respondents 3 to 8 were promoted temporarily as Assistant Executive Engineers and the petitioners were reverted. In these circumstances, the writ petitions have been, filed for the issue of writs of certiorari to quash the order of the Board dated 26th April, 1977.

4. The transfer and allotment of respondents 3 to 8 to the service of the Board has been specifically made under Section 31 of the Act. The specified date is 19th March, 1973. In the circumstances, it goes without raying that the petitioners are entitled to claim seniority over respondents 3 to 8.

5. This conclusion of mine is supported by a decision of V. Ramaswami, J. in (Basheer Ahmed v. Government of Tamil Nadu and Ors.) W.P. No. 1204 of 1977 In that case, one Basheer Ahmed was a permanent employees of the Board. Some of the other persons who were made respondents to the said writ petition had not opted in the beginning to join the service of the Board as required under Section 30 of the Act. Subsequently they were transferred to the Board and allotted to the service of the Board under Section 31 of the Act. The question arose whether Basheer Ahmed was entitled to seniority over the other respondents who had been allotted to the service of the Board long after he joined the service V. Ramaswami, J. upheld the seniority of Basheer Ahmed. The learned Judge has observed as follows:

Section 31 of the Act enables the Government to direct by general or special order that such of the employees other than those employees referred to in Section 30 serving immediately before the notified date in connection with the affairs of the State as are specified in each order shall stand allotted to serve in connection with the affairs of the Board with effect on and from such date as may be specified in such order. It may be seen from those two provisions of Section 30 and 31 that those, who shall be deemed to have become the employees of the Board under Section 30, become the employees with effect from the notified date, namely, 14th April, 1971. The power under Section 31 could be exercised by the Government only after the notified date in respect of the employees other than those who have become employees under Section 30. Naturally, therefore, when they are allotted subsequent to the notified date in the service of the Board, they will have to be taken as Juniors to the petitioners and those who were in service as from the date of original formation of the Board by reason of Section 30. The seniority will, therefore, have to be determined with reference to the date on which the particular employee has become a member in the service of the Board. If that is so, the petitioner is senior to all of the respondents 3 to 7 and therefore, in the post of Executive Engineer, he will have to be given seniority over respondents 3 to 7.

The same principle applies to the petitioners in all these writ petitions. I therefore, hold that the petitioners are entitled to succeed and the impugned orders are quashed. There will be no order as to costs in the writ petition.


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