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Stand on consequential seniority versus catch up rule under implementation of Article 16-4A, clarified

Supreme Court: The Bench
comprising of T.S. Thakur, and R. Bhanumathi, JJ., held that in absence of provision for consequential seniority in the
rules, the catch up rule will be applicable and the roster-point reserved
category promotees cannot count their seniority in the promoted category from
the date of their promotion and the senior general candidates if later reach
the promotional level, general candidates will regain their seniority.

The common issues involved in bunch of appeals were
that: Firstly, in the absence of policy decision taken by the State/rules
framed pursuant to the enabling provision of Article 16-4A of the Constitution
of India whether a reserved category candidate promoted on the basis of
reservation earlier than his senior general category candidate in the feeder
category can claim consequential seniority in the promotional post; Secondly, in
the absence of policy decision taken by the State with regard to Tamil Nadu
Highways Engineering Service Rules, whether Division Bench was right in holding
that Article 16-4A of the Constitution of India by itself would give
consequential seniority in addition to accelerated promotion to the
roster-point promotees.

The bench after referring to the catena of cases from Indra Sawhney to M. Nagaraj, to clear out the present stand over matter stated that,
the true legislative intent under Article 16-4A of the Constitution is to enable
the State to make provision or frame rules giving consequential seniority for
the accelerated promotion gained based on the rule of reservation. Rule 12 of impugned
rules in question, evidently does not provide for the consequential seniority
for reserved category promotees at any point of time. The consequential
seniority for such reserved category promotees can be fixed only if there is
express provision for such reserved category promotees in the State rules. In the absence of any specific
provision or policy decision taken by the State Government for consequential
seniority for reserved category accelerated promotees, there is no question of
automatic application of Article 16-4A of the Constitution. The State is duty
bound to collect data so as to assess the adequacy of representation of the
Scheduled Caste candidates in the service and based on the same the State
should frame a policy/rules for consequential seniority. [S. Panneer Selvam v. Government of Tamil Nadu, 2015 SCC OnLine SC
764 Decided on 27.08.2015]
Source: Legal news India


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  1. Ram
    Ram February 25, 09:14

    Sir in case of catch up rules as laid down in Virpal Singh Chauhan case and other various judgements of apex court, I want to get clarification on one point please help me out. I am illustrating an example:-
    Suppose A, B, C are the three officers as per inter se seniority in their entry grade. A, C are general category candidates while B is a reserved category candidate however selected on merit through a general post. Suppose B gets promotion in 2011 as a roaster point reservations on regular basis leaving behind his senior A and in the mean time in the year 2012 some more new recruits joined the promotional grade and subsequently in the year 2013 his senior A gets promoted but with suppression of him by C having meritorious assessment in select year 2013. Now questions arise here that:-
    1. Will only A will regain his seniority above B or C will also maintain his suppression in this catch up rules which is however is not senior to B in entry grade moreover he has been assessed vis a vis A but not with B.
    2. Will A be senior to direct recruits of 2012 as A has regained his seniority above B a 2011 promotee as per the rules laid down by apex court.
    3. Will B be dragged down to 2013 to maintain inter se seniority and he ll become junior to direct recruits of 2012 though he had promoted in 2011. So what is the actual meaning of catch up and regain.
    Please clarify with some judgements if any in this regard.

    Reply to this comment
    • Dr. CS Rayat
      Dr. CS Rayat June 10, 17:59

      Dear Mr Ram your query is answered here.
      1. Roster point promotion of BJP in 2011 was illegal as there was no Reservation in promotion as per constitutional ammendment as well as the ruling of the Apex Court.
      If A aquire consequential seniority over B by virtue of his promotion in 2013 and benefit of Catch-up rule; A will be junior to direct recruiters of 2012 but senior to B w.e.f. date of his promotion in 2013. Consequently British will be junior to direct recruitees of 2012 as his roster point promotion becomes invalid without quantifiable data about reserve categories.

      Reply to this comment
  2. Kareem
    Kareem September 13, 11:17

    I am bc e reservation candidate recruiting in 2014 my age is 1978 i am in seniority list for promotion

    Reply to this comment

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