Inderjit Singh Sodhi vs The Chairman Punjab State … on 3 December, 2020


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Supreme Court of India

Inderjit Singh Sodhi vs The Chairman Punjab State … on 3 December, 2020

Author: L. Nageswara Rao

Bench: L. Nageswara Rao, Hemant Gupta, Ajay Rastogi

                                                                          1


                                                            REPORTABLE

                 IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
                  CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION

                  CIVIL APPEAL NO. 3837 OF 2020
                    (@ SLP(C) No. 23877 OF 2014)



INDERJIT SINGH SODHI AND OTHERS                         .....APPELLANT(S)


                                    VERSUS


THE CHAIRMAN, PUNJAB STATE                           .....RESPONDENT(S)
ELECTRICITY BOARD AND ANOTHER


WITH

CIVIL APPEAL NO. 3835 OF 2020
(@ SLP CIVIL NO. 22791 OF 2014)

CIVIL APPEAL NO. 3836 OF 2020
(@SLP(C) No. 24195 OF 2014)




                         JUDGMENT

HEMANT GUPTA, J.

1. The present appeals are directed against a common order of the

Punjab and Haryana High Court dated 09.04.2014 whereby the intra-

Court appeals filed by the Punjab State Electricity Board were allowed
2

and the order of Learned Single Judge, allowing the writ petitions for

the grant of 9/16 years’ time bound revised promotional scale to the

appellants was set aside.

2. The facts of the appeals are similar but for the sake of reference, facts

are taken from the appeal preferred by Inderjit Singh Sodhi and

others. The appellants herein have claimed time bound promotional

scale while working as Assistant Engineers. They were promoted to the

said post from the post of Junior Engineer. The services of the

appellants are governed by the Punjab State Electricity Board Service

of Engineers (Civil) Regulations, 19651.

3. The post of Assistant Engineer as per Regulation 7 is required to be

filled up (1) by direct recruitment in terms of Regulation 9; (2) by

promotion in terms of Regulation 10 or (3) by transfer of an officer

already in services of a Government or another Government or

Undertaking of the Government. The qualification required for direct

recruitment under Regulation 9 is BE in Civil Engineering from a

recognised institution or university. The Regulations further permit

serving Section Officers who possess three- or four-years diploma in

Civil Engineering and minimum 12 years qualifying service to apply for

the post by way of direct recruitment. Regulation 10, on the other

1
for short, ‘Civil Regulations’
3

hand, provides for the promotion of the candidates with not less than

10 years’ experience subject to the condition that their number do not

exceed 30 per cent of the total number of the cadre posts of the

Assistant Engineers.

4. The relevant extract of the Civil Regulations read as under:-

“7. Recruitment to the Service shall be made by the
Appointment Authority by any of the methods indicated below
as may be determined in each case:-

(a) In case of posts of Asstt. Engineers.

(i) By direct appointment as provided in Regulation 9

(ii) By Promotion as provided in Regulation 10

(iii) By transfer of an officer already in the service of a
Government or any other State Electricity Board or an
Undertaking of Government.

xx xx xx

QUALIFICATION FOR DIRECT APPOINTMENT

9. No Person shall be appointed as AE (Civil) on training by
direct appointment unless he has passed BE in Civil Engineering
from recognised Institution/Univ.(Equivalency as notified by the
Institution of Engineers Association of Indian Universities/
Pbi.University/Pbi.Univ. Calendar.)

PSEB Serving sectional officers (Civil) who possess ¾ years
diploma in Civil Engineering & have minimum 12 years qualifying
service as Sectional Officer (Civil) with satisfactory service record
4

shall also be eligible to apply for the post.

xx xx xx
QUALIFICATION FOR APPOIONTMENT BY PROMOTION

10.1 (a) Sectional Officers (Civil) under the Board having
their record above average and with not less than 10 years
experience to their credit shall be eligible for appointment to
the service as Assistant Engineer, subject to the condition that
their number does not exceed 20% of the total number of
cadre posts of Assistant Engineers excluding the posts with
B.D.M.B./B.C.B. and deputation posts or posts where PSEB
cannot directly post its officers i.e. Hydel/Design Directorate,
Chandigarh.

(b) Over and above this reservation, Sectional Officers
(Civil) with requisite service/experience may be considered for
additional vacancies of Assistant Engineers for field work
without any fixed percentage.

2. xxxx xxxx xxxx xxxx xxxx

3. Persons appointed by promotion as Assistant Engineers
under Sub Regulation (1) and (2) above shall not be eligible
for promotion to the posts of Assistant Executive Engineer and
above, unless they possess the qualification prescribed in
Regulation-9.

4. 9% of the cadre posts of Assistant Engineers (Civil)
shall be reserved for Departmental employees (Technical
Subordinates and Drawing Staff) who while in the service of
the Board have qualified Section (A) and (B) of A.M.I.E.
Examination and have completed three years service. (This
shall take effect from 15th April, 1983).”
5

5. The appellants were promoted to the post of Assistant Engineers under

Regulation 7(a)(ii) read with Regulation 10 of the Civil Regulations as

stated in para 4 of the writ petition which reads as under:

“4. That the petitioners were appointed as AE Class II service
by way of promotion under Regulation 7(a)(ii) i.e. by way of
promotion out of Junior Engineers Grade I Service: whereas
Kirpal Singh Mangat and Raj Kumar Garg have been appointed
under Regulation 7(a)(i) i.e. by way of direct recruitment
provided under Regulation 9 of the PSEB Regulations 1965.”

6. Shri Kirpal Singh Mangat and Shri Raj Kumar Garg, who were junior

to the appellants in the category of Assistant Engineer (Civil) were

appointed by way of direct recruitment to such posts on the basis of

their qualifications under Regulation 7(a)(i) of the Civil Regulations. A

representation was submitted by the appellants claiming parity with

Kirpal Singh and Raj Kumar Garg with regard to the time bound

promotional scale. Such representation was decided on 06.11.2012,

wherein, it was inter alia said to the following effect:

“And whereas, Er. Inderjit Singh Sodhi, AEE (Retd.) was
promoted from the post of S.O./Civil to AE/Civil w.e.f. 19.8.77
as per avenue of his promotion in terms of Reg.7 read with
Reg. 10 of PSEB Service of Engineers (Civil) Regulations, 1965
and further promoted as AEE(Civil) w.e.f. 22.3.85. Whereas
Er. Kirpal Singh Mangat and Er. Raj Kumar Garg both AEE now
senior Executive Engineer (Civil) while working as S.O./ Civil
applied for the post of AE/Civil under direct recruitment
6

category and were selected for the post of AE/Civil and given
fresh appointment letter.

xx xx xx

And whereas, from the record it is evidence that interese these
persons named Er. Inderjit Singh Sodhi, Er. Kirpal Singh and
Er. Raj Kumar Garg came into service on 3.1.62, 12.9.64.
14.10.64 dates and all of them got an opportunity to go to the
direct recruitment quota of Assistant Engineers. The Board
advertised the posts for Assistant Engineers/Civil to be filled
through direct recruitment in which the existing Board
employees can also apply and in that contest Er. K. S. Mangat
and Er. Raj Kumar Garg had also applied and got selected as
Assistant Engineer/Civil and were given the new appointment
letters from the effective dates and they continue to serve as
per the Board regulations framed from time to time.

xx xx xx”

7. Two sets of circulars were issued by the Punjab State Electricity Board

for grant of time bound promotional scales w.e.f. 1.1.1986. The

relevant extract from the circular dated 23.04.19902 reads thus:

“Features of the Scheme

1. The benefit of first time bound placement into
promotional/devised promotional scale, as determined
and notified on the basis of principles, enunciated above,
would become available to an employee on completion of

2
hereinafter referred as “First Circular”.

7

9 (Nine) years of regular service on a post and the second
time bound promotional/devised promotional scale would
become available after completion of 16 (sixteen) years
of service. If an employee gets normal promotion to the
next higher post before completion of 9 years service
from the date of direct recruitment then he will not be
given first time bound promotional/devised promotional
scale. He will be eligible to get second time bound
promotional/devised promotional scale after the
completion of 16 years of service counted from the date
of direct recruitment provided he does not earn second
normal promotion before the completion of the above
said 16 years of service. Further an employee placed into
the first promotional/devised promotional scale on
account of his length of service will not be placed into the
second promotional/devised promotional scale before
completion of atleast three years from the date of his
placement into the first promotional/devised promotional
scale.

For example an employee who has completed 17 years of
service in an inducting post and was not promoted upto
1.1.1986, will be allowed 1st time bound
promotional/devised promotional scale on 1.1.1986 and
the 2nd time bound promotional/devised promotional scale
will be admissible on 1.1.1989 i.e. after completion of
three years service in the first time bound
promotional/devised promotional scale.

2. At the time of placement in the time bound
promotional/devised promotional scale to each employee
in any cadre the prescribed period will be counted from
the date of commencement of service to the lowest post
on which regular appointment has been made through
8

direct recruitment in the concerned cadre.

3. At the time of placement in the time bound
promotional/devised promotional scale , the employee
will be allowed promotional increment(s), as are
admissible on promotion under the provisions of
Regulations 8 of PSEB (Revised Pay) Regulations, 1988
and as amended from time to time.

4. If an employee already in the service of the Board is
directly appointed to a higher post through open selection
then for the purpose of grant of time bound
promotional/devised promotional scale in that cadre
counting of the period of service will commence from the
date of joining the above post by direct recruitment.

5. The Board shall draw up schedule (s) indicating the lowest
post(s) for direct recruitment in respect of various cadres
for the purpose of this order, separately.

6. In cases, an employee has already availed of the benefit
of placement to the time bound promotional/devised
promotional scale(s) and is promoted to the next higher
post, his pay would be fixed at the next stage in the same
scale. In case he is promoted to a post which is lower than
the scale in which he has already been placed on time
bound promotional/devised promotional scale, he will not
be entitled to any increment and continue to draw the pay
of the scale in which he has already been placed.

7. In case of employees who do not fulfill the
qualification/passing of examination essential for their
promotion to the next higher post, they shall also be place
into the time bound promotional/devised promotional
scale to be specified by the Board in the schedule as
referred to in para 5 (above).

8. No anomaly of pay would be claimed by any senior
9

employee viz-a-viz any other employee merely on the
strength of latter getting his placement into the time
bound promotional/devised promotional scale.

9. The authority competent to grant time bound
promotional/devised promotional scales after 9 years and
16 years service shall be the promoting authority of the
employees concerned.

2. The Punjab State Elecy. Board has further decided to allow
benefit of promotional increment(s) to an employee on completion of
23 years of regular service provided:-

(i) He has not been benefited by the scheme of 9/16
years time bound promotional scale.

(ii) He has not earned three regular promotions in his
career.

(iii) He has not earned third promotion in his regular
service between 16th and 23rd years of service.

(iv) The increments referred to in para-2 above are in
the nature of advance promotional benefit to be
absorbed in next regular promotion.”

8. Another Circular dated 24.05.19903 is part of the record of the other

two appeals preferred by Surinder Kumar Pathak and R.K. Arora and

another. It reads as under:-

“In supersession of office order no. 195/PRC/Fin-1988 dated
31.3.1990, the Punjab State Electricity Board is pleased to
order that an Assistant Engineer/Assistant Executive Engineer
would be placed in the next higher scale of Rs. 3000-5000 and
allowed a minimum pay of Rs. 3500/- in the 10th year i.e. on

3
hereinafter referred to as “Second Circular”.

10

completion of 9 (nine) years regular service as Assistant
Engineer/Assistant Executive Engineer. Similarly, he would be
placed in the next higher scale of Rs. 4500-6300 in the 17th
(Seventeenth) year i.e. on completion of 16 (sixteen) years
regular service as Assistant Engineer/Assistant Executive
Engineer.

The next higher scale will thus be allowed as under:-

AE/AEE         (i)     2200-50-2400-60-        Basic Scale
                       2700-3000-100-4000
                       125-4250(with
               (ii)    3000-100-4000-125-      Next        Higher
                       5000-150-5600           Scale      with    a
                                               minimum pay of
                                               Rs. 3500/- in the
                                               10th year i.e. on
                                               the completion
               (iii)   4500-125-5000-150       Second        Next
                       5900-200-6300           Higher scale in
                                               the 17th
XEN                    3000-100-4000-125-      Basic Scale
                       4500-125-5000-150-      Next        Higher
                                               Scale


2. The above higher scales will only be available to the
directly recruited Asstt. Engineers as per Regulation 7-a(i)
read with Regulation-9 of PSEB, Service of Engineers
(Electrical) Regulations-1965/ 7-a (i) read with Regulation 9
of PSEB Service Engineers (Civil) Regulations-1965. The
cases of Assistant Engineers appointed by promotion as per
provisions of Regulation-7-a(ii) read with Regulation-10 of the
Regulations ibid will be governed by guidelines circulated vide
11

Secretary/Finance Office Order No. 197/PRC/Fin-1988 dated
23.4.1990.

Note:- The departmental employees (Technical) Subordinates
and Drawing Staff) who while in service of the Board have
been promoted to the post of AE (Electrical)/ (Civil) against
quota reserved for promotion from amongst them under
Regulation 7-a(ii) read with Regulation-10(7) of the PSEB
Service of Engineers (Electrical) Regulations-1965/ Regulation
7-a(ii) read with Regulation 10(4) of the PSEB Service of
Engineers (Civil) Regulations-1965 shall be deemed to have
been appointed as Asstt. Engineers like the Asstt. Engineers
appointed through direct recruitment under Regulation 7-a(i)
read with Regulation-9 of the Service of Engineers (Electrical)/
Regulation 7-a(i) read with Regulation -9 of the service of
Engineers (Civil) ibid for the purpose of grant of above next
higher scales after 9-16 years of regular service as Assistant
Engineer/Assistant Executive Engineer/ Executive
Engineer/Xen, prescribed period to be counted from the date
of joining the post of Asstt. Engineer on regular basis.
Similarly Graduates in Electrical/Mechanical Engineering/ Civil
Engineering AMIE qualified/ AMIE qualified hands who
possess this qualification before joining the service of the
Board and subsequently promoted as Assistant Engineers
against quota reserved for promotion from amongst them in
terms of provisions of Regulation 7-a(ii) read with Regulation
10(9) of Service of Engineers (Electrical) Regulations-1965/
Regulation 7-a(ii) read with Regulation 10(6) of Service of
Engineers (Civil) Regulations-1965 will be treated likewise.”

9. The Second Circular was thus issued to grant time bound promotional

scale to directly recruited Assistant Engineers. However, the promoted
12

employees were said to be entitled to time bound promotional scale as

per the First Circular itself. The said Second Circular was issued to

equally apply to the Civil and Electrical Branch of the Board. The Note

to the said Circular mentions that the Circular has been issued under

the Civil and Electrical Regulations. For the purpose of better

understanding, the format has been changed to put the Regulations in

one line as an alternative Regulations.

10. Similar claim for time bound promotional scale was raised by one

Rajinder Singh Patpatia, a promoted Assistant Engineer working with

Bhakra Beas Management Board. The writ petition filed by him before

the Punjab and Haryana High Court was allowed by the learned Single

Judge on 26.08.1999 and the intra-Court Appeal against the same was

dismissed on 13.08.2001 vide judgment reported as Bhakra Beas

Management Board v. Rajinder Singh Patpatia and Anr4. The

Special Leave Petition against such order of the Division Bench was

also dismissed on 15.2.2002.

11. Another writ petition was filed by one named T. R. Bansal, junior to the

appellants as Assistant Engineer (Civil) which was allowed by the

Division Bench of the High Court on 1.02.2005. The Special Leave

Petition against the said order was dismissed by this Court on

4
(2002) 1 Recent Service Judgments 32
13

15.07.2010. Subsequently, Writ Petition no. 468 of 2004 preferred by

T.S. Behl and others was also allowed on 10.02.2006 by the Division

Bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

12. A Writ Petition No. 19306 of 2003, Krishan Kumar Vij v. State of

Punjab was filed before the Punjab and Haryana High Court claiming

time bound promotional scale. The writ petitioners were employed

with Bhakra Beas Management Board. The said Board had adopted the

Circular issued by Punjab State Electricity Board on 26.6.1992. The

writ petition was allowed by the Division Bench of the High Court on

6.12.2004. The order of the High Court was however later set aside by

this Court in a judgment reported as Bhakra Beas Management

Board v. Krishan Kumar Vij & Anr5.

13. Mr. Patwalia, learned Senior Counsel for the appellants argued that

once the appellants have been promoted to the post of Assistant

Engineer, at par with other juniors who may have been appointed by

way of direct recruitment, there cannot be any discrimination in the

matter of pay scale and that they are entitled to equal treatment in

the matter of pay. It was pointed out that the appellants were

appointed as Junior Engineers in 1961-62 and were promoted after 14

years to the post of Assistant Engineers. In terms of Regulation 7 of

5
(2010) 8 SCC 701
14

Civil Regulations, the appellants possessed the qualifications for direct

recruitment. Hence, the appellants could not be treated differently in

comparison to the directly appointed Assistant Engineers. The directly

recruited Assistant Engineers were granted time bound promotional

scale, whereas, the appellants who were senior to them have been

denied such benefits. It was thus contended that it is a blatant arbitrary

and discriminatory act of the respondents which was unsustainable in

law. It was further argued that there was a consistent view of the High

Court in the cases of T. R. Bansal and T. S. Behl, who were similarly

placed promoted Assistant Engineers with the Punjab State Electricity

Board. They were found to be entitled to time bound promotional scale

w.e.f. 1.01.1986 vide the orders of the High Court in separate writ

petitions filed by them. However, while dismissing the case of the

appellants, the High Court relied upon a judgment of this Court in

Krishan Kumar Vij which dealt with the claim of an Assistant

Engineer in the Bhakra Beas Management Board, thus the judgment

relied on was not on similar facts.

14. Mr. Patwalia raised another argument in the written submissions that

in terms of the Second Circular, the promotee employees are to be

considered for time bound promotional scale in terms of First Circular.

According to the Clause 2(iii) of the First Circular, an employee on

completion of 23 years’ service is also entitled to the benefits of the
15

said Scheme in case he is not benefited from the Scheme of 9/16

years.

15. On the other hand, Mr. Gulati, learned Counsel for the respondents

argued that time bound promotional scale would be applicable to the

promotee officer such as the appellants only in terms of the First

Circular which contemplates that an employee shall be entitled to

promotional scale on completion of 9 years of regular service on a post

and subsequent second time bound promotional scale after completion

of 16 years of service. If in case an employee gets normal promotion

to the next higher post before completion of 9 years’ service, he would

not be entitled to first time bound promotional scale. He would

however be eligible to get second promotional scale after completion

of 16 years’ service, counted from the date of direct recruitment,

provided that he does not earn second normal promotion before the

completion of above said 16 years’ service. It was also contended that

the Second Circular was not disputed by any of the appellants at any

stage.

16. We do not find any merit in the argument raised by Mr. Patwalia. The

claim of the appellants was based upon the First Circular for 9/16

years’ time bound promotion scale though the appellants have referred

to the Second Circular in para 18 of the writ petition. The Second

Circular was not even annexed with the writ petition, however the
16

same has been annexed by two other appellants Surinder Kumar

Pathak and R.K. Arora. There is no challenge to the legality and validity

of the Second Circular. Still further, the appellants have never claimed

that there should be equal pay being members of the same cadre. The

claim of the appellants was for time bound promotional scale after

completion of 9-16 years’ service only at par with Kirpal Singh Mangat

and Raj Kumar Garg.

17. We find that the appellants were promoted within 9 or 16 years from

their initial appointment, therefore, they are not entitled to time bound

promotional scale. Kirpal Singh Mangat and Raj Kumar Garg were

appointed by direct recruitment as Assistant Engineer (Civil), whereas

the appellants have been promoted to the post of Assistant Engineer

(Civil). Hence, the Second Circular would not be applicable to them.

The promotee employees are entitled to time bound promotion scale

in terms of the First Circular only. Hence, the appellants are not entitled

to claim any parity with Kirpal Singh Mangat and Raj Kumar Garg.

18. We find that some other employees have been granted benefit by

virtue of the orders passed by the High Court. However, the principle

laid down in the aforesaid judgments run counter to the subsequent

judgment of this Court in Krishan Kumar Vij. The Special Leave

Petition in many of these cases were dismissed but the such dismissals
17

would not be a binding precedent for this Court. This argument was

also raised and examined in Krishan Kumar Vij wherein this Court

relied upon the judgment of this Court reported as Kunhayammed &

Ors v. State Of Kerala (2000) 6 SCC 359. Therefore, the dismissal

of special leave petitions is of no consequence on the question of law.

The following was held in Krishan Kumar Vij:

“22. We have already mentioned hereinabove with regard to
Clause 2 of the 1990 Order read with Regulation 9 which restricts
the benefit only to directly recruited Assistant Engineers/Assistant
Executive Engineers, meaning thereby that one must possess the
requisite qualification as prescribed under the Regulations, then
only the benefit would accrue to the employee, not otherwise.
The Note appended thereto clearly stipulates that even those
employees who were promoted under Regulation 7(a)(ii) read
with Regulation 10(4) shall be deemed to have been appointed
by direct recruitment. This legal fiction is limited. It is applicable
only to those employees who have been promoted in conformity
with the provisions contained in Clause 4. Thus, the employees
who had passed both Parts (A) and (B) of the AMIE examination
and were promoted against 9% posts reserved for that class were
fictionally treated as direct recruits. Thus, it clearly stipulates that
only those Assistant Engineers who were either directly recruited
or had acquired the requisite qualifications prescribed for direct
recruitment were chosen to be granted higher scale if they had
been promoted against the post falling within the quota of 9% of
the cadre strength of the said post.

23. The 1990 Order contemplates that it is to be followed as per
regulation which provides that only such persons as have been
promoted under Regulation 7(a)(ii) read with Regulation 10(4)
shall be treated as direct recruits. In other words, it does not apply
to the promotees irrespective of their academic qualifications nor
can they be treated on a par with the direct recruits. There was a
purpose for treating them so, otherwise, it would have the effect
18

of violating the constitutional mandate contained in Articles 14
and 16 of the Constitution of India, on the premise that unequals
have been treated as equals. It is with that intention, to avoid
criticism and future litigation that such persons who possessed
qualifications for direct recruitment and could be promoted
against the posts falling vacant, would become entitled to claim
the benefit. Since Respondent 1 did not fall in this category,
obviously, he was not entitled to the higher scale.

24. Thus, there appears to be no illegality committed by the
Board in rejecting Respondent 1’s representation. So, in our
considered opinion, the High Court has clearly erred in setting
aside and quashing the same.

25. The critical examination of the impugned judgment passed by
the Division Bench of the High Court completely defeats primary
purpose of the 1990 Order and provisions applicable to the
employees of the Board. No doubt, it is true that the 1990 Order
was issued only with an intention to remove the stagnation but
this would not give blanket or absolute right to any employee to
be entitled to higher pay scale even if he does not fulfil
prerequisite qualifications for holding the higher post. In other
words, if he possesses the required qualifications but is unable to
get the higher post on account of non-availability of such post,
then only he can be categorised as suffering from stagnation as
per Order of 23-4-1990.”

19. The First and Second Circulars of the Punjab State Electricity Board

were examined by this Court, wherein, it was observed that the Second

Circular is applicable only in respect of employees appointed by way of

direct recruitment. The benefit would not be extended to the promoted

employees. This Court found that the legal fiction is limited in respect

of the employees promoted under Regulation 7(a)(i) read with

Regulation 10(4). It is applicable to only those employees who have
19

been promoted in conformity with the provisions contained in Clause

4 of the Regulation 10 of the Regulations which deal with promotion of

the employees who have passed both parts (A) and (B) of A.M.I.E.

Examination and were promoted against 9% posts reserved for that

Class of direct recruitment.

20. Shri Krishan Kumar Vij, in the reported judgment, was not possessing

A.M.I.E. qualification and thus was never appointed in terms of

Regulation 7(a)(i) read with Regulation 10.4 of the Regulations. In the

present appeals, there is no assertion that any of the appellants have

qualified both parts of A.M.I.E. Examination which is treated to be

equivalent to the Engineering Degree. The appellants being only

Diploma holders were promoted under Regulation 7(a)(ii) read with

Regulation 10.4 of the Regulations. They had the opportunity to

compete for direct recruitment after 12 years of service, which they

never availed or remained unsuccessful. The appellants would have

been entitled to claim parity with Kripal Singh Mangat and Raj Kumar

Garg only if they were qualified and promoted against the posts

reserved for those employees by direct recruitment. Consequently, the

appellants cannot claim time bound promotion after completion of 9/16

years at par with Kirpal Singh Mangat and Raj Kumar Garg.

21. The claim of the appellants of discrimination and arbitrariness on the

basis of time bound promotional scale granted to Kirpal Singh Mangat
20

and Raj Kumar Garg is not found to be sustainable. It has been

categorically admitted by the appellants that the said persons were

appointed by way of direct recruitment under Regulation 7(a)(i) as

provided under Regulation 9 of the Regulations. The appellants, on

the contrary, have been promoted to the post of Assistant Engineer in

their term as per their seniority in the cadre of Junior Engineer. Thus,

Second Circular which would be applicable to Kirpal Singh Mangat and

Raj Kumar Garg would not apply to the appellants as they are instead

covered by the First Circular.

22. In terms of the First and Second Circulars, the employees of the Board

who have not earned promotion within 9 years from their initial

recruitment are entitled to time bound promotional scale. If they have

been promoted within the initial 9 years, the next promotion cannot

be granted to them after completion of 3 years.

23. Therefore, the High Court in the impugned judgment was correct in

law holding that in view of the judgment in Krishan Kumar Vij, the

appellants are not entitled to time bound promotional scale on the

basis of parity in the other cases.

24. The argument that the appellants are entitled to promotion scale after

23 years was not the case setup either in the writ petition or even in

the present appeals. Such an argument has in fact been raised for the
21

first time in the written submissions. We find that such a factual

argument cannot be permitted to be raised at this stage.

25. In view of the said facts, we do not find any error in the order passed

by the High Court which may warrant any interference of this Court.

All the appeals are thus accordingly dismissed.

………………………..J.

(L. NAGESWARA RAO)

………………………..J.

(HEMANT GUPTA)

………………………..J.

(AJAY RASTOGI)

New Delhi,
December 3, 2020.



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