Employee not to suffer for department's mistake: SC

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New Delhi, Dec 26 (UNI) The Supreme Court has ruled that an employee cannot be made to suffer for the mistake or lapse on the part of the department he works in.

A bench comprising Justices A K Mathur and Markandey Katju dismissed the appeal of the Centre saying, ''It may be noted that the respondent was offered appointment vide letter dated July 5, 1983, which was after July 1, 1983, from which the eligibility was to be counted. Hence, it was the department which was to blame for sending the letter offering appointment after July 1,1983.

''In fact some of the candidates, who were junior to the respondent were issued letters, offering appointment prior to July 1,1983. Hence, it was the department which was to blame for this. Moreover, in view of the Office Memorandum of the Department of Personnel and Training, dated March 18, 1988, and July 19,1989, the respondent was also to be considered, otherwise a very incongruous situation would arise, namely that the junior would be considered for promotion but the senior would not.

''In view of the above, there is no merit in this appeal and it is dismissed.'' The repondent, Sadhna Khanna, was appointed as an assistant in the Union Ministry of Finance after she qualified in the Assistants Grade Examination held in October 1981.

The selection list (seniority quota), for promotion to the Section Officers Grade for the year 1991 was issued on May 28, 1993.

The name of the respondent was, however, not included in the list, despite the fact that she was qualified for promotion. Instead, her juniors were promoted.

The apex court had earlier, in R Prabha Devi and others versus the Government of India and others in 1988, held that where juniors had completed the eligibility requirement of promotion, their seniors would also be considered, even if they had not completed the eligibility period.


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