Promotion is a fundamental right of an employee : SC

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New Delhi, Feb 6 (UNI) The Supreme Court has held that promotion is a fundamental right of an employee and even the state can not deny it.

A bench comprising Justices S B Sinha and G S Singhvi, while dismissing the appeal of Food Corporation of India(FCI), also imposed costs of Rs 50,000 on FCI.

FCI had appealed against the judgement of the Andhra Pradesh High Court, which had upheld the right of engineers working with the corporation, for promotion.

FCI had excluded the engineers from its promotional scheme on the ground that they did not contribute towards the main function of the corporation.

The apex court, in its judgement pronounced yesterday, noted, ''When employees are denied an opportunity of promotion for a long time (in this case 30 years) on the grounds that they fell with in a category of employees excluded from promotional prospects, the superior court will have the jurisdiction to issue necessary directions.'' ''If there is no channel of promotion in respect of a particular group of officers resulting in stagnation over the years, the court although may not issue any direction as to in which manner a scheme should be formulated or by reason there of inference with the operation of existing channel of promotion to the officers working in different departments and government officers but the jurisdiction to issue direction to make a scheme can not be denied to a superior court of the country,'' the court added.

The apex court, in its 12-page judgement written by Justice Sinha, also ruled, ''We fail to understand how the cader of medical officers would be important as, like the respondents, they also do not contribute towards the main function of the appealant. An employee is an employee. How the employees would be structured is undoubtedly with in the realm of the statuary authority but by reason there of, it can not tinker with their essential fundamental rights.'' UNI AKS/SC KK DB2129

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