‘B’ an I.A.S. Officer is promoted to higher post ignoring the seniority of ‘A’. Can ‘A’ successfully challenge it?
A can successfully challenge the promotion of B to a higher post ignoring the seniority of A under Article 16(1) of the Indian Constitution.
Article 16(1) speaks about Equality of opportunity in matters of public employment. It reads – There shall be equality of opportunity for all citizens in matters relating to employment or appointment to any office under the State.
Equality doctrine is applicable among equals only, and unequals can be treated unequally. As per the leading case, Justice Tendulkar Vs Ramakrishna dalmya ,1958 AIR SC 38, the Supreme Court held that there should be a rational basis in the object and purpose of classification of persons, etc, so as motto violate the doctrine of equality.
In the above problem, as per Central Government rules, if there is no adverse remarks in the personal records(confidential reports) of an employee, seniority is the criteria for promotion in the same category of employees,ie.,among IAS cadre employees. By promoting a junior superseding a senior is violative of Art. 14and 16(1) of the Indian Constitution and hence A can challenge the promotion of B.
In Life Insurance Corporation of India and Others Vs. Jagmohan Sharma and Others 1998 (9) SCC 219,
The Supreme Court held that when a junior has already been promoted, the senior should also be considered for promotion from the same date.
In an earlier judgment, Bal Kishan Vs. Delhi Administration and Another 1989 (6) SLR 41 it held “in service, there could be only one norm for confirmation or promotion of persons belonging to the same cadre. No junior shall be confirmed or promoted without considering the case of his senior. Any deviation from this principle will have demoralizing effect in service apart from being contrary to Article 16(1) of the Constitution “.