Civil Appeal No.2387 OF 2007 (Arising out of S.L.P. (C) No.17977 of
1. The appellant-Union Public
Service Commission (hereinafter referred to as the 'UPSC') calls in
question legality of the judgment rendered by a Division Bench of the
Delhi High Court dismissing the writ petition filed by the appellant-UPSC
questioning correctness of the order passed by the Central
Administrative Tribunal, Principal Bench, New Delhi (in short the
The controversy lies within a very
narrow compass. It relates to the eligibility of respondent No.1 for the
post of Deputy Advisor (Training) in Central Public Health and
Environmental Organisation of Urban Development Ministry.
According to the appellant he is
ineligible, but the Tribunal and the High Court have held that he was
eligible, on interpretation of the Ministry of Works and Housing Deputy
Advisory (Training) Recruitment Rules, 1985 (in short the 'Recruitment
background in a nutshell is as follows:
Respondent No.1 is a Departmental Scientific Officer. He took the stand
that the appellant-UPSC had wrongly declared him ineligible for being
considered for recruitment on promotion to the post of Deputy Advisor
(Training). Appellant was of the view that he did not possess the
requisite educational qualification prescribed in column 8 of the
Schedule to the said 'Recruitment Rules'. Respondent No.1, on the other
hand, took the stand that he was eligible. According to the appellant,
column 11(2) of the Schedule would come into force only if the
Departmental Scientific Officer possesses the requisite educational
qualification i.e. a Degree in Civil Engineering from a recognized
university or other equivalent qualification in the alternative. The
Tribunal and the High Court did not consider the effect of columns 7, 8
and 10 which are required to be read together and provisions of column
11(2) of the Recruitment Rules have to be read as an exception to the
provision, and not column 8 of the Schedule. The stand of respondent
No.1 was that he was holding the Degree of Master of Science and he
could not be expected to hold Degree in Civil Engineering after
rendering five years regular service as a Scientific Officer. This
educational qualification was not required under the Recruitment Rules
and that is why special provisions have been made in Column 11(2)
providing for only requirement of five years regular service by
Departmental Scientific Officer. It is further submitted that column 12
relating to the post of Deputy Advisor (Training) indicates the
composition of Departmental Promotion Committee (in short the 'DPC') for
the purpose of considering confirmation i.e. for confirmation of service
of Deputy Advisor (Training). Therefore, the intention of the
Recruitment Rules is clear that Departmental Scientific Officer is to be
promoted to the post provided he had 5 years of regular service in the
grade and was selected for the post. Therefore, a Departmental
Scientific officer was not to fulfill the essential educational
qualification of a Degree in Civil Engineering or equivalent as
prescribed in columns 7, 8 and 10.
Respondent No.2-Union of India
supported the view taken by the Tribunal before the High Court.
The High Court held that on a proper
reading of the provisions and looking at the intention behind making
special provision under Clause 11(2), it was clear that the same was
intended to provide a promotional avenue to the Departmental Scientific
Officer. Accordingly, the Tribunal's order was confirmed.
The stands taken before the Tribunal
and the High Court by the parties were reiterated in this appeal.
In order to appreciate the rival
submissions various columns of the Schedule need to be noted.
In Column 8 of the Recruitment
Rules, it is provided that the educational qualifications prescribed for
direct recruits will apply in the case of promotees but not age
qualification. Column 9 deals with the probation period for promotee
officers and direct recruits. The method of recruitment for the post is
prescribed in Column 10 which reads as follows:
"By promotion/transfer on deputation including short-term contract
failing which by direct recruitment".
Column 11 reads as follows:
"Promotion/Transfer on Deputation (including Short-term contract):
(1) Officers under the Central/State
Governments/Public Sector Undertakings/Recognised Research
Institution/Semi-Government Statutory or Autonomous Organisations:
(a) (i) holding analogous posts:
or(ii) with 5 years service in posts in the scale of Rs. 1100-1600 or
(b) possessing the educational
qualifications and experience prescribed for direct recruits in Col. 7.
(2) The departmental Scientific
Officer with 5 years' regular service in the grade will also be
considered and in case he is selected for appointment to the post, the
same shall be deemed to have been filled by promotion".
So far as the question as to whether
age and educational qualification prescribed for direct recruits will
apply in the case of promotees is concerned, it has been clearly
stipulated that in the case of age the answer is in the negative, while
in the case of educational qualification it is in the affirmative.
As noted above, essential
qualification required for the direct recruits, is specifically provided
in Clause 7(i)(a) to be Degree in Civil Engineering of a recognized
university or equivalent. The source of recruitment is to be indicated
as promotion, transfer and deputation. The educational qualification
provided under Clause 7(i)(a) is in no way diluted. Clause 11(2) only
indicates the source i.e. Permanent Scientific Officer. In fact, in the
letter of the Government of India, Ministry of Urban Development and
Poverty Alleviation of October 2001 it speaks of relaxation.
Interestingly, in the evaluation done by the Union of India in respect
of all applicants where the remarks are indicated, the Union had clearly
stated that respondent No.1 was not eligible as he did not possess the
requisite educational qualification. In the letter dated 21.3.2002 the
Union's stand was changed on the basis of the representation made by
respondent No.1. The stand of the Union seems to be varying at different
points of time. Initially in the application of respondent No.1 it was
noted that he was ineligible. Its stand was changed before Tribunal.
Rule 12 which speaks of confirmation provides that only those who have
been promoted can be confirmed. Above being the position, the Tribunal
and the High Court were not justified in holding that respondent No.1
was eligible. In view of the analysis made above, it is clear that he
did not possess the educational qualification.
The appeal deserves to be allowed,
which we direct but without any orders as to costs.
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