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Ravi v/s General Manager, Syndicate Bank & Others

    WP. No. 165 of 2017

    Decided On, 18 January 2018

    At, High Court of Judicature at Calcutta


    For the Petitioner: Anjili Nag, Advocate. For the Respondents: R1 to R3, N.A. Khan, R.K. Nandy, Advocates.

Judgment Text

1. Grievances of the writ petitioner as ventilated in the petition under Article 226 is such that in one occasion he was called by the Branch Manager of Syndicate Bank, Long Island Branch, to repair a computer. In response to the call of the Branch Manager, he had repaired the said computer completely and being satisfied with his such performance the concerned Manager asked the petitioner whether he is interested to have a temporary job with the said bank or not. As the petitioner was unemployed so he responded to the call of the Branch Manager and he was appointed as a temporary worker in the said bank in the year 2006 and his such status was subsequently extended time to time. For the sake of his appointment, the said Branch Manager of Rangat Branch wrote a letter to the General Manager, Regional Office, Calcutta for approval of the appointment of the present petitioner. However, his such appointment was being renewed from time to time by the respondent authorities. It is pertinent to mention that the respondent authority had framed a module/guidelines for the sake of appointment of t

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emporary employees in the cadre of 'Sub-Staff' on 24.10.2006. In terms of the said guidelines the Branch Manager was directed to provide statement to the Regional Office about such engagement of temporary employee. On 11.12.2008 the said Branch Manager wrote a letter to the General Manager, Syndicate Bank with a detailed note regarding the petitioner. The said manager also mentioned in the said letter that the performance of this petitioner was outstanding all along and so he requested the General Manager, Regional Branch, Chennai to grant approval for the appointment of the writ petitioner as permanent attender. There were many exchange of letters by and between the parties. When the petitioner noticed that his service has been utilised by the department from time to time, but no fruitful action had been taken for his regularisation or allowing him to participate in the selection process for the post of Temporary Attender, he submitted a representation before the General Manager, Regional Branch, Chennai on 14.03.2011, but his such letter received a cold reception. The concerned Branch Manager also wrote to the General Manager appreciating the performance of the present petitioner. This time the Assistant General Manager, Regional Branch, Chennai has written a letter to the District Employment Officer, Mayabunder, requesting him to send the names of five eligible candidates for appointment as Temporary Attender. The candidature of the present petitioner was also forwarded by the employment officer to the higher authority and also by the concerned branch. It is pertinent to mention that the Branch Manager appreciated his performance and wrote a letter disclosing how much amount was recovered by the present petitioner. The Assistant Commissioner (Head Quarter), North Andaman District, Mayabunder sent a list to the Branch Manager and in the said list the writ petitioner's name was included. On the basis of such recommendation he received a letter from the Chief Manager, Syndicate Bank by which he was asked to attend before interview board for the post of Temporary Attender. The petitioner appeared before the interview board and came out with a flying colour. His name was empanelled for the post of Temporary Attender. He was also given a notice to that effect by the concerned authority that his name is included in the panel of Temporary Attender although the post is purely temporary in nature. The concerned Branch Manager requested the General Manager, Regional Office, Chennai to regularise his service considering his performance and experience also. On 16.05.2014 the name of the petitioner was included in the pay roll vide letter dated 16.05.2014. Thereafter, the petitioner sent a representation to the higher authority on 04.09.2014 for regularisation of his service. In the year 2015 he was asked to submit his bio-data again. The said bio-data was filled up by the petitioner and counter signed by the Branch Manager concerned. It was a bolt from the blue to him when he received a letter that he had concealed his qualification while submitting his bio-data on 10.12.2015. The petitioner had given a reply disclosing the reasons for mentioning class 10th pass in his bio-data and the said department was not satisfied and his name was not considered for the purpose of regularisation. A writ petition was filed by him, but it was not pressed. On the basis of an application under Right to Information Act, 2005, he sought for the guidelines for appointment of Temporary Attender and then he came to know that there is an embargo for the Temporary Attender in regard to his maximum qualification. Thereafter, he received a notice regarding his termination.

2. According to the petitioner, when the selection process was done at that time there was no such criteria and the criteria was laid down long after his selection. According to him he should be guided by the rules prevalent at the relevant point of time of his selection and not by the rules made subsequent thereto. At the time of hearing, learned counsel appearing on behalf of the petitioner contended that there is no such concealment on his part which can be evident from the letter bearing No. ROCH/PCWS/1328/2011 dated 27.12.2011. By this letter the petitioner was asked to appear before interview board along with the proof of educational qualification and other documents with a set of attested copies. Accordingly, he appeared before the said board and he was selected and his name was on the top of the list vide reference No. 067/ROCH/PCWS/2012 dated 28.01.2012 by the Chief Manager, Syndicate Bank. On 02.02.2012 the said Chief Manager, Syndicate Bank wrote a letter to the present petitioner saying 'We are pleased to inform you that we had included your name in the panel of Temporary Attenders and you may approach our Rangat Branch for necessary action. The branch will entrust you the duties of Attender on temporary basis depending upon need/ exigency of the branch.' It is pertinent to mention that at the time of appearing before the interview board the petitioner had produced his educational qualification which has been forwarded by the concerned Branch Manager on verification and at that time he has mentioned that he passed 12th standard, Xerox copy of the mark-sheet was also attached therein. In spite of that he was not appointed only on the ground that he had suppressed his qualification at the time of fulfilling the bio-data. According to him when the petitioner sat for interview along with his educational qualification he had clearly written that he passed 12th standard and that was forwarded by the Branch Manager concerned. Now he cannot be debarred from getting such an appointment only on the basis of the subsequent rules. Annexure 2 at page 84 of the petition speaks that it was submitted before the Regional Office that his educational qualification was 12th standard and that has been accepted by the Syndicate Bank, Regional Office, Chennai and that was in regard to an approved panel of Temporary Attender working in permanent vacancies. There is no whisper from the respondent authorities that after 2012, there was any such interview. On the contrary, it appears that seven persons of Temporary Attenders' services were regularised with effect from 01.02.2016 vide reference No. 301/ROCH/PCWS/2016 dated 11.02.2016 issued by Assistant General Manager, Syndicate Bank. In that letter they have given a clarification that they had not issued appointment letter to the present petitioner, who was also cleared for regularisation, as he has passed 12th standard before selection in the panel.

3. Now the dispute centres around in this writ application is such when he sat for interview there is no such impediment regarding the educational qualification and as he has passed 12th standard so he had mentioned the same before the interview board and also submitted attested copies of his educational qualification, which was accepted by the respondent authority and he was selected after interview on the basis of the particulars supplied by him to them. Being satisfied about his educational qualification and their criterion's he was on the top of the list. Therefore, subsequent filing of bio-data mentioning 10th standard, in my view cannot be treated as a suppression of material facts because he had already submitted his educational qualification of 12th standard and on the basis of that he was selected in 2012. Subsequent amendment of rule shall not be applicable in such a situation. That rule was not given any retrospective manner.

4. At the time of argument learned counsel appearing on behalf of the respondent authorities has drawn the attention of this Court vide circular No. 435-2015-BC-PD-55-HRDD dated 16.10.2015 that qualification would be 'A pass in 8th Standard and candidate should not have passed intermediate or 12th or 10 + 2 Examination.' In the said letter it has been also mentioned 'application received from candidates in response to news paper advertisement, display in website and notice board and indent from the employment exchange are to be accepted, eligible candidates are to be called for interview and panel to be formed.' This goes to show that the intention of the Syndicate Bank was that this rule or guide lines has to be followed from the date i.e. to say 16.10.2015, otherwise they would not have mentioned 'eligible candidates are to be called for interview and panel to be formed'. In the present petitioner's case, he was already selected in 2012 and his name was already empanelled therein. Therefore, the argument advanced by the learned counsel appearing on behalf to the respondent authority does not hold any water.

5. After considering all these aspects, this Court is of the view that the subsequent rule framed by the respondents cannot be a deciding factor in regard to the present petitioner's case, when he is already selected by them nearly four years back. Private respondent was served with the notice, but he did not like to contest and the reason is best known to him. Since he did not file any affidavit-in-opposition, nor appeared before this Court, it can be safely presumed that the private respondents No.4 is not willing to contest. Accordingly, on the basis of the aforesaid discussion, I am of the view that the writ petitioner is entitled to get his service regularised to the post of Permanent Attender with effect from 01.02.2016, which was done in respect of private respondent No.4. The respondent authorities are hereby directed to issue an appointment letter for that post to the present petitioner within six weeks from this date and if they did not like to terminate the private respondent no.4 in that case they may do that, but after giving appointment to the present petitioner.

6. Accordingly, the writ petition stands allowed.