At, High Court of Kerala
By, THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE K. VINOD CHANDRAN & THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE P.V. KUNHIKRISHNAN
For the Appearing Parties: T.V. Vinu, K. Shri Hari Rao, CGC., Assistant Solicitor General, T.C. Govinda Swamy, Kala T. Gopi, S. Karthika (K 4652015), T.N. Sreekala, Advocates.
K. Vinod Chandran, J.
1. The issue agitated in these Original Petitions are identical. But the Tribunal for the years 2014-2015 held in favour of the employees (O.P(CAT) Nos.23/2016 and 24/2016) and for the year 2016-2017 held against the employees (O.P(CAT) No.219/2016).
2. The issue agitated was with respect to the eligibility for consideration for promotion of employees who had sought for inter region transfer. The essential requirement for promotion is seen from Annexure A2 produced in the Original Application from which arises O.P(CAT) No.23/2016. The requirement is:
“100% by promotion from amongst Tax Assistants who have rendered a minimum regular service of three years in the grade and have qualified the prescribed departmental examination for Ministerial staff.”
3. The department contended that such service can be reckoned only from the date on which the transferred employees joined the new region. This was also on account of the prescription in Annexure A1 as produced in the above Original Application, which is extracted hereunder:
“It is further clarified that as per the existing DoPT and CBDT instructions on inter Region transfer for the purpose of reckoning prescribed years regular service in the grade, the service rendered by an inter-region transferee in the old region shall not be counted in the new region which he has joined on such transfer, if the transfer is on the request of the officer concerned.”
4. The issue is no longer res integra as the Hon'ble Court has considered the issue in Union of India & Ors. v. C.N.Ponnapan [(1996) 1 SCC 524] and M.M.Thomas & Ors. v. Union of India & Ors. [(2017) 13 SCC 722]. In a further appeal numbered as Civil Appeal Nos.3792/2019 and 3793/2019 the Hon'ble Supreme Court has followed the fore-cited decisions. The Special Leave Petition filed by the Government was rejected and the Civil Appeal filed by the applicants were allowed. It was declared that in so far as the issue of eligibility for promotion is concerned, the service rendered in the previous region, prior to transfer on compassionate ground will b
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e counted towards service for eligibility for consideration of promotion. Respectfully following the aforesaid dictum, we reject the O.P (CAT) Nos.23/2016 and 24/2016 and allow O.A.No.265/2016. Parties left to suffer their respective costs.