T. VENKATESWARULU v. EXE.OFFICER, TIRUMALA T.DEVASTHANAM& ORS case summary

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CASE:T. Venkateswarulu v. Exe.Officer, Tirumala T.Devasthanam BENCH: HON'BLE MR. JUSTICE C.K. THAKKER and HON'BLE MR. JUSTICE D.K. JAIN


INTRODUCTION:

This case was an appeal against the judgment given by the high court of A.P. The bench held that the appellant is eligible for conversion as Assistant Executive Engineer only with effect from 26th October 1989 and not from an anterior date when he passed the qualifying graduate examination i.e. 28th August 1983.

FACTS AND THE PROCEDURAL HISTORY:

The appellant, a diploma holder, who was initially sponsored by the Employment Exchange for the post of "Supervisor", was considered and appointed as a "Draughtsman Grade-I" in TTD in the year 1977. The post Draughtsman is lower than the supervisor. In the year 1978, the govt of A.P. provided some opportunities, according to which, supervisors who acquire engineering qualification can be promoted as junior engineers. The only recruitment method for the post of junior engineers. In 1981, the post of Junior Engineer was re-designated as Assistant Executive Engineer and the post of Supervisor was re-designated as Assistant Engineer. The appellant acquired the degree in the year 1983 and he was denied the promotion. He filed a writ petition before the high court. The court ordered to promote him as a junior engineer if he is otherwise eligible for the post.

With the order of the high court, the appellant made a representation before authorities for the promotion, which was denied as he was not eligible for the post according to the 1978 rules of TTD. This was again challenged before the high court. The court gave the judgment in the year 1990 ordering the management of TTD to consider the rules as on the date of order i.e., the new rules which came into force in the year 1989. Considering the order, he was promoted as an assistant executive engineer with the effect from the year 1989 i.e., from the date when the new rules came into force.[1]

The appellant dissatisfying with the treatment of the authorities filed a writ petition claiming that he was entitled to promotion since the date he got the graduation certificate. He said that many of the people were promoted from the date they graduated, and some of them were promoted from the date when the G.O came into existence i.e., 1978 but that benefit is denied to him which amounts to the hostile discrimination under article 14and 16 of the constitution.

TTD management refusing the allegations said that only supervisors are eligible for promotion of the post till the new rules came into existence in 1989. Both the “Draughtsman Grade-I" and “supervisors” were held equal and eligible for promotion only with the order delivered in 1989. So the appellant was eligible for the promotion from1989 and thus no discrimination took place.

Considering the arguments from both sides, the judge held that TTD being amenable to public law and constitutional processes is obligated to treat equally to the supervisors and they should be given a promotion with the effect from the date next to the date he acquired the graduation. Hence the court directed TTD to consider the promotion of the appellant effect from the year 1983 i.e., from the year he graduated.

The TTD approached the divisional bench of the high court for the review of the judgment given by a single judge. The divisional bench reversed the judgment and dismissed the writ petition. The appellant now approached the supreme court for the appeal of divisional bench judgment.


ARGUMENTS:

The learned counsel of the appellant claimed that since the pay scale of the "Draughtsman Grade-I" and "Supervisor" is the same, the incumbents in the said post were to be treated equally and the rules of the government order released in 1979 apply to the appellant and he is eligible for the promotion from the date he acquired graduation.

On the other side, the learned counsel of TTD supporting the view of divisional bench argued that neither prior to the rules in 1989, nor the later, both the posts of supervisor and Draughtsman Grade-I were equal. It was just that with the order in 1989, Draughtsman Grade-I is also eligible for the promotion along with the supervisors. Thus, the appellant is eligible for promotion since the order given in the year 1989 and not from the date of graduation.


HELD:

The court considered the argument regarding the pay scale of the two cadres and said that pay scales are different for two cadres till 1986 and both cadres are different from each other. Though the work of both cadres is similar, it rests upon the executive to decide the cadres and courts cannot interfere in such matters. When the order was given by the government in the year 1979, the Draughtsmen Grade-I cadre is considered different from supervisors. In the year 1979, promotion opportunity for graduated people was given only to supervisors from which it is evident that both are considered as different cadres. The court held that it is evident from the facts that the two cadres are different from each other. Since the Draughtsmen Grade-I cadre is eligible for the promotion since the order given in 1989, the appellant is considered to be promoted from the year 1989 and not from the date he graduated. Based on the above grounds, the court dismissed the appeal.