Employer has power to change promotion policy unless dishonest or arbitrary: Chhattisgarh High Court

The sighting came from a dividing bench of Judges Arup Kumar Goswami and Deepak Kumar Tiwari with respect to some changes made by the state government in the recruitment rules of the Chhattisgarh Secretariat Service, 2012:

It is also well established that the employer has the power to change its policy with regard to the promotion of its employees… It is not for the Court to weigh the pros and cons of the policy or to test the degree of its beneficial effects or equitable disposition. The power to flex is the exclusive domain of the state government and therefore the disputed notice cannot be considered wrong in law.

The Claimant requested the rescission of the notice by which the State had added a new clause-(6) to Rule 13 of the said rules, according to which the relaxation of the minimum length of service was prescribed in the promotion of AG- II to AG-I, only for the calendar year 2016.

The Claimants submitted that all 97 candidates selected, in accordance with the conditions stipulated in the Order of Appointment, appeared for the computer proficiency and typing exam in Hindi and, in accordance with the Order of Appointment, their period of The trial would start counting from the next passing date of the exam, but in the final grading list, the seniority of some of the candidates was mentioned from the date of their joining, which violates article 14 of the Constitution of India. It has further been argued that the disputed notification dated June 21, 2016 only provided for relaxation for one year, which is also illegal and arbitrary.

The district attorney argued that no discrimination was made, nor was the seniority of the candidates affected in any way. The applicants only passed a written exam, but they did not pass the Hindi typing and computer proficiency exam. 61 candidates, including the applicants, were unable to take the said examination, while other candidates had passed the said tests at first instance when they were initially appointed. Accordingly, these applicants were treated as appointed from the date of issuance of the Order of Appointment, and applicants and other applicants who subsequently passed the competency test were placed below the other applicants, who have already passed the above tests.

The state argued that the said decision falls within the executive powers of the state to regulate the conditions of service of the vested employees under Sections 162 and 309 of the Constitution of India.

The Court stated that it had found no error in fixing the seniority of the candidates, since the claimants had failed both tests and the candidates qualified at first instance had been placed above them . The Court further stated that the petitioner failed to establish a case against the state where he arbitrarily moved without conferred powers.

In the end, the Court held that it is explicit that there is no specific allegation made about the fraudulent exercise of powers to prolong the relaxation by the disputed notification, nor that there was no opportunity to issue a conditional appointment order to those candidates who did not pass the competency test. and to grant them a period of two years to pass the aforementioned tests. As 36 candidates had previously qualified, they were therefore placed above the petitioners in the gradation list. There is no evidence that the state government exercised the power to grant relaxation for any indirect or unauthorized purpose.

For the above reasons, the motion was dismissed.

Case Title: Vidya Bhushan and Others v State of Chhattisgarh with Related Issues

Click here to read/download the order