Manipur High Court orders cancellation of notifications for relaxing recruitment rules

The directives were issued after three writ petitions were filed by different employees of MSPCL/MSPDCL


Manipur High Court (PHOTO: IFP)

Single bench justice Kh Nobin, High Court of Manipur on Saturday directed the state commissioner or secretary (DP) to cancel or recall the respective notifications issued on January 8, 2018; February 24, 2018; February 25, 2019; January 2, 2021, towards the relaxation of recruitment rules, 1986 by March 5.

The directives were issued after three writ petitions were filed by different employees of MSPCL/MSPDCL on the inter-alia grounds that the actions of the state respondents granting promotion to the employees of the state Electricity department by way of relaxation of the Recruitment Rules, 1986 are arbitrary, illegal, mala fide, preferential treatment, extraneous consideration, unequal treatment amongst the equals being and it violates Article 14 and 16 of the Constitution of India.

The petitions stated that the state government keeps on making appointments on promotion by way of relaxing the Recruitment Rule to the employees of the state Electricity department on a one-time relaxation basis without showing any concern towards the employees of the MSPCL/MSPDCL.

None of the 23 managers (Elect) who were directly appointed vide orders dated 30-10-2014, were given a promotion to the post of deputy general manager (Elect), it stated.

The court as per proceedings, noted in the judgment order that 23 managers (Elect) were appointed before the 13 assistant engineers were recruited.

However, out of the 13 assistant engineers, five assistant engineers were further promoted to the next higher post of the executive engineers on order of January 30, 2018, after the relaxation of the Recruitment Rules, 1986, and they were designated as the deputy general manager (Elect) in the MSPDCL by order of April 24, 2018.

The court observed that it will definitely cause anguish amongst the employees of the MSPCL/MSPDCL which may prompt them to approach the court for redressal of their grievances, when the combined seniority is published.

The court directed the state commissioner (power) to recall or cancel the order of January 30, 2018 of appointing 22 assistant engineers on promotion to the post of executive engineers.

It also directed to recall or cancel by March 5 the order issued on February 27, 2018 of appointing as many as 42 section officer Grade-I on promotion to the post of the assistant engineer as well as the order of February 27, 2019 of appointing four assistant engineers on promotion to the post of the executive Engineer, and letter or order issued by its department after the expiry of three years from February 1, 2014 on which the Transfer Scheme, 2013 came into force.

The High Court also directed state commissioner (Power) to implement Clause 5(9)(d) of the Transfer Scheme, 2013 as quickly as possible, for which it should provide the option to its personnel/ employees, within twenty-one days from the date of receipt of a copy of the judgment and order, to be exercised by them within seven days thereafter.

After the expiry of the total days of twenty-eight days, the commissioner should take decisions for the absorption of its personnel as the employees of the MSPCL/MSPDCL, the court stated.

Further, the high court directed that after the personnel of the state Electricity department are absorbed in the MSPCL/MSPDCL as per the direction, MSPCL/MSPDCL authorities should prepare combined seniority lists of all cadres for the posts of manager (Elect); deputy general manager (Elect), general manager (Elect), etc. within a month.

The court stated that MSPCL/MSPDCL authorities should take into account the past services rendered by the personnel of the state Electricity department in terms of the Transfer Scheme, 2013, and should immediately take appropriate actions for holding DPCs for the purpose of their promotions to their respective higher posts.

First Published:Feb. 6, 2021, 8:31 p.m.

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