High Court of Punjab and Haryana, Chandigarh
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Iqbal Singh v. State of Punjab & Ors - CWP-7365-2005  RD-P&H 2963 (8 May 2006)
IN THE HIGH COURT OF PUNJAB AND HARYANA AT CHANDIGARH.
C.W.P.No.7365 of 2005
Date of Decision: 11 - 5 2006
Iqbal Singh ........Petitioner
State of Punjab and others ........Respondents
CORAM: HON'BLE MR.JUSTICE J.S.KHEHAR
HON'BLE MR.JUSTICE P.S.PATWALIA
Present: Mr.H.S.Sirohi, Advocate
for the petitioner.
Mr.M.S.Joshi, DAG, Punjab
for respondent Nos.1 and 2.
for respondent No.3.
Petitioner was appointed against a Class IV post in the office of Deputy Commissioner, Ferozepur on 6.8.1993. Class IV employees are eligible for promotion to Class III posts (as Clerks) in terms of the instructions dated 27.10.1998 issued by the Punjab Government. As per the said instructions 15% of Class III posts are to be filled up by promotion from amongst Class IV employees.
The eligibility conditions prescribed in the instructions are reproduced hereunder:- "I) There should be a provision for filling up 15% of Class III (Clerks) posts by promotion from amongst Class-IV employees, the possess a minimum educational qualification of matriculation (with Punjabi) and have a minimum of 5 years experience as such:
II) There should be a provision for a qualifying test in Punjabi type writing which should be equal to the one prescribed by CWP No.7365 of 2005 
the S.S.S.Board for such posts and it should be made essential to pass the test before a Class-IV employees is considered eligible for promotion. The test may be held by the appointing authority or any such authority to whom the powers for doing so are delegated by the appointing authority.
III) The service Rules of all the departments including those in which a provision for promotion of Class-IV employees to Class-III (Clerks) posts has already been made, should be amended in accordance with the aforesaid decisions." In terms of these instructions a type test was held on 26.3.1998. The petitioner took this test and successfully qualified the same. The petitioner states that in the seniority list of Class IV employees issued by the Deputy Commissioner, Ferozepur on 6.1.1997 the petitioner's name figures at serial No.217 while the name of one Surinder Singh falls at serial No.219. Surinder Singh who is junior to the petitioner was promoted as a Clerk on 1.7.2002. Petitioner claims that when he enquired about the reason for ignoring him, he came to know that since he did not have 5 years experience on the date when he sat in the Punjabi typewriting test, he was disentitled for promotion.
Petitioner further claims that one Tarsem Lal who was at serial No.203 and who had also passed the type test on 3.4.1998 along with the petitioner was ignored at the time when Surinder Singh had been promoted.
Tarsem Lal was also ignored for promotion on the same ground as the petitioner i.e. he did not have 5 years experience on the date when he sat in the Punjabi typewriting test. He filed Civil Writ Petition No.17792 of 2003, titled `Tarsem Lal v. State of Punjab and others'. His petition was allowed by a Division Bench of this Court on 19.11.2004 and hence petitioner's case is covered by the said decision.
The petitioner therefore contends in this writ petition that since he had duly passed the type test and also possessed 5 years experience on the date when Surinder Singh was promoted on 1.7.2002 he was wrongly ignored for CWP No.7365 of 2005 
promotion. He further relies upon the judgment rendered by this Court in Tarsem Lal's case (supra). He therefore claims that the respondents should be directed to promote him as Clerk with effect from the date when Surinder Singh his junior was promoted.
The Deputy Commissioner, Ferozepur filed a written statement opposing the writ petition. The only stand taken to contest the petitioner's claims is that since at the time when the petitioner sat in the typewriting test on 26.3.1998, he did not complete minimum experience of 5 years. Therefore, he is not entitled to promotion on the basis of qualifying that test. The respondents state that he would have to qualify the test after he fulfills 5 years experience and only then could be considered eligible for promotion.
We have heard Mr.H.S.Sirohi, learned counsel for the petitioner, Mr.M.S.Joshi, Deputy Advocate General, Punjab as also Mr.K.R.Dhawan, learned counsel appearing for respondent No.3 and perused the paperbook.
On a consideration of the case, we find the stand of the respondent- State to be wholly untenable. A reading of the instructions dated 27.10.1998 reproduced hereinabove would show that for being eligible for promotion to the post of Clerk, a Class IV employee should possesses minimum qualification of matriculation with Punjabi and have an experience of 5 years. Additionally, he should have qualified the test in Punjabi typewriting. There is no requirement in the instructions that a person should possess a minimum experience of 5 years as on the date when he sits in the Punjabi typewriting test. The requirement of qualifying the test is independent from the requirement of experience. It is on the date when promotion is to be made that the appointing authority would consider whether the senior most person has qualified the test and fulfills the educational qualification as also the qualification of experience. If on that date the qualification is fulfilled, the employee would be entitled to promotion. In the present case on 1.7.2002 when respondent No.3 was promoted, the petitioner had CWP No.7365 of 2005 
passed the Punjabi typewriting test and also fulfilled the requirement of 5 years experience. There is no dispute that the petitioner fulfilled the academic qualification as well. Hence, the petitioner was illegally ignored for promotion.
He is, therefore, entitled to be considered for promotion with effect from the date respondent No.3 was promoted treating him to be fully qualified in terms of the instructions dated 27.10.1998 on that date.
The aforesaid view which we are taking is fortified by a Division Bench judgment of this Court in Tarsem Lal's case (supra). The relevant observations of the Division Bench are as under:- "The petitioner joined as Peon, a Class IV post in the office of respondent No.2 i.e. The Deputy Commissioner, District Ferozepur.
As per the seniority list of Class-IV employees in the aforestated district, the name of the petitioner was shown at Serial No.203 and that of respondents No.3 and 4 has been shown at Serial No.214 and 219 respectively. Admittedly, the petitioner is senior to the aforestated respondents. The petitioner appeared in the type test of Class IV employees, which was held on March 26, 1998 and he qualified the same which is evident from the declaration of the result, copy Annexure P5 dated April 3, 1998. Surprisingly, the petitioner was asked to appear in the type test once all over again in the year 2002...
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The admitted facts are that the petitioner is definitely senior to respondents No.3 and 4, which fact stands admitted by both the official respondents and so also the private respondents. It is also the admitted fact that the petitioner did pass the Punjabi type test which was held on March 26, 1998. If that be so, the petitioner was not CWP No.7365 of 2005 
required to pass the type test once all over again. ...
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Be that as it may, the result of the second test would not deter the qualification acquired by the petitioner after having passed the type test held on March 26, 1998. It does not matter at all if the experience of five years is completed by the petitioner after five months of the aforestated test. There is no claim made against the petitioner by anyone that any person had become eligible earlier to the petitioner before he could complete the period of five years experience."
Accordingly a direction was issued by the Division Bench to consider the claim of Tarsem Lal for promotion from the date his junior was promoted. It may be stated here that Tarsem Lal is a colleague of the petitioner who was at serial No.203. He also raised objection to the promotion of Surinder Singh as is the case of the petitioner. The said judgment therefore fully supports the claim of the petitioner.
In view of the above, the writ petition is allowed and the respondents are directed to consider the case of the petitioner for promotion from Class IV post to the post of Clerk w.e.f. 1.7.2002 which is the date when Surinder Singh who is admittedly junior to the petitioner had been promoted. Let these directions be carried out within three months from the date of receipt of a copy of this judgment.
In the circumstances of this case there shall, however, be no order as to costs.
( P.S.PATWALIA )
( J.S.KHEHAR )
May 11, 2006. JUDGE
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