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HAV/DVR(MT) RADHAKRISHNA KURUP O.N. v UNION OF INDIA & ORS. - CW Case No. 5466 of 2005  RD-RJ 1547 (9 November 2005)
SB Civil Writ Petition No.5466/2005
HAV/DVR(MT)Radhakrishna Kurup O.N. v.UOI & Ors. 9th December, 2005
Date of Order ::
HON'BLE MR.JUSTICE GOVIND MATHUR
Mr. V.S.Sankhla for the petitioner.
Mr. Pankaj Bohra ]
Mr. Ravi Bhansali] for the respondents. ....
By this petition for writ a challenge is given by the petitioner to the order dated 27.4.2005 whereby Directorate General of Supplies & Transport,
Quartermaster General's Branch, Army Headquarters, New
Delhi, communicated to A.S.C. Records, South,
Bangalore that the case of relaxation of age limit for promotion to the next higher rank to Hawaldar
Radhakrishna Kurup (petitioner) was examined and not approved by the competent authority.
The cause sought to be agitated by the petitioner by way of present petition for writ is that para 149 of the Indian Army Regulations, 1987 prescribes for promotions to non commissioned officers in the cadre of junior commissioned officers. Para 149 of the Army Regulations, 1987 reads as under:-
"149.Promotions--JCOs.--(a) NCOs except those given in sub para (b) below will not normally be promoted to the rank of JCO if over 40 years of age or with more than twenty-two years' service.
(b)NCOs of the undermentioned categories will not be promoted to JCO rank if over 44 years of age or with more than 25 years of service:-
(i)Clerks GD, GD (SD) and Store.
(ii) Storekeeper (Storeman Technical).
(iii) Ammunition (Technicians) Examiners.
(iv) Personal Assistants (ASC).
(v) Instructors AEC.
(c)The age and service limits given in sub- paras (a) and (b) above may be waived in very exceptional cases with the permission of the COAS.
(d)Before a NCO is promoted to Junior
Commissioned Officer rank, or a probationary
JCO is confirmed in his rank he must successfully complete the prescribed cadre course laid down by the COAS from time to time.
(e)The recommending authority for grant of commission in each case will be as under:-
Bodyguards units and ]
Armoured Corps Regiments] ....... Commandant AC Regt.Centre.
The Regiment of Artillery ....... Artillery Promotion Board/OC Unit
Corps of Engineers .............. Commandant Engr. Gp.concerned.
Corps of Signals ................ Officer Incharge Signals Records.
Infantry ......................... OC unit.
ASC .............................. Officer Incharge ASC Records.
AMC/AD Corps ..................... Officer Incharge AMC Records.
AOC .............................. Comdt. AOC Centre and Records.
EME .............................. Officer Incharge EME Records.
RV Corps ......................... DRVs
AEC .............................. Officer Incharge AEC Records.
CP ............................... Officer Incharge CMP Records."
The petitioner has crossed the age limit prescribed under para 149, therefore, he claimed for age relaxation in accordance with clause (c) of para 149. The criteria for grant of age relaxation while making promotions is prescribed by the Army
Headquarters under its communication dated 8/14.9.1962. The case of the petitioner for grant of age relaxation was recommended by various officers in subordination to whom he worked. In spite of it age relaxation was not allowed to the petitioner and the decision in this regard was communicated by the communication impugned dated 27.4.2005.
The contention of counsel for the petitioner is that the case of the petitioner for grant of relaxation was not considered by the competent authority i.e. Chief of Army Staff. It is also contended by counsel for the petitioner that the respondents without taking into consideration the recommendations made by the officers competent denied for grant of age relaxation arbitrarily.
A reply to the writ petition has been filed on behalf of the respondents stating therein that the competent authority considered all the facts relevant and reached at the conclusion that case of the petitioner is not fit for grant of age relaxation. It is also stated that case of the petitioner was considered for the purpose of promotion and he was screened by the Departmental Promotion Committee on 22.6.2003 but for the reason that he crossed the maximum age limit of 44 years on 11.3.2003, being 11.3.1959, his date of birth, promotion was not accorded to him. The averments made in this regard in reply to the writ petition are worth to be noticed:-
"That in reply to the averments contained in para 8 of the writ petition, it is submitted that the individual had fulfilled all requisite qualifications as laid down for promotion to the rank of Nb Sub except becoming overage. As per Army HQ policy laid down, the personnel are required to be screened for further promotion strictly as per their seniority. The petitioner came into promotion zone along with his batch mates for vacancy occurring w.e.f. 01 Nov. 2003. He was screened in the DPC held on 20 Jun 2003 and the vacancy occurring as he has crossed the maximum age limit of 44 years on 11 Mar 2003 as his date of birth is 11 Mar 59. His batch mates were promoted w.e.f. 01 Nov 2003 as they were within the age limit of 44 years which is prescribed as maximum age limit to become Nb Sub. The present petitioner could not be promoted as he had already becoming overage w.e.f. 11 Mar 2003.
Secondly, the petitioner is also not eligible and entitle for benefit of the age relaxation for promotion, as for age relaxation the case of that candidate should be outstanding, exceptional and rare in nature which brings credit to the army like, he had win some extra ordinary service championship or he has been awarded any army medal like "mahaveer chakra", which brings credit to the army and retention of such candidate in army is an inescapable requirement of the service. So for grant of age relaxation, the competent authority has to see and examine the following requisites in a army personnel whose case has been recommended for promotion:
(1)SOME OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT
(2)A MOST PECULIAR CASE
(3)A RARE QUALIFICATION, which brings credit to army.
(4)Brilliant and unblemished, remarkable service record, which suggest that retention of such candidate is an inescapable requirement of service.
The competent authority i.e. Army HQ, examined the case of the petitioner in the light of staff channel recommendations and did not approved the grant of age relaxation as the requirement of police was not fulfilled by the petitioner."
I have also perused relevant record available with counsel for the respondents. From perusal of record it is clear that the Chief of Army Staff by an order dated 20.1.2003 authorised Additional Director
General Personnel Service (Army) to deal with all cases relevant to grant of relaxation of age and service limit for promotion to non commissioned officers to the rank of junior commissioned officers and extension of service of junior commissioned officers in terms of para 149(c) and note-1 under para 163 of the Defence Service Regulations/Regulations for the Army, 1987. The Additional Director General
Personnel Service (Army) after considering all material and recommendations relating to grant of age relaxation to the petitioner reached at the conclusion that the case of the petitioner is not worth to exercise power for age relaxation.
From perusal of contents of reply and original record I am satisfied that no illegality has been committed by the respondents in not granting age relaxation to the petitioner for the purpose of promotion. It is pertinent to note that the age relaxation is an exception and an army personnel cannot claim it as a matter of right. The respondents after considering all relevant facts reached at the conclusion that though the petitioner served Indian
Army with all dedications and efficiency but the same is not so outstanding as required for grant of relaxation in age limit for promotion. The decision of the authorities is based on fair assessment of service record of the petitioner. There is no allegation of malafides and bias, therefore, such a decision of the authorities does not require any interference of Court under Article 226 of the Constitution of India.
In view of it the petition for writ fails and, therefore, is dismissed.
( GOVIND MATHUR ),J. kkm/ps.
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