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S.Kanagasabai v. Secretary to Government - W.P. No.32044 of 2005  RD-TN 176 (12 January 2007)
IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT MADRAS
Dated : 12.01.2007
THE HONOURABLE MR.JUSTICE M.E.N.PATRUDU
W.P.Nos.32044 & 33958 of 2005 and 19766, 27356 & 28985 of 2006 S.Kanagasabai ..Petitioner in W.P.Nos.32044 & 33958 of 2005 P.Sundar ..Petitioner in W.P. No.19766/2006 K.Tamil Selvan ..Petitioner in W.P. No.27356/2006 1.A.Lakshmanan
10.K.L.Shanmugam ..Petitioners in W.P. No.28985/2006 Vs
1. The Secretary to Government
Government of Tamilnadu
Fort St. George
2. The Chief Engineer
Agricultural Engineering Dept.
No.328, Anna Salai
3.S.T.Sabarathinam ..Respondents in all the writ petitions 4.P.Subramanian
7.P.Dhandapani ..Respondents in W.P. No.27356 & 28985 of 2006 8.R.Rengaraj
9.V.Govindhan ..Respondents in W.P. No.28985/2006 PRAYER IN W.P.No.32044 of 2005
WRIT PETITION filed under Article 226 of the Constitution of India praying for the issuance of writ of Certiorarified Mandamus, to call for the records relating to the impugned order G.O.Ms.No.381 Agri (A.E.III) Dept. Dated 15.11.2002 and consequential G.O.Ms.No.569 Agri (A.E.III) Dept dated 20.11.2002 and quash the same in so far as it relates to in giving promotion to the third respondent. PRAYER IN W.P.No.33958 of 2005
WRIT PETITION filed under Article 226 of the Constitution of India praying for the issuance of writ of Certiorarified Mandamus, to call for the proceedings of the first respondent in G.O.Ms.No.202 Agricultural Department dated 09.08.2005 and quash the same and direct the first respondent to promote the petitioner to the post of Superintending Engineer, Agricultural Engineering Department. PRAYER IN W.P.No.19766 of 2006
WRIT PETITION filed under Article 226 of the Constitution of India praying for the issuance of writ of Certiorarified Mandamus, calling for the order passed by the first respondent in G.O.Ms.No.202 Agricultural (AA3) Department dated 09.08.2005 and quash the said order in so far as it relates to the third respondent and consequently issue a Mandamus restraining the respondents 1 & 2 from promoting any persons who are non Engineering Graduates to the post of Superintending Engineer or to higher post. PRAYER IN W.P.No.27356 of 2006
WRIT PETITION filed under Article 226 of the Constitution of India praying for the issuance of writ of Certiorarified Mandamus, to call for the records relating to G.O.Ms.No.17, Agriculture (AE.III) Department, dated 10.01.1994 issued by the Secretary to Government, Agriculture Department, Government of Tamilnadu, Madras-9 and to quash the said G.O. Besides holding that the absorption of respondents 3 to 7 in the cadre of Assistant Engineer (Agricultural Engineering) in the Agricultural Engineering Department is null and void and offend Articles 14 and 16 of the Constitution of India and to direct the respondents 1 and 2 to refix the seniority of the applicant and other directly recruited Assistant Engineers (Agricultural Engineering) by following the seniority as fixed by the Service Commission in the recruitment of Assistant Engineers (Agricultural Engineering) and issue such other consequential directions or orders so as to enable the Assistant Engineers (Agrl. Engineering) to secure promotion by following the seniority as fixed by the Service Commission. PRAYER IN W.P.No.28985 of 2006
WRIT PETITION filed under Article 226 of the Constitution of India praying for the issuance of writ of Certiorarified Mandamus, to call for the records on the file of the first respondent in connection with the order passed by him in G.O.Ms.No.17 dated 10.01.1994 and also the order passed by him in Lr.No.EEP.1/77223/94 dated 06.06.1995 and quash the same to the extent of the respondents 3 to 9 only and consequently direct the respondents to implement the seniority list drawn by the second respondent in his letter No.Ma.Pa.(Pa)/42683/87 dated 15.04.1987 by giving effect to the order of the Hon'ble Supreme Court of India in Civil Appeal No.3217 of 1989 dated 13.09.1994 confirming the order of the Hon'ble Division Bench of Madras High Court in W.A.Nos.359,279,565/89 dated 26.07.1989 with effect from the date of the vacancy in the post of Assistant Executive Engineer which is filled in violation of the ratio of 3:2 between the degree holders and the diploma holders. ---------------
W.P. Nos.32044 & 33958 of 2005:
Mr.N.G.R.Prasad for M/s.M.Jayaraman
W.P. No.19766 of 2006 :
W.P. No.27356 of 2006 :
W.P. No.28985 of 2006 :
R 1 & R2 in all the writ petitions :
Mr.R.Viduthalai, Advocate General assisted by Mrs.C.K.Vishnu Priya, GA R3 in W.P. No.33958 of 2005 :
R3 in W.P. No.19766 of 2006 :
Mr.AR.L.Sundaresan for M/s.AL.Gandhimathi C O M M ON O R D E R
1:00 An interesting issue, whether a non Engineering person a science graduate can be posted as an Engineer and thereafter promoted as Superintending Engineer and finally occupying the chair of Chief Engineer, is involved in these writ petitions. 2:00 Challenge in all the writ petitions is the appointment, absorption and subsequent promotion of B.Sc.(Agriculture) graduates in the cadre post of selection category Engineers in the Department of Agricultural Engineering in short the 'department'.
3.00 According to petitioners, the service Rules do not permit for such appointments. 3:01 Hence the rules are not questioned. 3:02 The legality and correctness of the Executive Orders of the Government are questioned. 3:03 The prayer is to quash the executive orders of government. 4:00 The petitioners are Engineering Graduates hereinafter referred as Engineers for the sake of convenience, whereas the graduates of B.Sc are referred as officers. 5.00 Since common question is involved between the identical parties, all the writ petitions are heard together and disposed of through this common Order. 6.00 The details of each writ petitions are noted herein: 6.01 Writ Petition No.32044 of 2005 OA No.41 of 2003 is filed before the State Administrative Tribunal by one of the Engineer by name S.Kanagasabai, questioning the absorption as well as the promotion of the third respondent Sri S.T.Sabarathinam, on the ground that the said third respondent is only a graduate of B.Sc (Agriculture) and he is not eligible for absorption or posting as a Engineer in the department and all his subsequent promotions are illegal. The above application is since transferred consequent on the abolition of the State Administrative Tribunal are now heard and disposed of. 6:02 Writ Petition No.33958 of 2005 One of the Engineer by name Kanagasabai is challenging the promotion of the said S.T.Sabarathinam as Superintending Engineer, as he do not possess the required qualification. The facts, the prayer in W.P.No.32044 of 2005 are same. 6:03 Writ Petition No.19766 of 2006 The General Secretary of the Engineering Graduate Association is challenging the promotion of the said S.T.Sabarathinam as Superintending Engineer, on the same ground that he do not possess the required qualification to be either absorbed as a Engineer or promoted thereafter upto the level of Superintending Engineer.
6.04 Writ Petition No.27356 of 2006 An application is filed before the State Administrative Tribunal and numbered as O.A.No.4863 of 1995 by an Engineer against the State and officers. The prayer of the Engineer is to quash the appointment/absorption order of the five officers who are shown as R3-R7 in the application, on the ground that they are not eligible to be absorbed in the cadre of Assistant Engineers in the Department of Agricultural Engineering, as they are only degree holders in B.Sc. (Agriculture) and their absorption is against the service rules, recruitment rules and the earlier orders of the Government and the policy of the State. The facts are that the persons with Engineering Degree in Agriculture were recruited into the department through Tamilnadu Public Service Commission and are working as Assistant Engineers, Assistant Executive Engineers etc and their seniority was fixed by the Service Commission itself, through the selection list. While so, some of the officers possessing B.Sc.Agricultural Degree and not an Engineering degree are in service of the Department of Agriculture in the Agricultural Engineering wing of the Department. However some officers were absorbed as Engineers as they are eligible as per Rules and guidelines. Whereas some other officers i.e. R3 to R7 are not eligible and the Government orders are clear in this regard. While so, later on an Executive order is obtained by R3 to R7 and it is illegal. 6:05 Writ Petition No.28985 of 2006 Identical relief is claimed.
The two respondents are the State, as well as the Chief Engineer of the department. The third respondent is S.T.Sabarathinam, an Officer, a graduate in science became the Superintending Engineer, without the degree in Engineering and now competing for promotion as Chief Engineer of the Department, the head. All of them have filed their counters, supporting the action of the Government. It is stated that the absorption of the officers, possessing B.Sc degree in Agriculture is legal and is strictly in accordance with the rules and there is no illegality even in promoting them. 8:00 Heard Mr.N.G.R.Prasad, Mrs.Malarvizhi Udayakumar, Mr.K.Rajkumar and Mr.R.Singaravelan, learned counsel appearing for the petitioners, Mr.R.Viduthalai,learned Advocate General appearing for the Respondents 1 & 2 and Mr. AR.L.Sundaresan and Mr.K.Sridhar, learned counsel appearing for the third respondent. 8:01 Very forceful arguments are advanced from both sides. 9:00 POINTS:
1. Whether the absorption/ appointment of B.Sc (Agriculture) Officers into the cadre post of Engineers in the Agricultural Engineering Department is permissible? 2. Whether the impugned order absorbing some of such Officers as Engineers is legal? 3. Whether the promotion of S.T.Sabarathinam as Superintending Engineer is in accordance with the service rules? 10:00 POINT 1:
10:01 The admitted facts are the Agricultural Engineering Department was carved out of the Agriculture Department from 01.02.1981. Engineering staff working in the wing became the employees of the Department. department. According to the Engineers, the Engineering staff means the persons who are holding degree in Engineering or Diploma in Engineering. The other persons possessing B.Sc (Agriculture) working in the Extension Wing of the department have to opt, in order to be absorbed in the Department. 10:02 It is important to note that when the Department was created, recruitment rules were framed. 10:03 Rule 6(b) granted an exemption to those Officers with B.Sc (Agriculture) from possessing B.E. Degree. 10:04 Tamilnadu Agricultural Engineering Service Special Rules are issued through G.O.Ms.No.1987, dated 28.08.1981, by the Agriculture department. These rules are issued consequent on the formation of the Agricultural Engineering Department viz., the department. A notification was issued in exercise of the power conferred by the proviso to Article 309 of the Constitution of India, and in supersession of the Special Rules for the Tamil Nadu Agricultural Service (Section I of Part III A) of the Special Rules and thereby Special Rules for the Tamil Nadu Agricultural Engineering Service have been made and those Rules have come into force on and from the 1st February 1981 forenoon. 10:05 The Constitution of the service is dealt under Rule 1. (a) The Service shall consist of various classes of posts namely The Chief Engineer (Agricultural Engineering), Superintending Engineer (Agricultural Engineering), Executive Engineer (Agricultural Engineering), Deputy Chief Engineer ( Agricultural Engineering). All the above are Selection Categories. (b) While so Rule 1(B) deals with ordinary categories known as Class IV and V and they are Assistant Executive Engineer (Agricultural Engineering) and Assistant Engineer (Agricultural Engineering) (c) The Rules says that the appointment to the above classes of post is as specified in Column (2) of the table enclosed to the Rule and shall be made by the methods specified in the corresponding entries in column (3) thereof. (d) The table discloses that Class V post, Assistant Engineer, in ordinary category is by direct recruitment. The Assistant Executive Engineer in Class IV is either by direct recruitment or by promotion from among the persons of Class V or by recruitment by transfer among the persons holding the post of Junior Engineer (Agricultural Engineering). (e) Whereas for Selection categories that is for Class I, II and III for the post of Chief Engineer, Superintending Engineer and Executive Engineer respectively, it is only by promotion from the Feeder categories. (f) They deal with qualification and it includes age for each class and other qualifications such as educational qualifications. 10:06 While so the perusal, understanding and application of Rule 6 is an answer to the point. Rule 6 is reproduced: "6.Qualificatiaons (a) Age. No persons shall be eligible for appointment by direct recruitment to the posts in the classes specified in Column (1) of the Table below, if he has completed or will complete the age specified in the corresponding entries in column (2) thereof on the 1st day of July of the year in which the selection for appointment is made. THE TABLE
Class Age 1 2
Class IV 30 years Class V 28 years
Provided that for appointment to the post of Assistant Engineer (Agricultural Engineering) the age limit shall be 30 years in the case of person holding a Post-Graduate degree. (b) Other qualifications : No person shall be eligible for appointment to several classes of posts specified in col.1 of the Annexure to these rules, by the method specified in column 2 corresponding entries in column (3) of the said Annexure. Provided that Graduates possessing B.Sc.(Agri) degree who are already in service on the date of issue of these rules shall not be required to possess degree in Engineering. (emphasis supplied) (c) Wherever service for any specific period has been prescribed in these rules as one of the qualification for promotion, it shall mean only the service rendered in a regular capacity in the Agriculture Department. Provided that the Govt. may permit the service rendered in any post outside the Department to be reckoned service for the purpose of this sub-rule, if the duties and responsibilities of the post held are comparable to those corresponding post in the Agriculture Department and the nature of work done is predominantly agricultural engineering. 10:07 ANNEXURE
This Annexure to the Rules deals with three columns. This is the most crucial factor for appointment, promotion etc. Annexure is as follows: ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ |Class and Post | Methods of | Qualification | | | recruitment | | | 1 | 2 | 3 | |===============|========================|===============================| | | | | |CLASS -I | | | | | | | | |By promotion | 1. A degree in Engineering | | |from among the | 2. Service for a total period | |Chief Engineer |holders of the | of not less than three | |(Agrl. Engg.) |post in Class II | years as Superintending | | | | Engineer. | | | | | | | | Provided that, other | | | | things being equal, | | | | preference shall be | | | | given to persons who | | | | possess a degree in | | | | Agricultural Engineering | | | | | |CLASS-II | | | | | | | |Superintending | By promotion from | 1. A Degree in Engineering | |Engineer | among the holders | and | |(Agrl. Engg.) | of the posts in | | | | Class III | 2. Service for a total | | | | period of not less than | | | | three years as | | | | Executive Engineer or | | | | Deputy Chief Engineer. | | | | | | | | 3. Must not have completed | | | | the age of 55 years | | | | on the crucial date | | | | of the year in which | | | | the selection for | | | | appointment to the | | | | post is made. | | | | | | | | | |CLASS -III | | | | | | | |1. Executive | By promotion from | 1. Service for a total | | Engineer | among the | period of not less | | (Agrl. Engg.)| holders of the | than three years in | | | post in | the post of Asst. | | | Class IV. | Executive Engineer | | | | (Agrl. Engg.) | | | | | |2. Dy. Chief | | 2. A pass in the following | | Engineer | | tests, namely: | | (Agrl. Engg.) | | | | | | a. Account Test for | | | | Public Works Department | | | | Officers and Subordinates; | | | | | | | | b. Departmental Test for | | | | Officers of the Tamil Nadu | | | | Agriculture Dept.; and | | | | | | | | c. District Office Manual Test| | | | | | | | Provided that a pass in the | | | | Accounts for Public Works | | | | Department Officers and | | | | Subordinates shall not be | | | | necessary if he has already | | | | passed the Accounts Test | | | | for Subordinate Officers | | | | Parts I and II. | | | | | | | | | |CLASS -IV | | | | | | | |Assistant | i. By direct | A Master Degree in | |Executive | recruitment | Agricultural Engineering; | |Engineer | | or a Master Degree in | |(Agrl. Engg.) | ii. By promotion | Civil or Mechanical | | | from among the | Engineering if candidate | | | holders of the | with a Master Degree in | | | post in Class V. | Agricultural Engineering | | | | is not available. | | | | | | | | 1. Service for a total | | | | period of not less than | | | | three years in the post | | | | of Assistant Engineer | | | | (Agrl. Engg.) | | | | | | | | 2. A pass in the following | | | | test namely; | | | | | | | | (a) Account Test for Public | | | | Works Department | | | | Officers and | | | | Subordinates. | | | | | | | | (b) Departmental test for | | | | Officers of the Tamil | | | | Nadu Agricultural | | | | Department; and | | | | | | | | (c) District Office Manual | | | | Test. | | | | | | | | Provided that a pass in | | | | the Account Test for Public | | | | Works Department Officers | | | | and Subordinates shall not | | | | be necessary if he has | | | | already passed the Account | | | | Test for Subordinate | | | | Officers Parts I and II. | | | | | | | | | | | iii.By recruitment by | 1. A diploma in Agrl. | | | transfer from among | Engg. or a diploma in | | | the holders of the | Civil or Mechanical | | | post of Junior Engineer| Engineering | | | (AE) in the Tamil | | | | Nadu Agrl. Subordinate | 2. Service for a total | | | Service. | period of not less than | | | | three years as Junior | | | | Engineer (Agrl. Engg.) | | | | | | | | 3. A pass in the following | | | | test namely; | | | | | | | | a. Account Test for | | | | Public Works Department | | | | Officers and | | | | Subordinates. | | | | | | | | b. Departmental test for | | | | Officers of the | | | | Tamilnadu Agricultural | | | | Department and | | | | | | | | c. District Office Manual | | | | Test. | | | | | | | | Provided that a pass in the | | | | Account Test for Public | | | | Works Department and | | | | Subordinates shall not be | | | | necessary if he has already | | | | passed the Account Test for | | | | Subordinate Officers | | | | Part I & II. | | | | | | | | | |CLASS -V | | | | | | | |Asst. Engineer | By Direct recruitment | i. B.E. (Agrl) or | |(A.E.) | | B.Tech (Agrl Engg) | | | | or B.Sc., (Agrl. Engg.) | | | | or | | | | | | | | ii.B.E.(Mechanical)orB.E. | | | | (Civil) | | | | or B.Tech (Automobile | | | | Engineering) Class and | | | | Post | | | | | | | | Provided that candidates | | | | possessing qualification in | | | | item (ii) shall be | | | | considered only if no | | | | candidate with | | | | qualification in item (i) | | | | is available. | ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ 10:08 The plain reading of Rule 6(b) with Annexure clarified the following: Rule 6(b) starts with negative and therefore the legislature in its wisdom has clarified that no person shall be eligible for appointment to several classes of posts specified in column (1) of the Annexure by the method specified in column (2) with corresponding entries in column (3) of the said Annexure. As far as Class V Assistant Engineers are concerned, it is by direct recruitment and the candidates possessing a Bachelor of Engineering in Agriculture or Bachelor of Technology in Agricultural Engineering or Bachelor of Engineering in Mechanical or Civil alone are eligible. The proviso says that the candidates possessing qualification in B.Tech, Agricultural Engineering or B.E. Mechanical or B.E. Civil shall be considered only if no candidate with B.E.Agricultural qualification is available. Therefore Annexure is specifying that the Engineering Graduate with Agriculture must be preferred and only in the absence of such candidates other Engineering graduates with Agricultural Engineering or with mechanical or Civil Engineering can be considered. Therefore the State and the legislature has clarified that they prefer only Engineering Graduates for the post of Assistant Engineer. It is the lowest category of post in this class and it is by direct recruitment. While so Rule 6(b) deals with an exception and it is for inservice Officers. It says that graduates possessing B.Sc (Agriculture) who are already in service on the date of issue of those rules shall not be required to possess degree in Engineering. 10:09 Therefore the State and the legislature has taken care about the inservice employees who are already working with the department by the date of issuance of those Rules, possessing only graduation in B.Sc Agriculture and then can also be considered. 10:10 The Class of post specified in Annexure starts from Class I viz. Chief Engineer and continues with Superintending Engineer, Executive Engineer, Deputy Chief Engineer and Assistant Executive Engineer. All these posts shall be filled only by promotion from their next lower category. Therefore it is clear that in order to become a Chief Engineer, one must be working as a Superintending Engineer in Class II and similarly to become a Superintending Engineer, one should be working as Executive Engineer or Deputy Chief Engineer. These three classes are special selection categories and are restricted only by promotion and there is no direct recruitment. 10:11 Therefore to become either an Executive Engineer or Deputy Chief Engineer in Class III, one should be working as a Assistant Executive Engineer because this is a feeder post for the higher categories. 10:12 Thus the argument of the counsel for the third respondent that B.Sc Agricultural graduate can be posted either as a Executive Engineer or a Superintending Engineer, since the proviso to Rule 6(b) is silent, is without any merit. The plain reading of Rule 6(b) says that no persons is eligible for posting in the various class of posts unless they possess the qualifications mentioned in Column 3 of the Annexure. The only exception is that inservice B.Sc graduates is exempted from Engineering degree. But the promotion to higher post is from feeder post. 10:13 The combined reading of Rule 6 Proviso (B) and the Annexure clarifies that inservice officer with B.Sc Agriculture Degree can be considered for appointment for either Class V of Class IV not for any other superior class of post, provided if he is in service by the date of issuance of those rules despite of the fact that he has no Engineering degree. 10:14 While so after the issuance of the above the Rules which have come into existence on 01.02.1981, the Government has issued G.O.Ms.No.1987 on 28.08.1981 enclosing the Special Rules and are published in the Tamil Nadu Government Gazette. 10:15 Thereafter the Government issued G.O.Ms.No.1973, Agriculture (AE.III) Department, dated 19.11.1983 for allotment of Agricultural Officers from the Directorate of Agriculture to the Department of Agricultural Engineering. 10:16 This is the most crucial and very important order of the Government in all these cases and followed by the Government in the initial stage and thereafter ignored. The flimsy reasons are understandable. 10:17 The Government Orders reads that Government finalized the options given by the officers working in the wing of Agricultural Engineering of Agriculture Department who possess B.Sc.,(Agriculture) degree, and the Director of Agriculture has sent the options of those Officers who under went Soil Conservation training and who were working in Extension Wing of the Agriculture Department for the consideration of the Government for absorption in the Agricultural Engineering Department on a permanent basis. 10:18 It is clear that as per the directions of the Government, the Director of Agriculture was asked to send options of the Deputy Agricultural Officers, who were then working in the wing of Agricultural Engineering in the Department on 31.01.1981 and who have undergone the Soil Conservation Training alone must be opted and the Director has to obtain options from such persons. Thereafter as per Government Order, the options are obtained and the Director sent the proposal. 10:19 Then the Government after careful examination of the options given by the Agricultural Officers and as per the recommendations of the Director of Agriculture and also Chief Engineer (Agricultural Engineering) consider that it is just and proper that those Deputy Agricultural Officers who have undergone Soil Conservation Training at Government cost and worked in Agricultural Engineering Wing for 4 to 12 years shall be permanently allotted to Agricultural Engineering Department. Accordingly Annexure I and II are issued. Names of 18 Agricultural Officers have figured in Annexure I and the Government Order clarifies that those 18 Agricultural Officers alone are permanently transferred to the Department of Agricultural Engineering from the Department of Agriculture by terminating their rights in the Department of Agriculture. 10:20 The Government Order also clarifies that the officers whose names are mentioned in Annexure II to the Government Order shall permanently retained in the Department of Agriculture terminating their services in the Department of Agricultural Engineering. 10:21 Therefore the Government Order is very clear and specific that those 18 candidates, whose names are mentioned in Annexure I of G.O.Ms.No.1973 alone are permanently transferred to the Department of Agricultural Engineering by terminating their rights in the Department of Agriculture whereas, the names of 10 Agricultural Officers mentioned in Annexure II of G.O.Ms.No.1973 are permanently retained in the Department of Agriculture terminating their rights for ever in the Department of Agricultural Engineering. 10:22 This is an admitted fact.
10:23 The one reason for not considering those 10 Agricultural Officers by the Government is that they did not undergo the Soil Conservation Training. There may be some other reasons. Because neither the Director nor the Chief Engineer recommended. 10:24 Whatever be the reason, it is clear from G.O.Ms.No.1973, Agriculture (AE.III) Department, dated 19.11.1983, that the Government has permanently retained 10 Agricultural Officers in the Department of Agriculture and it is specifically stated that their rights in the Department of Agricultural Engineering is terminated. 10:25 Therefore the absorption of B.Sc graduates into the cadre post of Engineers in the department is permissible provided that those B.Sc graduates must be working with the department by the date of issuance of the Rules and they can be absorbed after obtaining their options and it is in accordance with rules and guidelines. 10:26 In matters of absorptions and permanent transfers of individuals, the consent of the persons are absolutely necessary. The willingness of individuals accepting for absorption is important and this minimum requirement for absorption is also highly essential and consent of the heads of the two departments is also important. 10:27 So keeping all these in the mind, the Government has called for options. As per the directions of the Government, the Director of Agriculture was asked to receive options from the Deputy Agricultural Officers, who are working in Agricultural Engineering Department on 31.01.1981 and who have undergone the Soil Conservation training can be opted for absorption in the new department viz., Agricultural Engineering Department on permanent basis. Accordingly some of the officers have given their options. The Government through. G.O.Ms.No.1973, Agriculture (AE.III) Department, dated 19.11.1983 has issued, wherein 18 Agricultural Officers are permanently transferred to the Department of Agricultural Engineering from the Department of Agriculture, terminating their rights in the Department of Agriculture, whereas 10 Agricultural Officers are permanently retained in the Department of Agriculture terminating their rights in the Department of Agricultural Engineering. 10:28 Therefore this point is answered and accordingly the graduates with B.Sc Agriculture, who are inservice of the department as on 31.01.1981 and who have undergone Soil Conservation Training by then and who have been permanently allotted to the department are undoubtedly eligible for absorption and it is permissible. 11:00 POINTS 2 & 3
11:01 Aggrieved by G.O.Ms.No.1973, the respondents herein more particularly S.T.Sabarathinam filed writ petition, as he was reverted to the Agriculture Department. Writ Petition 2837 of 1986 is filed. Another writ petition 4289 of 1986 filed by another Agricultural Officer, who is the fifth respondent in W.P.No.27356 of 2006. Both of them are permanently reverted to their parent department. Both the writ petitions are transferred to the State Administrative Tribunal on the ground of jurisdiction and they are numbered as T.A. No.413 of 1992 and T.A. No.154 of 1993. 11:02 The Government filed detailed counter in the above cases contending that the third respondent and fifth respondent who are only Officers with B.Sc degree are ineligible to be absorbed as they do not fulill the required qualifications, as such they are permanently reverted to the Agricultural Department. The counter filed by the Government is very clear that both the Officers are ineligible to be considered for absorption into Agricultural Engineering Department. As such the Government has permanently terminated their rights for absorption to the Agricultural Engineering Department. 11:03 This admission on behalf of the Government who is the first respondent herein at the earliest point of time in a Court case is very important because the Government has taken a specific stand that those Agricultural Officers who are permanently terminated from Engineering Department are not entitled for absorption. 11:04 Strangely the Government has changed its stand subsequently. Lets us look into the deeds and misdeeds of the governance at executive level to please and favour the ineligible officers. 11:05 The above two Officers have withdrawn their cases on 07.01.1994 and 10.01.1994. So they did not succeed in the Court of law. While so on 10.01.1994, the same day the Government issued G.O.Ms.No.17, Agriculture (AE III) Department dated 10.01.1994, for the permanent absorption of those Agricultural Officers who are permanently terminated their rights in the Agricultural Engineering Department. The Annexure to the above Government Order discloses that the third respondent by name S.T.Sabarathinam, the officer, who has been permanently terminated as he is not eligbile is now absorbed on permanent basis. 11:06 This Order in G.O.Ms.No.17 is questioned by the Engineers in these writ petitions. 11:07 If this Government Order is set aside or quashed by the Court, all the subsequent Orders of the Government will be declared as null and void.
11:08 Thus it is relevant to note the background facts. The third respondent viz., S.T.Sabarathinam withdrew his application on 07.01.1994 questioning the validity of G.O.Ms.No.1973. The fifth respondent withdrew his application on 10.01.1994. On the same day, the Government has issued G.O.Ms.No.17, Agriculture (AE III) Department dated 10.01.1994, absorbing the third respondent permanently to the Department of Agricultural Engineering. The Government Order says that the allotment of S.T.Sabarathinam to the Department of Agriculture through G.O.Ms.No.1973, Agriculture, dated 19.11.1983 is cancelled. 11:09 From the admitted facts it is evident that the Government has issued originally G.O.Ms.No.1973 on 19.11.1983, permanently retaining the said S.T.Sabarathinam in the Department of Agriculture and permanently terminating his rights in the Department of Agricultural Engineering. It is on the basis of the recommendations of the Director of Agriculture and the Chief Engineer (Agricultural Engineering) and after considering the various facts and circumstances more particularly undergoing Soil Conservation Training. 11:10 This was challenged by the said S.T. Sabarathinam in the Court. 11:11 The Government filed a detailed counter supporting their G.O.Ms.No.1973, Agriculture, dated 19.11.1983 by stating that the said S.T.Sabarathinam is ineligible to be absorbed and only 18 officers who fulfill the qualifications alone are eligible and accordingly they are absorbed and the said S.T.Sabarathinam was permanently reverted to the Agricultural Department. 11:12 When the said important issue is being contested between the said S.T.Sabarathinam and the Government before the Court of law, he has withdrawn his case without assigning any reason. 11:13 Immediately G.O.Ms.No.17 Agriculture (AE-III Department dated 10.01.1994 was issued, absorbing him permanently without assigning any reasons. 11:14 The plain perusal of G.O.Ms.No.17 discloses that through G.O.1661 dated 14.07.1982, 34 B.Sc Agriculture degree holders, who were working in the composite department of Agriculture in the cadre of Assistant Executive Engineer (Agricultural Engineering) are absorbed in the Agricultural Engineering Department after its bifurcation with effect from 01.02.1981. There is no dispute about it because Rule 6(b) permits for the same. G.O.Ms.No.17 further says that through G.O.Ms.No.1973 dated 19.11.1983, 18 Agricultural Officers are permanently absorbed as they have completed six months Soil Conservation training and are working in Agricultural Department as on 31.01.1981. There is no dispute about it and there is no illegality or absurdity in issuing these two Government Orders viz. G.O.Ms.No.1661 dated 14.07.1982 and G.O.Ms.No.1973 dated 19.11.1983. While so in Para 2 of G.O.Ms.No.17, the Government says that the General Secretary, Tamil Nadu Government Soil and Water Conservation Officers Association has addressed a letter that there are eight Agricultural Officers continuously working in Agricultural Engineering Department from the date of its formation and they were not absorbed for want of six months Soil Conservation training as such the Association requested the Government to absorb them permanently in the Agricultural Engineering Department.
On the basis of this request, the Government had issued G.O.Ms.No.17. In Para 3, it is stated that those eight Agricultural Officers who did not satisfy the criterion laid down for having completed six months Soil Conservation training but are absorbed. The observations of the Government in the Government Order is some of them have been allowed to continue in the Agricultural Engineering Department for the past 12 years and thereby they gained experience in the Agricultural Engineering Department, therefore they are permanently absorbed. 11:15 Whether an employee without the requisite qualifications can be absorbed in any important and superior posts on the basis of the length of his service? If the answer is yes and if it is the policy of the Government many office attenders or official drivers working in the Secretariat of the State should be absorbed immediately into superior category of posts such as Assistants, Section Officers, Secretaries of various classes and even they can reach the chair of Chief Secretary without the necessary qualification. Is the Government ready to do it so that there will be no discrimination.
11:16 In the opinion of the Court, the Order of the Government issued through G.O.Ms.No.17 dated 10.01.1994 is patently illegal, absurd and highly unethical. 11:17 The reason is that S.T.Sabarathinam , third respondent herein is permanently retained in the Department of Agriculture by terminating his right in the Department of Agricultural Engineering. Having issued orders retaining him permanently in the parent department viz., Agricultural Department and having terminated his right for absorption in the Department of Agricultural Engineering, on the basis of the recommendations of the Director of Agriculture and the Chief Engineer (Agricultural Engineering), and due to the fact that he is not eligible, the Government ought not to have issued the fresh Government Order through G.O.Ms.No.17 dated 10.01.1994 only on the basis of the letter of a General Secretary of an association. This association letter is dated 21.09.1992 . Thus it is clear that the Association has addressed a letter on 21.09.1992, by then the third respondent has already challenged G.O.Ms.No.1973 by way of writ and his Original Application was pending before the State Administrative Tribunal. Thereafter the Government has filed a detailed counter in the above case justifying for issuance of G.O.Ms.No.1973 and disputing the claim of the third respondent for absorption and claiming that he is ineligible to be absorbed. Suddenly the Government has issued G.O.Ms.No.17 dated 10.01.1994 soon after the third respondent withdraw his case in the Court. This Government Order is issued without the recommendation of the Heads of the Department of both. It is a malafide act. 11:18 MALA FIDE and BONA FIDE:-
In PRATAP SINGH VS. STATE OF PUNJAB AIR 1964 SUPREME COURT 72
It has been held as follows:
" ii) The Constitution enshrines and guarantees the rule of law and Art.226 is designed to ensure that each and every authority in the State, including the Government, acts bona fide and within the limits of its power and when a Court is satisfied that there is an abuse or misuse of power and its jurisdiction is invoked, it is incumbent on the Court to afford justice to the individual. The second ground of attack on the orders might be viewed from two related aspects of ultra vires pure and simple and secondly as an infraction of the rule that very power vested in a public body or authority has to be used honestly, bona fide and reasonably, though the two often slide into each other. When a power is exercised for a purpose or with an intention beyond the scope of or not justified by the instrument creating the power, in legal parlance it would be a case of a fraud on a power, though no corrupt motive or bargain is imputed. In this sense, if it could be shown that an authority exercising a power has taken into account-it may even be bona fide and with the best of intentions-as a relevant factory something which it could not properly take into account in deciding whether or not to exercise the power or the manner or extent to which it should be exercised, the exercise of the power would be bad. Sometimes courts are confronted with cases where the purposes sought to be achieved are mixed, some relevant and some alien to the purpose. The Courts have, on occasions, resolved the difficulty by finding out the dominant purpose which impelled the action and where the power itself is conditioned by a purpose, have proceeded to invalidate the exercise of the power when any irrelevant purpose is proved to have entered the mind of the authority. This is on the principle that if in such a situation the dominant purpose is unlawful then the act itself is unlawful and it is not cured by saying that they had another purpose which was lawful. Treating it as a question of ultra vires, the question is what is the nature of the power which has been granted to achieve a definite object in which case, it would be conditioned by the purpose for which it is vested. Doubtless, he who seeks to invalidate or nullify any act or order must establish the charge of bad faith, an abuse or a misuse by Government of its powers. While the indirect motive or purpose, or bad faith or personal ill-will is not to be held established except on clear proof thereof, it is obviously difficult to establish the state of a man's mind, though this may sometimes be done." 11:19 In the instant case, the Government in the above Government G.O.Ms.No.17 it is observed that those Agricultural Officers did not satisfy the criterion laid down for completing six months Soil Conservation Training. It is for the same reasons the Government has permanently retained the third respondent S.T.Sabarathinam in the Agriculture Department and terminated his rights for absorption in the Agricultural Engineering Department. Admittedly he has not completed training. If so, without asking the views of the Director of Agriculture or the Chief Engineer of the Agricultural Engineering Department and without the request of the concerned eight Agricultural Officers, whether they are opting for absorption, G.O.Ms.No.17 has been issued. 11:20 More interesting facts have revealed during the course of arguments. It is stated on behalf of the petitioners that out of the eight Agricultural Officers absorbed through G.O.Ms.17, an Officer by name V.Krishnakumar listed in Sl.No.7 in the annexure of G.O.Ms.No.17 is ordered to be absorbed but who had already resigned from the department of Agriculture in 1987 itself, long before the so called request letter of the General Secretary of the Soil and Water Conservation Officers Association, as his letter is dated 21.01.1992 and on the basis of this letter alone G.O.ms.No.17 was issued. Therefore it is evident that a person who has resigned from the department in 1987 and who is no more in service of the department is ordered to be absorbed to another department. 11:21 This is nothing but non application of mind. Further it is an Order in hurry, burying the rules, regulations, guidelines and the well established norms and principles and it is an act with malafide intention. 11:22 Similarly it is stated that one Mr.S.Jeyaraman, listed at Sl.No.6 of Annexure of the Government Order who is already working in the Department of Agriculture, as Assistant Director of Agriculture for more than five years, but in the Annexure, it is stated that he is working as Agricultural Officer only. 11:23 While so, the most surprising fact brought to the notice of the Court is Mr.K.M.Bellie, another Agricultural Officer, shown at Sl.No.3 of the Annexure of G.O.Ms.No.17 is said to have deceased two years before the issuance of the above Government Order, but still a dead man is ordered to be absorbed. 11:24 What a funny governance of the State. Should the Court and Society be the silent spectators for all this mockery. Can a clerk in secretariat or a Secretary in his chamber rule the roost claiming that he is Government and it is supreme and its orders are unquestionable. Fortunately the rule of law of this land authorises the Court of law for a judicial review of administrative action and this sort of malice acts of few individuals bringing bad name to the entire well educated administration of the State must be focussed in the society, so that there will be check and the work of the Court will be reduced. 11:25 The Government did not contradict the above facts. Therefore the above factual aspects indicates that the said representation of the association alleged to have been given on 21.01.1992 appears to be not correct. Even if it is correct without verifying the true facts and ignoring field information, whether a particular person is actually working with the department or not, whether a particular person is working as a Agricultural Officer or in a higher category, or whether a particular Officer is alive or dead or the Officer is interested and willing to accept the absorption, the Orders are issued and these orders are issued only to accommodate the third respondent S.T.Sabarathinam, whose rights for absorption in the Agricultural Engineering Department are permanently terminated through G.O.Ms.No.1973. He is the main person questionable and condonable as he is the main beneficiary out of the entir tragedy. 11:26 Basing on this Government Order, the said S.T.Sabarathinam is absorbed into the department with continuity of service. Another serious illegality. He is not on rolls of the Agricultural Engineering Department from 19.11.1983 because G.O.Ms.No.1973 is issued on 19.11.1983 terminating his rights in the Department of Agricultural Engineering forever. Till the issuance of G.O.Ms.No.17 on 10.01.1994, he is not expected to work with the Department of Agricultural Engineering. If he is permitted to work it is another illegality. If so how can his services are being counted as if he is working with the said department continuously from the date of his entry into service. 11:27 For example, this Court would like to compare the services between two officers one is the writ petitioner by name Kanagasabai. The other is the third respondent by name S.T.Sabarathinam. They are the main characters in this episode. One is a victim, but his legal battle would make him a hero in the hearts of Engineers. The other is the illegal beneficiary and I do not wish to say any thing more about his character and it is left to his own conscious. +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ |Details | Kanagasabai | S.T.Sabarathinam | |==============|===============================|========================| |Qualification |M.E. Mechanical Engineering |B.Sc Agriculture | |--------------|-------------------------------|------------------------| |Appointment |1972 TNPSC | 1974 Deputy | | |Agricultural Engineering | Agricultural Officer | | |Supervisor | | |--------------|-------------------------------|------------------------| |TNPSC | 92/1972 | 134/1974 | |Seniority | | | |--------------|-------------------------------|------------------------| |Soil | | | |Conservation |Undergone training in 1974 |Did not undergo training| |Training | | | |--------------|-------------------------------|------------------------| |Service in |Since 1972 |19.11.1983 reverted to | |Department | |Agriculture Department | |--------------|-------------------------------|------------------------| |Redesignated | |Absorbed on 10.01.1994 | |as Assistant |20.11.1982 |(but given seniority | |Engineer |(on acquiring B.E.Degree) |from 1974) | |--------------|-------------------------------|------------------------| |Assistant | | | |Executive |15.09.1997 |10.07.1998 with | |Engineer | |effect from 1995 | |--------------|-------------------------------|------------------------| |Executive | | | |Engineer |25.06.2004 |15.11.2002 | |--------------|-------------------------------|------------------------| |Superintending| | | |Engineer |- |12.08.2005 | +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ 11:28 It is clear that petitioner Kanagasabai is a Master Degree holder in Mechanical Engineering and appointed in the year 1972 through Public Service Commission in the Agricultural Engineering service and senior as per the inter se seniority list and has undergone training in the Soil Conservation and serving the department from 1972. He is not considered for the post of Executive Engineer or Superintending Engineer whereas S.T.Sabarathinam, the third respondent, who is a B.Sc Agricultural graduate who was appointed only as a Deputy Agricultural Officer in 1974 that is after Kanagasabi and whose inter se seniority in the year 1974 is 134, much below than the other officer and who has not undergone training in the Soil Conservation and whose right is permanently terminated for absorption in the Engineering Department, but who has been absorbed from opening the back door a black hole through G.O.Ms.No.17 dated 10.01.1994, given seniority from 1974 i.e. from the date of his appointment and got promoted ignoring legitimate expectations and legal rights of all other Senior Engineers. 11:29 Therefore here is a case that intentionally and knowingly for the reasons best known to the concerned, the third respondent is favoured illegally from 10.01.1994 onwards from the date of issuance of G.O.Ms.No.17 dated 10.01.994 and got absorption into the department illegally who is not eligible even according to the Government as per their own counter contentions. It is not a case of rectification of mistake. He has been favoured by absorption through illegal and irregular order and the Government invited criticism by issuing such bad order. The story did not stop at that stage. He was given seniority with effect from the date of his appointment as a Deputy Agricultural Officer in the Department of Agriculture, when he is not working in the department of Agricultural Engineering. Though he has been terminated permanently from the Agricultural Engineering Department on 19.11.1983 till 10.01.1994 i.e. nearly for nine years his services are counted as if he is senior, and the senior most Engineers in the Department are ignored. He has been given promotion after promotion. It is clear the said S.T.Sabarathinam is the blue eyed boy of the Government irrespective of the change of power at the State level. The Court has no hesitation to say that he can be a best Manager than a best Engineer as he knows how to manage the files and persons dealing with files in his favour rather than taking care and interest of the department of the State. Unfortunately such persons have been given recognition by the State. Therefore the Court is of the opinion that such person should not be permitted to continue in any Department of the State. The Chief Executive of the State and the Chief Secretary of the State is directed to place this issue before the Head of Government and rectify the mistake forthwith. 11:30 The counter affidavit filed on behalf of the State in the writ petition filed by the third respondent renumbered as T.A.No.413 of 1992 discloses that he worked as Deputy Agricultural Officer (Extension) Gudalur from 01.07.1978 to 11.09.1980 and thereafter as an Assistant Engineer (Agricultural Engineering) Pandalur from 15.09.1980 to 15.09.1983 under the Joint Director of Horticulture, Ooty. The particulars furnished by the State discloses that he was not working with the Agricultural Engineering wing of the Agricultural Department till 15.09.1980. However as on 31.01.1981, he was working in Agricultural Engineering wing of the Agriculture Department whileso from 16.09.1983 onwards, he was working only with the Agriculture department and not in Agricultural Engineering Department as he worked as an Assistant Engineer in Agricultural Engineering from 16.09.1983 at Cherambadi and an Agricultural Officer in Agricultural Engineering of the Agricultural Department at Gudalur. Therefore it is clear that he was not working with Agricultural Engineering Department. In the same counter it is also stated that for permanent absorption to the Agriculture Department and the Agricultural Engineering department Government issued orders to obtain option only from the Deputy Agricultural Officers, who were actually working in the Department of Agricultural Engineering and who had actually undergone six months Soil Conservation Training at the Government of India Training Centre and a deadline was fixed as 18.04.1981 for giving the options and such candidates who have undergone training in Soil and Water Conservation at the Government of India Training Centre alone are permitted to opt for permanent absorption and all those Deputy Agricultural Officers who have satisfied the above conditions are alone selected as per the guidelines and the directions of the Government. Counter also clarifies that the Director of Agriculture , Madras scrutinized each and every application and sent proposals to the Government and he is the Head of the Department of the Agricultural Department. While so, the Chief Engineer of the Agricultural Engineering Department has also scrutinized and sent his recommendations and basing on the same only, 18 candidates are preferred. Whereas the case of T.S.Sabarathinam was rejected and permanently retained with the Agricultural Department. It is clearly stated that his option was not considered for the reasons that he do not possess the required qualifications. 11:31 However suddenly without noting all these facts, the Government issued G.O.Ms.No.17 dated 10.01.1994, merely on the basis of some request of office bearer of some association. If the Government entertains such request from an association and changes its policy ignoring the recommendations of the Heads of Department and ignoring their own guidelines, the Court is afraid that how the governance of the State is being taken care. Is it proper? All those officials who are questionable have to question themselves and rectify and reform for good governance, otherwise the entire society will be a prison without walls and the law abiding will be the prisoners and in true sense it is an open jail. 11:32 One more factor to be noted by this Court is that while issuing the Special Rules which came into force from 01.02.1981 , an Annexure was enclosed in the Rule 6(b) and the same is already reproduced and noted. In the third column qualifications, the Government has clarified through G.O.Ms.No.144 Agriculture (AA-III) Department dated 10.03.1992 which came into force with effect from 01.04.1991, that a degree in Engineering is the most mandatory qualification for considering any person to be promoted to the post of Superintending Engineer, Class II, Chief Engineer Class I. In the original Annexure, a degree in Engineering is made mandatory only for post of Chief Engineer. Whileso through G.O.Ms.No.144 dated 10.03.1992, a degree in Engineering is made mandatory for the promotion of Superintending Engineer into Class II. 11:33 Therefore a person can be promoted to the post of Superintending Engineer either from Executive Engineer or Deputy Chief Engineer, provided he is having a degree in Engineering. The Annexure and the Rules are very clear. 11:34 Thus this Court hold that a person without a degree in Engineering , even if he is working as Executive Engineer and Deputy Chief Engineer cannot be promoted as Superintending Engineer. This has been made clear through G.O.Ms.No.144 dated 10.03.1992. The reading of Government Order clarifies that the Government with a view to inject certain element of technical expertise and efficiency in higher levels of administrative hierarchy then have issued orders. The Government Order says that Agricultural Engineering Department is a separate Engineering Department in Public Works Department, highways and rural works and therefore the orders are equally applicable for the Agricultural Engineering Department and thus the Government in consultation with the Chief Engineer, Assistant Engineer has decided to amend the special rules for Tamilnadu Agricultural Engineering service with effect from 01.04.1991 and accordingly an amendment is issued to Rule (6) Sub-rule(b) that Diploma holders shall be eligible for promotion upto the post of Executive Engineer (Agricultural Engineering) and the second amendment is that for the Class II of Superintending Engineer in Agricultural Engineering, a person in Engineering alone can be promoted from among the holders of the posts in Class III. Therefore it is clear that the Government have restricted the Diploma holders in Engineering up to the level of Executive Engineer in Agricultural Engineering. When the Diploma holders in Engineering are restricted, it is clear that the intention of the Government that those who have no engineering background cannot even reach the stage of Executive Engineer. A graduate in B.Sc. Agriculture is not a person with engineering background. Therefore a B.Sc graduate who has no engineering background cannot be even considered for posting as an Executive Engineer and undoubtedly he cannot be considered for promoting as a Superintending Engineer in view of G.O.Ms.No.144 dated 10.03.1992 because the mandatory requirement is the person with Engineering degree alone can be considered for promotion. 11:35 In the instant case, the third respondent S.T.Sabarathinam who is not an Engineering graduate is promoted to the level of Superintending Engineering. Therefore the said promotion is illegal.
11:36 In the instant case, the Engineers of the department have challenged G.O.Ms.No.17 dated 10.01.1994, absorbing some of the agricultural officers having B.Sc degree. They have rightly challenged , as the issuance of Government Order is destroying the lives of the Engineers. The action of the Government in issuing the said Government Order is prima facie illegal, arbitrary and suffers with error apparent on the face of the record. From the record, it is clear that those persons are not holding the post on the date with regard to Special Rules come into effect and they do not have minimum service of four years in Engineering Wing as indicated above and they are ineligible to exercise option as per the criterion fixed by the Government as they did not undergone Soil Conservation Training. All these facts have been highlighted by the Government in their counter in T.A.No.413 of 1992. After withdrawal of the Court cases by the concerned officers, the questionable Government Order is issued. When the Government has made it clear in G.O.Ms.No.1987 dated 28.08.1981 in which Special Rules were framed , wherein, it is stated that the post Assistant Engineer (Agricultural Engineering) in Class V, Engineering Degree holders shall be considered and if the candidates with B.E Agriculture is not available, then other engineering candidates with B.E Mechanical or B.E Civil can be considered and candidates with B.Sc background cannot be considered. However in order to encourage the inservice candidates who are fully qualified by the date of issuance of the Rule 6(b) and it is to take care of the inservice candidates who are fully qualified. Therefore the Government has issued G.O.Ms.No.1973 after consulting the Director of Agriculture and the Chief Engineer of the Agricultural Engineering and rightly considered the cases of eligible candidates and rightly rejected the option given by the third respondent S.T.Sabarathinam, either for absorption into Agricultural Engineering Department or continuing in the same and infact permanently terminated his right in the said department. Therefore it is clear that persons who fulfill the criterion fixed by the Government alone are considered and permanently absorbed in the Agricultural Engineering Department and those 10 persons including the present third respondent S.T.Sabarathinam are sent back to the parent department permanently terminating their right in the Agricultural Engineering Department. The said action was challenged. He did not succeed in the Court of law and infact there was no adjudication. He has withdrawn his cause from the Court as the back doors in the office are wide open inviting him to manage within three days from the date of withdrawal he got an order through G.O.Ms.No.17 dated 10.01.1994 for his permanent absorption with effect from the date of his entry into service in a different department. This order is issued ignoring the counter affidavit filed by the State in the case preferred by the third respondent. The Court is unable to understand how the State is taking different stand at different levels and whom to please and why should there be an obligation for the State to please an office bearer of an association or one or two officers ignoring the public interest and the rule of Law and rules. 11:37 The State has clarified its stand through the counter affidavit forcefully supporting its G.O.Ms.No.1973 through its counter affidavit. While so ignoring the same, later issued G.O.Ms.No.17 without valid reasons. Therefore it is quashed.
11:38 The counsel for the third respondent forcefully contended that there are no merits in the writ petitions and they are erroneous. It is stated that the third respondent entered into the service of the Agricultural Department in 1972 and it was split into three parts and there after Agricultural Engineering Department was formed in 01.02.1981 by then was working with the said department. Therefore as per Rule 6(b) he is eligible to be considered for absorption and accordingly he has been absorbed. It is contended that since Rule 6(b) is silent with regard to any training in the Soil Conservation and it only says that the B.Sc Agricultural Degree graduates who are already in service on the date of issuance of the Rules shall not be required to possess degree in Engineering. Therefore absorption of the petitioner is legal. 11:39 I do not accept his contention. The rule only says who are eligible and who are not eligible and the plain reading of the Rule says that no person shall be eligible for appointment unless he posses the qualification specified in the Annexure. 11:40 In the Annexure the qualification specified is an Engineering Degree for the post of Assistant Engineer . 11:41 Further the proviso to Rule 6(b) says that B.Sc graduates who are in service on the date of issuance of those Rules need not possess the degree in Engineering. Therefore the Rule only says about the qualification. 11:42 With regard to the absorption, it is for the Government or the department to take care of the same and accordingly G.O.Ms.No.1973 has been issued by the Government after consulting the Director of Agriculture and after receiving the recommendations of the Chief Engineer (Agricultural Engineering Department) and accordingly the case of only 18 persons are considered. Whereas the case of the third respondent is rejected forever. In such case the third respondent cannot contend that his absorption is legal. The other contention that the third respondent has been in Agricultural Engineering service on the crucial date 01.02.1981 is sufficient for absorption. It is without force, in view of the issuance of G.O.Ms.No.1973. 11:43 It is also not correct to contend that the orders of the Government through G.O.Ms.No.1973 about the termination of the rights of the third respondent as on 19.11.1983 and not subsequently. When his rights are permanently terminated, he is not expected to be absorbed and it is clear. Even if the third respondent continues to work with the Agricultural Engineering Department despite of the G.O.Ms.No.1973, that cannot be taken as a ground for his absorption because through G.O.Ms.No.1973 his rights are permanently terminated. The Heads of Department are not consulted before issuing G.O.Ms.No.17. 11:44 There is no ambiguity in the Rule. Rule 6(b) clearly says that no person shall be eligible for appointment except he possess the qualifications specified in Column (3). The qualifications are specified in Column (3) and those persons who possess those qualifications which are prescribed in Column (3) alone are eligible for considering either for appointment or for absorption or for promotion. 11:45 When there is no ambiguity in the Rule, there is no need for interpretation. The question as to what is covered must be found out from the language according to it natural meaning fairly and squarely read. In order to find out the intention of the legislature, it should be found out from the language employed from the statute and only in case of doubt any interpretation is permissible. 11:46 During the course of arguments it is revealed that he is transferred to the city very recently in order to occupy the chair of Chief Engineer either on promotion or as additional charge. What is happening in this State? Are the Chief Executive Officers of the State are blind? God save the mother Bharath and the land of Tamil Nadu, known for culture civil rule and a celebrity for many reasons. 11:47 DECISION
For all the foregoing reasons the absorption of S.T.Sabarathinam into the Agricultural Engineering Department through G.O.Ms.No.17 dated 10.01.1994 is quashed. He is not entitled to be absorbed or can be considered for any posts or for any promotion in the department of Agricultural Engineering. 12:00 RESULT
In the result, all the writ petitions are allowed with costs of Rs.25,000/- payable by S.T.Sabarathinam third respondent to the writ petitioners. A copy of this Order is noted to the Chief Secretary of the State. The registry is directed to despatch the copy of this Order today itself (12.01.2007) to the Government. svki
1. The Secretary to Government,
Government of Tamilnadu,
Fort St. George,
2. The Chief Engineer,
Agricultural Engineering Department,
No.328, Anna Salai,
3. The Chief Secretary,
Government of Tamilnadu,
Fort St. George,
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