Meghalaya High Court: Sanjib Banerjee, CJ. while deciding in the matter between groups of persons in the Meghalaya Civil Service and the Meghalaya Police Service, pertaining to seniority between or among them, disposed the writ petition in favour of petitioners.

A combined examination was conducted for recruitment (advt, Nov 22, 2006) into the MCS and MPS by the State Public Service Commission. List of 74 successful candidates was released on 07-09-2010. It was observed by the Court that it may not always be possible to fill up all reserved seats since adequate numbers of candidates from the reserved categories may not be available. In such situation the vacant seats are carried forward to be filled in next appointment process as per the law and the merit list holds its value for a prescribed time.

The private respondent was appointed on 08-05-2012 from the merit list of 2010. A merit list was prepared clubbing all recruited in 2010 and 2012. This step was termed “patently absurd and completely without any element of rationality or logic” by the High Court. Furthermore, it was observed that “A person who has been recruited or appointed earlier in point of time than another in the same post can never be equated with the person appointed later even to the same post.”

The State claimed that seniority between the persons who underwent the process of examination together has to be determined, irrespective of when such persons may have been appointed as per Rule 16(4) of the Meghalaya Civil Service Rules, 1975. The same was held irrelevant in the present circumstance by the Court. Also it was held that the seniority in a particular post, in a sense, indicates who had occupied that post earlier. The Court allowed the writ petition by holding that “the 2010 recruits to the entry-level post have to be regarded as senior to the 2012 recruits to the same entry-level post, irrespective of whatever future considerations may arise in determining their cases for promotion to the next level.”[Winje Rosalie G. Momin v. State of Meghalaya, 2022 SCC OnLine Megh 10, decided on 10-02-2022]

Appearances by:

For the Petitioner/Appellant(s) : Mr AS Siddiqui, Sr.Adv with Mr AG Momin

For the Respondent(s) : Mr ND Chullai, AAG with Ms R Colney, GA Mr K Paul, Sr.Adv with

Mr S Thapa, for R/2

Dr. N Mozika, Sr.Adv for R3-9, 11-16

Suchita Shukla, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief.

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