Can voluntary retiree seek retrospective promotion as a matter of right? SC decides

Supreme Court: The bench of Sanjay Kishan Kaul and MM Sundresh*, JJ has held that a voluntary retiree cannot seek retrospective promotion as a matter of right sans rules governing.

The Court was deciding a case where the actual vacancy in Junior Administrative Grade – I (JAG-I) accrued in 2011, however, the respondent sought retrospective promotion from 2009. It is pertinent to note that the respondent had voluntarily retired in the year 2010.

The Court observed that it is trite law that once an officer retires voluntarily, there is cessation of jural relationship resorting to a “golden handshake” between the employer and employee. Such a former employee cannot seek to agitate his past, as well as future rights, if any, sans the prescription of rules. This would include the enhanced pay scale.

Hence, in the facts of the case, it was held that the Respondent was rightly not considered in the Departmental Promotion Committee (DPC) in 2012 since he was no longer in service at the relevant point of time. Hence, the High Court committed an error in relying upon a circular, which has got no application at all, particularly in the light of our finding that we are dealing with a case of promotion simpliciter as against upgradation of any nature.

[Union of India v. Manpreet Singh Poonam, 2022 SCC OnLine SC 272, decided on 08.03.2022]


*Judgment by: Justice MM Sundresh


Counsels

For appellants: Advocate Rekha Pandey

For Respondent: Advocate Avnish Ahlawat

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