Tripura High Court: Akil Kureshi, CJ., dismissed and disposed of a petition which was filed in order to challenge a final seniority list in the cadre of Radiographer, Department of Health.
The petitioner and respondents 4 and 5 (private respondents) were appointed to the post of Radiographer on 14-08-1987. Respondent 4 was shown at Sl. No.2 in the order of appointment, respondent 5 was at Sl. No. 1 and the petitioner was at Sl. No.4. The order provided that the appointee should join the duties within one month from the date of the issue of the order, failing which the appointment order shall be treated as cancelled. Petitioner raised objection to the draft seniority list wherein in the cadre of Radiographers petitioner was shown junior to the private respondents. Department again for a number of times drafted the seniority list and the petitioner raised objections, ignoring such objections the department issued the impugned final seniority list on 20-12-2015. The petitioner thereupon had filed the instant petition on or around 20-12-2018.
Counsel for the private respondents, Mr Tanmay Debbarma opposed the petition contending that the petition was barred by delay and laches. The select list showed the private respondents as higher ranked than the petitioner and that the seniority has been assigned by the department on the basis of ranking in the select list. He further contended that merely because the petitioner joined the duties a few days earlier, would not make him senior to the private respondents.
The Court found that the petition was frivolous and meritless and it suffered from gross delay and laches. The Court further pointed out that the petitioner never questioned this declaration or the higher ranking given to the private respondents in the selection process.
The Court while dismissing the petition explained that merely because the petitioner joined duty a few days earlier than the private respondents though both were selected in the same selection process and offered appointment under a common order cannot be the ground to upset the seniority position which would relate to the merit position of the respective candidates. The Court further imposed costs on the petitioner for dragging the private respondents into a case which was totally devoid of merits.[Suman Kr Ghosh v. State of Tripura, 2021 SCC OnLine Tri 148, decided on 18-03-2021]
Suchita Shukla, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief.