Appointment to a post is the determining factor for fixation of seniority and not the selection to the post, the Madras High Court has held while dismissing a plea moved by a sub-inspector seeking parity with the batch of his recruits even as he joined a year later as he was unable to participate in the training.
A division bench comprising Justice R Subbiah and Justice C Saravanan, said “The date of passing the written examination or undergoing the physical training, cannot be construed as the date of entry into regular service. This is more so since a candidate may or may not successfully complete the physical training and eventually get appointed.”
In the case on hand, sub-inspector Damu Raj had failed to participate in the training soon after his selection in 1995. However, acceding to his explanation that his father was ill and hence missed the training, the DGP had allowed him to join training along with other candidates, who were selected in the subsequent 1997-1998 batch. However, on joining for duty, he sought to re-fix his seniority by placing his name in the select list of sub-inspector of police drawn for 1994-1995 along with his batch-mates with effect from March 01, 1996.
The bench added “If such an argument is accepted, it will only reign in chaos in the administration in the matter of fixation of seniority. Further, those who had undergone training at the right time will be treated on par with those who do not. This would result in equals being treated with un-equals. It is a settled proposition of law that the selection of a person will not always govern the fixation of his seniority.”