15 April 2019


Judgments

High Court of Bombay

Sachin Ganpati Davande Vs. The Chairman & Managing Director, Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited and Ors.

MANU/MH/2641/2017

13.11.2017

Service

Executive Directors are authorized to extend validity of waiting lists of candidates for further period of one year

The Petitioner, working as Junior Engineer with Respondent No. 1-the Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Limited ("the MSEDCL") has approached this Court, being aggrieved by non consideration of his candidature for the post of Deputy Executive Engineer (now termed as Additional Executive Engineer). It is the case of the Petitioner that, he was appointed as Junior Engineer in the Respondent-Company which is a Government Undertaking with effect from 6th June, 2006. Further according to the Petitioner, he was falsely implicated in a criminal case which was registered by the Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) on the basis of complaint made by one consumer on, alleging that, Petitioner had demanded some amount for providing an electric meter and based on which criminal case was registered against him.

The Petitioner prayed for directions to the Respondents to implement the decision of Competent Selection Committee with regard to his selection in pursuance to advertisement No. 10/12 and issue an order of appointment in his favour with retrospective effect when the candidates from the selection list prepared by the Selection Committee were issued with orders of appointment together with all consequential benefits of seniority, arrears of pay scale etc.

Rule 29(a) of Employees Service Regulations 2005 provides that, when a selection committee recommend the name of a suitable candidate selected after due advertisement for direct recruitment and the candidates are kept on waiting list against the post for direct recruitment, such list may be deemed valid for period of 12 months and the Executive Director and the concerned Executive Directors are authorized to extend the validity of the waiting lists of candidates for further period of one year, whenever it is considered necessary. The said rules also provide for "Sealed Cover Procedure" to be adopted in respect of candidates who are in zone of consideration for promotion and against whom disciplinary action/vigilance report/criminal proceedings are pending or whose conduct is under investigation. The said rule prescribes that, the competent selection committee shall assess the suitability of the employees without taking into consideration the pendency of disciplinary action case/vigilance investigation/criminal prosecution and the grading awarded will be kept in a sealed cover which is not to be opened till termination of the disciplinary case/criminal prosecution etc.

The Petitioner was implicated in a criminal case by the ACB, on the basis of a complaint alleging demand of illegal gratification from one of the consumer and criminal prosecution was launched against the Petitioner. Simultaneously, he was charge-sheeted by the Department for misconduct on demand of illegal gratification. Pending the disciplinary proceedings and the criminal prosecution under Section 7, 13(1)(d) read with section 13(2) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988, the Petitioner was placed under suspension.

Pending the proceedings, Petitioner participated in the selection process initiated for the post of Deputy Executive Engineer by way of direct recruitment and was selected in the said process to find place in the wait list candidates and the Respondents permitted participation of the Petitioner in the selection process by following "Sealed Cover Procedure" as per the Service Regulations, 2005. As per said procedure, sealed cover is to be opened only on culmination of the disciplinary proceedings and in the case of the Petitioner the disciplinary proceedings resulted into final order only on 15th November, 2016. As per the Service Regulations, 2005 the selection list is to remain valid only for a period of one year and on the date on which the disciplinary proceedings against the Petitioner culminated into finality and were finally concluded on 15th November, 2016, the waiting list which included the name of the Petitioner which was prepared in pursuance of Advertisement No. 10/2012 had already expired and therefore, the case of the Petitioner did not deserve consideration for appointment to the post of Deputy Executive Engineer.

When as per the Respondent's validity of the select list expired on 31st December, 2014 and the conduct of the Petitioners was still under investigation as the disciplinary proceedings had not concluded. It cannot be said that, it was the deliberate attempt on the part of the Respondent to deprive the Petitioner of the said benefit since the life of this select list is already determined by the MSEDCL Employees Service Regulations 2005 and the vigilance investigation against the Petitioner had not been concluded. In the present case, the life of select list is determined by the Service Regulations of 2005 and the Respondents have been consistently following said period mentioned in the Regulation and it is not that only to deprive the Petitioner the fruits of selection, the stand is taken by the Respondent that, the select list has expired. There is no merit in the writ petition and same dismissed.

Tags : Disciplinary proceedings Pendency Selection

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