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The High Court of Himachal Pradesh has made it clear that service rules made by a state agency must be applied uniformly across the state. The sighting came from Judge Vivek Singh Thakur qua the implementation of Service Rules of Himachal Pradesh Kanungo, 1951.
The bench clarified that a decision made by the High Court as Kanungos appointed in Shimla district will also be applicable to applicants who were appointed in Mandi district.
“Any instruction issued by the State of Himachal Pradesh, contrary to the verdict of the Court, is not viable and is liable to be ignored and reversed.“
The issue before the court concerned the determination of inter-se seniority.
The Deputy Commissioner, Mandi, had determined the seniority of Kanungos based on the date of their effective appointment, i.e. after completing their in-school training, income training and passing the departmental exam. of Kanungo in 1991. The complainants had requested the allocation of seniority from the date of the initial appointment, that is to say the year 1987.
The petitioners relied on Devinder Singh Kalta v. State of Himachal Pradesh, where a division bench of the Court upheld the petition filed by certain Kanungos appointed in Shimla district and the order of the office awarding seniority on the basis of the date of completion of training /passing the exam was set aside, with an additional instruction to redefine the seniority of Kanungos, in accordance with Rule 12 of the HP Kanungo Rules of Service, 1951 based on the date of original appointment.
“The present matter is fully covered by the aforementioned judgment of the Bench Division, which orders the respondents to award seniority to the Kanungos from their original date of appointment. The dismissal order was made by Deputy Commissioner Mandi after the aforementioned verdict of the Division Bench of this Court, but contrary to the instructions adopted by the Court, despite the fact that the Secretary (Revenue) of the Government of Himachal Pradesh represented the State in both cases, as well as in the present case and notwithstanding that position was taken by the Respondents that the judgment given was in a case brought by a Kanungo of the Shimla District. Such a plea is not tenable being completely wrong. All Kanungos of the State of Himachal Pradesh shall be governed by the Rules of 1951, mentioned above, and these Rules shall be interpreted and implemented uniformly throughout the State of Himachal Pradesh,” said the court.
Accordingly, the Court ordered that the Claimants be entitled to all consequential benefits, including monetary benefits as well as other benefits, including promotion, accruing to them based on the revised/redrawn seniority list at from the respective dates from which their immediate subordinates were conferred such benefits.
Case title: OM PARKASH ET ORS. VERSUS STATE OF HIMACHAL PRADESH AND ORS.
Quote: 2022 LiveLaw (HP) 25
Click here to read/download the order