Rules pertaining to seniority in service cannot be applied to matters of appointment

Bombay High Court: A Division Bench comprising of V.K. Tahilramani, Acting CJ, and M.S. Sonak, J. dismissed a writ petition filed challenging the order of Maharashtra Administrative Tribunal (MAT) whereby the claim of the petitioner to be appointed as a peon in the office of Deputy Conservator of Forests was dismissed.

The petitioner had applied for the said post in pursuance of the advertisement issued by the respondents. The post was for the reserved category and the petitioner belonged to the Other Backward Classes. He obtained 90 marks in the written test equal to the marks secured by Respondent 4, who was finally appointed to the said post on the basis of higher qualifications. The petitioner challenged the appointment before the MAT, which was dismissed. Feeling aggrieved, the petitioner was before the High Court.

The High Court perused Rule 4(3) of Maharashtra Civil Services (Regulation of Seniority) Rules 1982, on which reliance was placed by the petitioner. The said Rule provides that if two persons were appointed on the same date, the person with the earlier date of birth would be placed at a higher position in the seniority list. On the same analogy it was contended that in case of candidates securing equal marks, the candidate with the earlier date of birth should be appointed. The Court held the contention of the petitioner to be misconceived as much as the said Rule pertains to the matter of seniority in service and could not be applied in the matter of appointment. Holding thus, the Court found no fault in the order impugned. Accordingly, the petition was dismissed. [Yogehsh H. Mhaskar v.  State of Maharashtra, 2018 SCC OnLine Bom 1157, dated 03-05-2018]

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