The Delhi High Court on Monday held that the promotion of a candidate would take effect from date of eligibility and not from the date of interview as per the Career Advancement Scheme (CAS) governed by the UGC Regulations.
The prayer in the three petitions, filed on behalf of Dr. Kiran Gupta, Prof. PB Pankaja and Manju Arora Relan, sought for the promotion to the post of Professor from the post of Associate Professor with effect from the date of eligibility and not from the date of interview at Faculty of Law, Delhi University.
It was held by a Single-Judge Bench of Justice V. Kameswar Rao that there was a clear demonstration of prejudice against the Petitioners, and held that their promotion would relate back to their date of eligibility. The Court noted that there was no dispute the case of the Petitioners had to be considered under Career Advancement Scheme (CAS) 2010, with the selection procedure being stipulated under sub-clause 6.3.12.
“From perusal of clause 6.3.12 sub-clause (a), it is clear that if a candidate applies for promotion on completion of the minimum eligibility period and is successful, the date of promotion will be from the date of minimum period of eligibility”. Consequently, the Court recorded that the Petitioners had been assessed fit for promotion, and accordingly, the promotion had to relate back to the date of minimum period of eligibility.
The Court further noted that while sub-clause (c) contemplated that if a candidate did not succeed in the first assessment, but succeeded in the later assessment, his/her promotion would be deemed to be from the later date of successful assessment. However, in the instant case, there existed no conclusion of the Selection Committee that the Petitioenrs had not been found fit from the date of their eligibility.
“Rather, it is seen that the Petitioners have been found fit on their first assessment itself for promotion to the post of Professor. If that be so, the Petitioners could not have been denied the promotion from the date of eligibility when the promotion with prospective effect is based on the same material”. Justice Rao also rejected the contention of the Respondent, who had placed reliance on the case of National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences that it was not necessary for the Selection Committee to give reasons for its conclusion, and stated that the Apex Court had given that finding in cases where rules did not contemplate for such reasoning. “But, in view of reading of the relevant Regulations, which I have already referred to above, surely there must be some expression of the fact/reason in case a teacher is not found fit in a particular year but found fit in a later year”.
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