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Supreme Court dismisses Himachal Pradesh government’s plea challenging grant of two promotions to an employee

The Supreme Court recently dismissed a plea of the Himachal Pradesh Government challenging the grant of two promotions to an employee in the next higher scale of pay upon completing 12 years and 24 years in service. 

The bench of Justice Hrishikesh Roy and Justice Prashant Kumar Mishra upheld the decision of the High Court directing the state to provide two promotions to an employee in the absence of any promotional avenues of the post. 

Notably, the High Court’s decision was based on the K.K Roy case, where the Supreme Court  held that if there are no promotional avenues for the post, then the concerned state government should formulate a policy, on the grounds of the Pay Commission, for granting at least two higher scales to an employee. 

The High Court noted that promotion on the condition of service, the state is under obligation to provide promotional avenues. Relying on the aforesaid case, Supreme Court directed that the employee concerned be granted two promotions in next higher scale of pay upon his completing 12 years and 24 years in service. 

Reportedly, the State denied the promotion to the employee on the note that he was appointed as a Computer Operator, which is a post different from the posts included in the cadre of Clerks and posts of Computer Operators being not included in any feeder cadre for promotion to higher post, he has remained Computer Operator since his appointment.

Countering the decision of the State, the employee preferred the Writ Petition before the High Court which came to be allowed. While relying on the K.K. Roy case, the High Court held that the petitioner shall be entitled to all consequential monetary benefits.

At the outset, the Supreme Court showed its reluctance to entertain the Special Leave Petition. After perusing the impugned order the Court noted that the judgment by the Single Judge and also by the Division Bench challenged before the court are read. It added that the bench had weighed the reasoning given by the High Court. 

It further observed that the respondent was deprived of benefit of promotion even once in his whole service career and the High Court noted that the employer never offered any promotion to the respondent or that he is found ineligible for the promotion. Finding no merit in this SLP, the same is accordingly dismissed by the Court.

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