There is no assertion that any of the appellants have qualified both parts of
A.M.I.E. Examination which is treated to be equivalent to the Engineering
Degree. The appellants being only Diploma holders were promoted under Regulation
7(a)(ii) read with Regulation 10.4 of the Regulations. They had the opportunity
to compete for direct recruitment after 12 years of service, which they never
availed or remained unsuccessful.
The appellants would have been entitled to claim parity with Kripal Singh Mangat
and Raj Kumar Garg only if they were qualified and promoted against the posts
reserved for those employees by direct recruitment. Consequently, the appellants
cannot claim time bound promotion after completion of 9/16 years at par with
Kirpal Singh Mangat and Raj Kumar Garg (junior to the appellants in the category
of Assistant Engineer (Civil)) the Supreme Court held in Inderjit Singh Sodhi
and others v. The Chairman, Punjab State Electricity Board and Another
No. 23877 OF 2014).
The appellants have claimed time bound promotional scale while working as
Assistant Engineers. They were promoted to the said post from the post of Junior
Engineer. The services of the appellants are governed by the Punjab State
Electricity Board Service of Engineers (Civil) Regulations, 1965. However, The
post of Assistant Engineer as per Regulation 7 is required to be filled up (1)
by direct recruitment in terms of Regulation 9; (2) by promotion in terms of
Regulation 10 or (3) by transfer of an officer already in services of a
Government or another Government or Undertaking of the Government.
The qualification required for direct recruitment under Regulation 9 is BE in
Civil Engineering from a recognised institution or university. The Regulations
further permit serving Section Officers who possess three- or four-years diploma
in Civil Engineering and minimum 12 years qualifying service to apply for the
post by way of direct recruitment. Regulation 10, provides for the promotion of
the candidates with not less than 10 years’ experience subject to the condition
that their number do not exceed 30 per cent of the total number of the cadre
posts of the Assistant Engineers.
Two sets of circulars were issued by the Punjab State Electricity Board for
grant of time bound promotional scales w.e.f. 1.1.1986. The Second Circular was
issued to grant time bound promotional scale to directly recruited Assistant
Engineers. However, the promoted employees were said to be entitled to time
bound promotional scale as per the First Circular itself. The said Second
Circular was issued to equally apply to the Civil and Electrical Branch of the
A Writ Petition No. 19306 of 2003, Krishan Kumar Vij v. State of Punjab
filed before the Punjab and Haryana High Court claiming time bound promotional
scale. The writ petitioners were employed with Bhakra Beas Management Board. The
said Board had adopted the Circular issued by Punjab State Electricity Board on
26.6.1992. The writ petition was allowed by the Division Bench of the High Court
on 6.12.2004. The order of the High Court was however later set aside by this
Court in a judgment reported as Bhakra Beas Management Board v. Krishan Kumar
Vij & Anr
(2010) 8 SCC 701.
Counsel for the respondents argued that time bound promotional scale would be
applicable to the promotee officer such as the appellants only in terms of the
First Circular which contemplates that an employee shall be entitled to
promotional scale on completion of 9 years of regular service on a post and
subsequent second time bound promotional scale after completion of 16 years of
If in case an employee gets normal promotion to the next higher post before
completion of 9 years’ service, he would not be entitled to first time bound
promotional scale. He would however be eligible to get second promotional scale
after completion of 16 years’ service, counted from the date of direct
recruitment, provided that he does not earn second normal promotion before the
completion of above said 16 years’ service.
The court was of the view that “We find that the appellants were promoted within
9 or 16 years from their initial appointment, therefore, they are not entitled
to time bound promotional scale. Kirpal Singh Mangat and Raj Kumar Garg were
appointed by direct recruitment as Assistant Engineer (Civil), whereas the
appellants have been promoted to the post of Assistant Engineer (Civil). Hence,
the Second Circular would not be applicable to them.
The promotee employees are entitled to time bound promotion scale in terms of
the First Circular only. Hence, the appellants are not entitled to claim any
parity with Kirpal Singh Mangat and Raj Kumar Garg.
Conclusively, the Supreme Court upheld the High Court’s judgement and the
appeals were dismissed.
Written By: Prime Legal Law Firm
Off Address: 39/2, 2nd floor, K G Road, Bengaluru, Karnataka-560001
Phone no: +9986386002, Email: [email protected]