Nihar Ranjan Sarker & ors. Vs. Bangladesh & ors., (Moyeenul Islam Chowdhury, J.)

Case No: Writ Petition No. 692 of 2008

Judge: Moyeenul Islam Chowdhury, J And Md. Ashrfaul Kamal, J.

Court: High Court Division,

Advocate: Mr. Subrata Saha with Mr. Kamal Hossain, Advocates ,

Citation: 2018(2) LNJ

Case Year: 2018

Appellant: Nihar Ranjan Sarker

Respondent: Government of Bangladesh and others

Subject: Bangladesh Water and Power Development Boards Order

Delivery Date: 2019-12-02

HIGH COURT DIVISION

(SPECIAL ORIGINAL JURISDICTION)

Moyeenul Islam Chowdhury, J

And

Md. Ashrfaul Kamal, J.

 

Judgment on

29.03.2018

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Nihar Ranjan Sarker

. . . Petitioner

-Versus-

Government of Bangladesh and others

. . . Respondents

(In Writ Petition No. 692 of 2008)

-AND-

Khandaker Zakir Hossain

. . . Petitioner

-Versus-

Government of Bangladesh and others

. . . Respondents

 (In Writ Petition No. 2816 of 2007)

-AND-

Ashish Kumar Dhar

. . . Petitioner

-Versus-

Government of Bangladesh and others

. . . Respondents

(In Writ Petition No. 2818 of 2007)

- AND-

Muhammad Raisul Akram

. . . Petitioner

-Versus-

Government of Bangladesh and others  

. . . Respondents

 (In Writ Petition No. 2819 of 2007)

- AND-

Md. Majibor Rahman

. . . Petitioner

-Versus-

Government of Bangladesh and others

. . . Respondents

(In Writ Petition No. 2820 of 2007)

- AND-

Adhir Chandra Majumder

. . . Petitioner

-Versus-

Government of Bangladesh and others

. . . Respondents

(In Writ Petition No. 2822 of 2007)

- AND-

Md. Motiar Rahman

. . . Petitioner

-Versus-

Government of Bangladesh and others

. . . Respondents

 (In Writ Petition No. 2823 of 2007)

- AND-

Hossain Mohammod Rafiqunnabi

. . .Petitioner

-Versus-

Government of Bangladesh and others

. . . Respondents

(In Writ Petition No. 2824 of 2007)

- AND-

Md. Farukuzzaman

. . .Petitioner

-Versus-

Government of Bangladesh and others

. . .Respondents

(In Writ Petition No. 3003 of 2007)

- AND-

Mohammad Aminul Islam

. . . Petitioner

-Versus-

Government of Bangladesh and others

. . .Respondents

(In Writ Petition No. 3004 of 2007)

- AND-

Monotosh Biswash

. . . Petitioner

-Versus-

Government of Bangladesh and others

. . . Respondents

(In Writ Petition No. 4218 of 2007)

- AND-

Abdus Samad Bhuyan

. . .Petitioner

-Versus-

Government of Bangladesh and others

. . .Respondents

 (In Writ Petition No. 4219 of 2007)

- AND-

Md. Monirul Islam

. . .Petitioner

-Versus-

Government of Bangladesh and others

. . . Respondents

(In Writ Petition No. 4220 of 2007)

Bangladesh Water and Power Development Boards Order (59 of 1972)

Article 33

Bangladesh Power Development Service Rules, 1982

Rules 8(1) and 21(b)

The Service Rules of 1982 came into force on 18.02.1982. it may be recalled that in exercise of the powers conferred by Article 33 of the Bangladesh Water and Power Development Boards Order, 1972 (P.O. No. 59 of 1972), and in supersession of all Rules made or orders or circulars issued in this behalf, the Government framed the Service Rules of 1982. So it is crystal clear that on coming into force of the Service Rules of 1982 on 18.02.1982, the previous circular/ office order dated 11.08.1966 stood superseded as a matter of course. However, it is the admitted position that even after coming into force of the Service Rules of 1982, the PDB authority had to promote some Sub-Assistant Engineers to the post of Assistant Engineers because of an acute dearth of qualified graduate engineers in the PDB and those were exceptions for all practical purpose. Nevertheless this practice was totally brought to a halt by a resolution of the meeting of the Board dated 14.12.1992. The petitioners are not entitled to get one-step–out–of-turn promotion as Assistant Engineers in the PDB on the basis of the superseded circular/office order dated 11.08.1966 as the petitioners are governed by the Service Rules of 1982, they will have to go through the process of examination and tests, apart from their merit-cum-seniority, as to heir suitability for promotion as Assistant Engineers as provided in Rule 8(1) read with Rule 21(b) of the Service Rules of 1982.           . . . (14 and 22)

Bangladesh Power Development Service Rules, 1982

Rules 8(1) and 21(b)

According to Rule 21(b) of the Service Rules of 1982, promotion from a lower post to a higher post shall be based on merit-cum-seniority and this criterion shall be followed for all promotions up to the ranks of Superintending Engineer and Director subject to the examination and test provided in Sub-Rule (1) of Rule 8. So the scope of promotion for diploma-holder Sub-Assistant Engineers as Assistant Engineers in the PDB is still there, even after supersession/ revocation of the office order dated 11.08.1966. . . .(15)

Constitution of Bangladesh, 1972

Article 111

The doctrine of precedent has the merit of promoting certainty and consistency in judicial decisions and enables an organic development of the law, besides providing assurance to the individual as to the consequence of transactions forming part of his daily affairs. Article 111 of the Constitution incorporates and provides that the law declared by the Appellate Division shall be binding on the High Court Division and the law declared by either Divisions shall be binding on all subordinate Courts and a judgment passed by a subordinate Court contrary to the judgment of the Appellate Division or the High Court Division is perverse and illegal and may be even contemptuous. A judgment of a Court binds nobody except the parties to the proceeding, but by virtue of Article 111 of the Constitution, the judgment of the Supreme Court, so far as it settles a point of law, is a declaration for the nation as to what the law is. It should, however, be kept in mind that a decisions is an authority for what it decides and not what can logically be deduced there from. What is binding as a law is the “ratio’ of a decision and not be finding of fact or the conclusion reached by the Court. The ratio decidendi is the underlying principle, namely, the general reasons or the general grounds upon which the decision is based on the test or abstract from the specific peculiarities of the particular case which gives rise to the decision. Every judgment must be read as applicable to be particular facts proved or assumed to be proved , since the generality of expressions which may be found there are not intended to be expositions of the whole law, but governed and qualified by the particular facts of the case in which such expressions are to be found.    . . .(17 and 18)

Mr. Subrata Saha with

Mr. Kamal Hossain, Advocates

. . . For the petitioner

(In Writ Petition No. 692 of 2008)

Mr. Md. Tajul Islam, Advocate

. . . For the petitioners

(In Writ Petition Nos. 2816 of 2007, 2818 of 2007, 2819 of 2007, 2820 of 2007, 2822 of 2007, 2823 of 2007, 2824 of 2007, 3003 of 2007, 3004 of 2007, 4218 of 2007, 4219 of 2007 and 4220 of 2007).

Mr. A. M. Masum with

Mr. Md. Nahiyan-Ibn-Subhan and

Mr. Mahfujur Rahman Roman, Advocates

. . . For the respondent No. 2

(In Writ Petition Nos. 692 of 2008, 2816 of 2007, 2818 of 2007, 2819 of 2007, 2820 of 2007, 2822 of 2007, 2823 of 2007, 2824 of 2007, 3003 of 2007, 3004 of 2007, 4218 of 2007, 4219 of 2007 and 4220 of 2007.)

JUDGMENT

Moyeenul Islam Chowdhury, J: As the same questions of laws and facts are involved in Writ Petition Nos. 692 of 2008, 2816 of 2007, 2818 of 2007, 2819 of 2007, 2820 of 2007, 2822 of 2007, 2823 of 2007, 2824 of 2007, 3003 of 2007, 3004 of 2007, 4218 of 2007, 4219 of 2007 and 4220 of 2007, they have been heard together and this consolidated judgment disposes of them all.

2.             In all the Writ Petitions, Rules Nisi were issued calling upon the respondents to show cause as to why a direction should not be given upon them to allow the benefit of one-step-out-of-turn promotion to the petitioners from the dates of their obtaining AMIE/B.Sc. Engineering Degree in accordance with the general principle of service now in vogue in Bangladesh and under the provisions of the EPWAPDA Circular No. 1130-WP(C)/IV/6A-36/66 dated 11.08.1966 and/or such other or further order or orders passed as to this Court may seem fit and proper.

3.             The case of the petitioners, in short, is as follows:

         The petitioner Nihar Ranjan Sarker of Writ Petition No. 692 of 2008, the petitioner Khandaker Zakir Hossain of Writ Petition No. 2816 of 2007, the petitioner Ashish Kumar Dhar of Writ Petition No. 2818 of 2007, the petitioner Muhammad Raisul Akram of Writ Petition No. 2819 of 2007, the petitioner Mozibur Rahman of Writ Petition No. 2820 of 2007, the petitioner Adhir Chandra Majumder of Writ Petition No. 2822 of 2007, the petitioner Md. Motiar Rahman of Writ Petition No. 2823 of 2007, the petitioner Hossain Mohammad Rafiqunnabi of Writ Petition No. 2824 of 2007, the petitioner Md. Farukuzzaman of Writ Petition No. 3003 of 2007, the petitioner Mohammad Aminul Islam of Writ Petition No. 3004 of 2007, the petitioner Monotosh Biswash of Writ Petition No. 4218 of 2007, the petitioner Abdus Samad Bhuiyan of Writ Petition No. 4219 of 2007 and the petitioner Md. Monirul Islam of Writ Petition No. 4220 of 2007 joined the Bangladesh Power Development Board (PDB) as Sub-Assistant Engineers on 24.12.1990, 11.10.1988, 26.07.1984, 28.02.2002, 13.03.2000, 29.02.2000, 24.12.1990, 28.03.1998, 30.08.1986, 09.03.2000, 09.03.2000, 29.02.2002 and 14.10.1999 respectively. Basically all the petitioners are diploma-holder Sub-Assistant Engineers. However, in course of their service as Sub-Assistant Engineers, they obtained AMIE degree/ B.Sc. engineering degree with the knowledge and permission of the relevant authority on various dates. Having been awarded AMIE degree/B.Sc. engineering degree from different universities, the petitioners became entitled to get one-step-out-of-turn promotion as Assistant Engineers on the basis of an office order bearing No.1130-WP(C)/IV/6A-36/66 dated 11.08.1966 (Annexure-‘B’ to the Writ Petition). This office order dated 11.08.1966 has the force of law and is being followed by the Power Development Board (PDB), Dhaka Electric Supply Authority (DESA) and other statutory bodies. This right of getting one-step-out-of-turn promotion on obtaining higher professional degree of AMIE or equivalent B.Sc. engineering degree was previously granted to all Sub-Assistant Engineers even after coming into force of the Bangladesh Power Development Board (Employees) Service Rules, 1982 (hereinafter referred to as the Service Rules of 1982). Although there are existing vacancies in the cadre of Assistant Engineers in the PDB; yet the respondents are not coming forward to take necessary steps for promotion of the petitioners as Assistant Engineers on the basis of the office order dated 11.08.1966 despite their representations in this regard. Hence the Rules.

4.             The respondent no. 2 has opposed the Rules by filing an Affidavit-in-Opposition. The case of the respondent no. 2 (PDB), in brief, runs as under:

         The petitioners of all the Writ Petitions joined the PDB as Sub-Assistant Engineers on various dates after coming into force of the Service Rules of 1982. As they joined the PDB after coming into effect of the Service Rules of 1982, they are being governed by the same. After the Service Rules of 1982 became operative, the earlier circular/office order dated 11.08.1966 stood superseded. So with regard to promotion of the petitioners as Assistant Engineers of the PDB, the question of invocation of the circular/office order dated 11.08.1966 does not arise at all. However, because of an acute dearth of competent graduate Engineers, in a few exceptional cases, the PDB promoted some Sub-Assistant Engineers as Assistant Engineers on their passing AMIE/B.Sc. engineering with the prior approval of the competent authority. Those promotions were made only to meet some emergent situations even after coming into force of the Service Rules of 1982. Anyway, this practice of promotion of Sub-Assistant Engineers as Assistant Engineers on obtaining AMIE/B.Sc. engineering degree was totally stopped on 14.12.1992. The Sub-Assistant Engineers of the PDB are enjoying the same pay scale and promotional facilities as approved by the Government. The 33.33% of the total sanctioned posts of Assistant Engineers are filled up by promotion from amongst Sub-Assistant Engineers and the remaining 66.66% Assistant Engineers are appointed through direct recruitment from amongst B.Sc. Engineers having two first divisions in their educational career. Besides, the petitioners are also allowed to compete with other applicants for direct recruitment to the post of Assistant Engineer by way of relaxation of their educational qualifications and age-limit up to 40 years. In any view of the matter, the petitioners can not now claim any benefit under the superseded circular/office order dated 11.08.1966. That being so, all the Rules are liable to be discharged with costs.

5.             In Writ Petition No. 692 of 2008, Mr. Subrata Saha has appeared on behalf of the petitioner Nihar Ranjan Sarker. It appears from the record that one Mr. Md. Tazul Islam is the engaged Advocate of the petitioners of the other Writ Petitions; but strangely enough, he has not turned up to make any submission before this Court on their behalf regarding the merit of the Rules.

6.             However, Mr. Subrata Saha, learned Advocate appearing on behalf of the petitioner of Writ Petition No. 692 of 2008, submits that indisputably the petitioner Nihar Ranjan Sarker joined the PDB as Sub-Assistant Engineer on 24.12.1990, that is to say, long after coming into force of the Service Rules of 1982; but the fact remains that some exceptions were made in the matter of promotion of some Sub-Assistant Engineers as Assistant Engineers even after coming into force of the Service Rules of 1982 and in this perspective, the petitioner Nihar Ranjan Sarker should have been awarded the benefit available under the office order dated 11.08.1966 and given this scenario, the respondents may be directed to take necessary steps for promotion of the petitioner Nihar Ranjan Sarker to the post of Assistant Engineer of the PDB.

7.             Mr. Subrata Saha also submits that the unreported decision dated 14.08.2011 in the case of Dhaka Electric Supply Authority (DESA) represented by the Chairman, 1, Abdul Gani Road, Dhaka-1000…Vs…Md. Hanif and another rendered by the Appellate Division in Civil Appeal No. 184 of 2009 arising out of the decision dated 05.06.2008 made by the High Court Division in Writ Petition No. 9289 of 2007 has settled that because of discriminatory treatment meted out to the writ-petitioner, he is to be awarded the benefit of one-step-out-of-turn promotion to the post of Assistant Engineer from the post of Sub-Assistant Engineer of the DESA and the present petitioner Nihar Ranjan Sarker being similarly situated is entitled to get the benefit of the unreported decision of the Appellate Division passed in Civil Appeal No. 184 of 2009.

8.             Per contra, Mr. A. M. Masum, learned Advocate appearing on behalf of the respondent no. 2, submits that after coming into operation of the Service Rules of 1982, the practice of promotion of Sub-Assistant Engineers as Assistant Engineers of the PDB on the basis of the circular dated 11.08.1966 was totally stopped by a resolution of the Board  on 14.12.1992; though in some exceptional cases, Sub-Assistant Engineers were promoted as Assistant Engineers in order to meet an acute shortage of qualified graduate Engineers in the PDB and these exceptions being exceptions can not be invoked by the petitioners in any event.

9.             Mr. A. M. Masum further submits that as all the petitioners are admittedly being governed by the Service Rules of 1982, the modalities of their promotions as Assistant Engineers have been laid down in Rule 21 and as such it can not be said at all that the Sub-Assistant Engineers of the PDB will not get promotions as Assistant Engineers at any point of time.

10.         Mr. A. M. Masum also submits that undeniably 33.33% of the sanctioned posts of the Assistant Engineer of the PDB have been kept reserved for the diploma-holder Sub-Assistant Engineers for promotion thereto and what is more, the Sub-Assistant Engineers having obtained graduation degree in AMIE/B.Sc. engineering can also compete with other graduate Engineers for direct recruitment to the posts of the Assistant Engineer and this being the state of affairs, the petitioners of all the Writ Petitions are not prejudiced in any manner in the matter of their promotions as Assistant Engineers of the PDB.

11.         Mr. A. M. Masum lastly submits that the unreported consolidated decision dated 06.04.2009 in the case of Bangladesh Power Development Board and others…Vs…Abu Bakar Siddique and others passed by the Appellate Division in Civil Appeal Nos. 341-358 of 2003 arising out of the common decision dated 16.03.2003 passed by the High Court Division in Writ Petition Nos. 2977 of 2001, 2974 of 2001, 2975 of 2001, 2976 of 2001, 2978 of 2001, 2981 of 2001, 2984 of 2001, 2985 of 2001, 2986 of 2001, 2987 of 2001, 2988 of 2001, 2990 of 2001, 2991 of 2001, 2983 of 2001, 2982 of 2001, 2972 of 2001, 2973 of 2001 and 2989 of 2001 has already clinched the contentions issue to the effect that the petitioners can not claim any benefit under the office order dated 11.08.1966 after coming into force of the Service Rules of 1982 and this is why, all the Rules Nisi should be discharged.

12.         We have heard the submissions of the learned Advocate Mr. Subrata Saha and the counter-submissions of the learned Advocate Mr. A. M. Masum and perused all the Writ Petitions, Supplementary Affidavits, Affidavits-in-Opposition, Supplementary Affidavits-in-Opposition and relevant Annexures annexed thereto.

13.         It is undeniable that prior to coming into operation of the Service Rules of 1982, the circular/office order dated 11.08.1966 was applicable to the promotion of the diploma-holder Sub-Assistant Engineers having AMIE/B.Sc. engineering degree to the post of the Assistant Engineer of the PDB.

14.         Admittedly the Service Rules of 1982 came into force on 18.02.1982. It may be recalled that in exercise of the powers conferred by Article 33 of the Bangladesh Water and Power Development Boards Order, 1972 (P.O. No. 59 of 1972), and in supersession of all Rules made or orders or circulars issued in this behalf, the Government framed the Service Rules of 1982. So it is crystal clear that on coming into force of the Service Rules of 1982 on 18.02.1982, the previous circular/office order dated 11.08.1966 stood superseded as a matter of course. However, it is the admitted position that even after coming into force of the Service Rules of 1982, the PDB authority had to promote some Sub-Assistant Engineers to the post of Assistant Engineers because of an acute dearth of qualified graduate Engineers in the PDB and those were exceptions for all practical purposes. Nevertheless this practice was totally brought to a halt by a resolution of the meeting of the Board dated 14.12.1992 as evidenced by Annexure-‘2’ to the Affidavit-in-Opposition.

15.         According to Rule 21(b) of the Service Rules of 1982, promotion from a lower post to a higher post shall be based on merit-cum-seniority and this criterion shall be followed for all promotions up to the ranks of Superintending Engineer and Director subject to the examination and test provided in Sub-Rule (1) of Rule 8. So the scope of promotion for diploma-holder Sub-Assistant Engineers as Assistant Engineers in the PDB is still there, even after supersession/revocation of the office order dated 11.08.1966.

16.         Mr. Subrata Saha, in support of the case of the petitioner Nihar Ranjan Sarker, has emphatically relied upon the unreported decision dated 14.08.2011 in the case of Dhaka Electric Supply Authority (DESA) represented by the Chairman, 1, Abdul Gani Road, Dhaka-1000…Vs…Md. Hanif and another passed by the Appellate Division in Civil Appeal No. 184 of 2009. On the contrary, Mr. A. M. Masum, in support of the case of the respondent no. 2, has assertively banked upon the unreported decision dated 06.04.2009 in the case of Bangladesh Power Development Board and others…Vs…Abu Bakar Siddique and others rendered by the Appellate Division in Civil Appeal Nos. 341-358 of 2003. Now the moot question is which decision of the Appellate Division will be applicable to the facts and circumstances of the present Writ Petitions.

17.         The doctrine of precedent has the merit of promoting certainty and consistency in judicial decisions and enables an organic development of the law, besides providing assurance to the individual as to the consequence of transactions forming part of his daily affairs. Article 111 of the Constitution incorporates and provides that the law declared by the Appellate Division shall be binding on the High Court Division and the law declared by either Division shall be binding on all subordinate Courts and a judgment passed by a subordinate Court contrary to the judgment of the Appellate Division or the High Court Division is perverse and illegal and may be even contemptuous. A judgment of a Court binds nobody except the parties to the proceeding, but by virtue of Article 111 of the Constitution, the judgment of the Supreme Court, so far as it settles a point of law, is a declaration for the nation as to what the law is. It should, however, be kept in mind that a decision is an authority for what it decides and not what can logically be deduced therefrom.

18.         What is binding as a law is the ‘ratio’ of a decision and not the finding of fact or the conclusion reached by the Court. The ‘ratio decidendi’ is the underlying principle, namely, the general reasons or the general grounds upon which the decision is based on the test or abstract from the specific peculiarities of the particular case which gives rise to the decision. Every judgment must be read as applicable to the particular facts proved or assumed to be proved, since the generality of expressions which may be found there are not intended to be expositions of the whole law, but governed and qualified by the particular facts of the case in which such expressions are to be found.

19.         In the unreported decision of the Appellate Division dated 14.08.2011 passed in Civil Appeal No. 184 of 2009 relied upon by Mr. Subrata Saha, there is no gainsaying the fact that the Service Rules of 1982 were not brought to the notice of the Appellate Division and as a natural corollary, there was no reference thereto in the decision of the Appellate Division dated 14.08.2011. But none the less, the writ-petitioner was given relief in Civil Appeal No. 184 of 2009 on the ground of discriminatory treatment meted out to him by the DESA. In this connection, it may be pointed out that though DESA is originally an off-shoot of the PDB; but as things stand now, DESA and PDB are separate entities and are governed by separate laws.

20.         According to us, the unreported decision dated 06.04.2009 rendered by the Appellate Division in Civil Appeal Nos. 341-358 of 2003 relied upon by Mr. A. M. Masum has clinched the whole matter. In that unreported decision, the Appellate Division observed:

“The appellants stated that under special circumstances at the initial stage after 1982 when the Service Rules of 1982 came into being, in case of dearth of qualified graduate Engineers, only a Sub-Assistant Engineer having obtaining AMIE by prosecuting the studies with prior approval of the Board was appointed to the post of Assistant Engineer. The writ-petitioner joined the service on 25.08.1984 i.e. 2 years after the present Service Rules of 1982 came into force but during the said period when there was dearth of qualified Engineers the Bangladesh Power Development Board like other Government Institutions acted under compelling circumstances, similar to the provision in circular dated 11.08.1966 in few cases, considered some Sub-Assistant Engineers who passed AMIE/B.Sc. with prior permission of the Authority to qualify themselves for promotion and when adequate qualified B.Sc. Engineers were available, the Board in its meeting held on 14.12.1992 stopped such type of employment of the Authority altogether. Moreover, the petitioner did not obtain prior permission of the Authority. However, 33.33% of the total sanctioned posts of Assistant Engineers are filled up from the posts of Sub-Assistant Engineers and the rest 66.66% are filled up from B.Sc. Engineers with 2 first classes in their educational career. The Sub-Assistant Engineers are also competent with outsiders to compete on obtaining AMIE/B.Sc. in addition to their reserved rd sanctioned posts relaxing their age up to 40 years. The appellants further stated and asserted that by resolution dated 14.12.1992, the Board formally decided that promotion on the basis similar to the circular dated 11.08.1966 was no longer available to its employees.”

         In the said unreported decision, the Appellate Division also spelt out:

“The observation of the High Court Division that service condition in favour of the employees on the date of their joining in service on the basis of circular dated 11.08.1966 can not be altered or curtailed by the subsequent resolution of the Board dated 14.12.1992 has got no legal footing to stand in view of the adoption of the Bangladesh Power Development Board (Employees) Service Rules, 1982 whereby all previous circulars, rules or orders etc. were specifically superseded by the rules, orders or circulars issued in that behalf under the Service Rules of 1982 and moreover, the Sub-Assistant Engineer like the petitioner who was appointed under the Service Rules of 1982 could not avail of the alleged benefit under the circular of 1966 similar thereto which the Sub-Assistant Engineers appointed previously used to enjoy. The newly recruited employees are and had been governed by the existing Rules of 1982 on the date of their respective appointment under which they were appointed and their service is regularized. Similarly the recruited employees, previous to the existing rules, are also being governed under the new rules.”

21.         It will not be out of place to mention that by the decision dated 06.04.2009 passed in Civil Appeal Nos. 341-358 of 2003, the Appellate Division overturned the common decision of the High Court Division dated 16.03.2003 passed in Writ Petition Nos. 2977 of 2001, 2974 of 2001, 2975 of 2001, 2976 of 2001, 2978 of 2001, 2981 of 2001, 2984 of 2001, 2985 of 2001, 2986 of 2001, 2987 of 2001, 2988 of 2001, 2990 of 2001, 2991 of 2001, 2983 of 2001, 2982 of 2001, 2972 of 2001, 2973 of 2001 and 2989 of 2001. That decision of the Appellate Division dated 06.04.2009 passed in Civil Appeal Nos. 341-358 of 2003, as we see it, has set the entire matter at rest and the ‘ratio’ enunciated by the Appellate Division therein is binding upon the High Court Division in view of the mandate of Article 111 of the Constitution.

22.         From the foregoing discussions and in the facts and circumstances of the instant Writ Petitions, we find that the petitioners are not entitled to get one-step-out-of-turn promotion as Assistant Engineers in the PDB on the basis of the superseded circular/office order dated 11.08.1966. As the petitioners are governed by the Service Rules of 1982, they will have to go through the process of examinations and tests, apart from their merit-cum-seniority, as to their suitability for promotion as Assistant Engineers as provided in Rule 8(1) read with Rule 21 (b) of the Service Rules of 1982. In the result, all the Rules fail.

23.         Accordingly, all the Rules are discharged without any order as to costs.

Ed.



Writ Petition No. 692 of 2008 With Writ Petition No. 2816 of 2007 With Writ Petition No. 2818 of 2007 With Writ Petition No. 2819 of 2007 With Writ Petition No. 2820 of 2007 With Writ Petition No. 2822 of 2007 With Writ Petition No. 2823 of 2007 With Writ Petition No. 2824 of 2007 With Writ Petition No. 3003 of 2007 With Writ Petition No. 3004 of 2007 With Writ Petition No. 4218 of 2007 With Writ Petition No. 4219 of 2007 And Writ Petition No. 4220 of 2007.