Orissa HC quashes appointment of principals, HoDs on date of birth basis
A batch of petitions had challenged the notification issued on August 31, 2020 containing guidelines for adjudging the seniority of lecturers according to the date of birth.
Published: 14th July 2022 08:07 AM | Last Updated: 14th July 2022 08:07 AM | A+A A-
CUTTACK: In a significant judgment the Orissa High Court has quashed the State Higher Education department's notification for fixing date of birth as basis for seniority of lecturers in non-government colleges for the purpose of appointment of Principal and Head of Departments (HoDs).
"It is further clarified that all the appointments made following the said circulars be made afresh by taking into consideration date of entry into service as the basis for seniority," the Single Judge Bench of Justice SK Panigrahi ordered on Monday.
A batch of petitions had challenged the notification issued on August 31, 2020 containing guidelines for adjudging the seniority of lecturers according to the date of birth. The State contended that in the category of teachers receiving block grant and working in category-III colleges their date of appointment varies from the date of admissibility of the post in many cases.
"It will be highly difficult on part of the department to assess the eligibility date by scrutinising each and every individual post of such colleges. Hence, they have adopted a common device to fix the date of birth of the employees concerned of the college for determination of inter-se seniority," the State government claimed.
However, while allowing the petitions Justice Panigrahi observed that "this approach of the State seems to be extremely fallacious". He said, "Difficulty in following a certain rigorous procedure does not allow a state department to deviate from the principal logic established by the Supreme Court."
"Moreover, the date of entry in a particular service or the date of substantive appointment is the safest criterion for fixing seniority inter-se between one officer or the other or between one group of officers and the other recruited from the different sources," Justice Panigrahi further observed in his July 11 order.
In the 24-page judgment, the Justice Panigrahi went on to observe that the question of seniority is the most common litigation amongst the employees but a model employer like the State needs to minimise such litigations.