MADURAI -- Coming to the aid of an officer who could not get promotion to IAS despite 33 years of service, Madras High Court has directed the Tamil Nadu government to recommend his name for upgradation within four months and for the Centre to pass appropriate orders in eight weeks.
Justices V Ramasubramanian and N Kirubakaran were hearing a petition from D Pandian, who contended he could get promoted to Indian Administrative Service despite 33 years of service.
They said he had committed a mistake by seeking wrong relief before judicial forums and arguing cases in person.
It was not good that a person fighting for justice should lose on mere technicalities, the Judges said and directed the state government to recommend his name for promotion in four months and for the Centre to pass appropriate orders within eight weeks thereafter.
Pandian submitted that he got employed as Junior Employment Officer in March 1982 and served in various capacities till December 1989. Then he passed Group I service exams and was appointed as Divisional Development Officer in the Rural Development Department.
When he was eligible for promotion to the post of Joint Director of Rural Development,a charge memo was issued to him that year, seeking an explanation for initiating disciplinary action against a typist "without sufficient cause."
He was imposed with a punishment of censure in March 2000 after enquiry.
The judges said if Pandian was prudent,he would have left the matter at that and gained promotions. Unfortunately he filed a petition for review, leading to problems.
Pandian said the state Government ordered a re-enquiry in 2003 after citing some procedural irregularities in the enquiry conducted.They made it clear this should commence from the stage of furnishing all copies of documents relied upon in support of the charges. But the Rural Development Commissioner 'misunderstood' it and issued a fresh charge memo in 2009.
Pandian did not challenge the validity of the 'illegal' second charge memo before the High Court.
He moved the Central Administrative Tribunal challenging promotions given to juniors without asking to consider his name for promotion. CAT dismissed his case in 2013, leading to the present writ petition.
The court said Pandian was completely misguided and had spoilt his case by preparing petitions and appearing in person.
They said the Tribunal could have seen the obvious injustice done to the petitioner and moulded the relief.There were no serious charges against him.
"The manner in which he had conducted his own cases disclosed the level of frustration that he has reached. His frustration was understandable," the court observed.
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