The Delhi High Court on Monday ruled that promotion as per seniority shall be based upon the continuous length of service, this cannot be opposed even if the seniority of promotee was not computed from the date of eligibility but from the date of joining.
In the instant case of Shreekant Gupta vs. University of Delhi, the petitioner had challenged a notification wherein another professor had been appointed as the HOD of the Department of Economics. His contention is that his seniority must relate back to the said date and based on the said seniority, the petitioner is entitled to be appointed as HOD, Department of Economics.
The single Judge bench of Justice V. Kameswar Rao ruled in favour of the respondent (University Of Delhi). While referring to the case of Najma Siddiqui (Prof.) v. University of Delhi (1998 (46) DRJ 216), the Court held, “The law is well settled that once Statute provides that inter se seniority has to be counted from continuous length of service then the inter se seniority of the respondent No.2 vis-a-vis the petitioners has to be from the date they were selected by the Selection Committee and started working as Professors. This is possible by looking at the dates of their appointment as Professors and of performing duties as Professors. Petitioners were appointed Professors earlier than respondent No.2 hence would rank senior.”
The bench further stated that the intent of the provision is to grant seniority for the purpose of HOD, only to those Professors, who have actually worked on the said post and not on notional basis. The petition was dismissed by the Court and upheld the appointment of the respondent professor.