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Delinking seniority from confirmation - Dopt order

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Government of India / Ministry of Personnel, P.G. & Pensions / (Department of Personnel & Training)

O.M., No.20011/5/90-Estt(D), dated 4th November, 1992

Subject: Delinking seniority from confirmation.

The seniority of Government servants is determined in accordance with the general principles of seniority contained in MHA OM No. 9/11/55-RPS dated 22.12.59 (copy enclosed). One of the basic principles enunciated in the said OM is that seniority follows confirmation and consequently permanent officers in each grade shall rank senior to those who are officiating in that grade.

2. This principle has been coming under judicial scrutiny in a number of cases in the past; the last important Judgement being the one delivered by the Supreme Court on 2.5.90(JT—1990( 2) SC—26 4) in the case of Class II Direct Recruits Engineering Officers Association vs. State of Maharashtra. In para 47(A) of the said judgement the Supreme Court has  held that once an incumbent is appointed to a post according to rule, his seniority has to be counted from the date of his appointment and not according to the data of his confirmation.

3. The general principle of seniority mentioned above has examined in the light of the judicial pronouncement referred to above and it has been decided that seniority may be deinked from confirmation as per the directive of the Supreme Court in para 47 (A) of its judgement dated 2.5.90.  Accordingly in modification of the general principle 4 and proviso to general principle 5(i) contained in MHA (now DOPT) O.M. No.9/11/55-RPS dated 22.12.59 and para 2.3. of this Department O.M. dt. 3.7.86 (copy enclosed) it has ben decided that seniority of a person regularly appointed to a post according to rule would be determined by the order of merit indicated at the time of initial appointment and not according to the date of his confirmation.

4. These orders shall take effect from the date of issue of this Office Memorandum. Seniority already determined according to the existing principles on the date of issue of these orders will not be reopened even if in some cases seniority has already been challenged or is in dispute and it will continue to be determined on the basis of the principles already existing prior to the date of issue of these orders.

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