News By/Courtesy: Hansi Prashanth Jain | 12 Jul 2022 14:06pm IST


  • The Karnataka high court held that it is not necessary that the Ad hoc appointments are made on seniority basis.
  • This decision was made by a bench of two judges comprising of Justice Krishna S Dixit and Justice P Krishna Bhat.
  • This judgement overturned the single judge bench's decision to allow the claim that Ad Hoc appointments must be made on seniority basis only.

The case of The University of Agricultural Sciences V. Dr. Digambarappa, & others made an important decision as to the ad hoc appointments in university. The facts of this case are as follows the appointment of the third respondent, Dr. R. Basavarajappa, in the position of Director of Education and his own placement in the position of Dean were both questioned by the petitioner, Dr. Digambarappa, in his court filing. The only justification for such a statement was his position as the professor with the most seniority.

The contention of the university was that the placement in question was only for a period of 6 months and that the position of the dean and the director was equivalent. The court with respect to this contention held that at the hands of the court both the positions have equal pay and if the university is contending that both the positions are equivalent, the one who questions it has to make a strong case to support this contention. A single judge bench allowed this order, however the university filed an appeal challenging this order.

The two-judge bench of the High Court of Karnataka, composed of Justices Krishna S. Dixit and P. Krishna Bhat, reversed this decision. It was decided that when making regular and significant promotions, seniority typically plays a crucial role. However, seniority typically takes a back seat when making ad hoc appointments like the ones at hand. This is not to mean that the authority can select anybody it likes when making an ad hoc placement; even in this case, the requirements of fairness and rationality must be upheld. The court also ruled that the idea of an ad hoc appointment is not foreign to service law because it is well known that under Rule 32 of the KCSRs (Karnataka Civil Service Rules), civil employees are only assigned to temporary positions on an incharge or independent charge basis. Typically, seniority plays little of a role in such situations.

The aforementioned Resolution was not up for debate. In actuality, the writ petitioner was appointed as the Director between January 8, 2018, and January 2, 2019. As a result, the Vice-Chancellor was forced to name the third respondent as the Director. Without taking this action, he would have violated the respondent's rights and be subject to legal action. The court further held that the petitioner is not justified in asserting his claim to the vacant office anew, the court concluded. Any argument to the contrary would be in violation of the University's Rule of Rotation, which was established by the August Body of the University. If a claim to the contrary is accepted, the senior most person will only be allowed to hold the position for a further six months at a time, with an artificial interval between each, as the law and reason forbid. Given that this topic was not covered in the contested ruling, there is a clear mistake there. The court stated that the concept of seniority is excluded by the basic concept of "appointment by rotation." The Vice-Chancellor adhered to current regulations while issuing the contested appointment orders. Even this part of the case escaped the knowledgeable Single Judge's proper notice. Therefore, an added error is visible on the face of the contested judgement.

Section Editor: Nandakishore V Menon | 14 Jul 2022 9:54am IST

Tags : #Karnataka #Highcourt #AdHoc #Seniority #civilservice #promotions #vice-chancellor #writ #appeal

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