Sixteen years after a person retired, the Madras High Court has now remitted to the Tamil Nadu government for reconsideration of his claim for promotion as a District Revenue Officer (DRO). The government should pass appropriate orders within three months.

However, the court said that he was not entitled to get monetary benefits, but only benefits notional for revision of pension and other service benefits. A Division Bench comprising Justices N.Paul Vasanthakumar and R.Mahadevan was allowing an appeal by J. Duraisingam challenging a single Judge’s order of June 2010 on his writ petition.

Originally, Mr.Duraisingam filed a petition seeking to quash a government letter of September 1998 and direct the authorities to include his name in the panel of DROs for 1995 and promote him to that post from August 1996, the date on which his junior, one Govindarajan, was promoted with all monetary benefits.

By an order on June 29, 2010, a single Judge dismissed the petition holding that the government letter debarred the appellant from claiming promotion within the check period of five years.

This government letter was set aside by a High Court’s Full Bench decision in the DIG of Police, Thanjavur range vs Rani which held that “….. the embargo put on the right of government servant for being considered for promotion for a further period, after the period of minor punishment is over, in the name of check period viz., one year in the case of censure and five years in the case of other minor punishments, is illegal and impermissible under the statutory rules.”

The Bench said in the light of the Full Bench judgment, which was delivered after the disposal of Mr.Duraisingam’s petition, it was allowing his appeal by setting aside the single Judge’s order.

It was remitting the matter to the government for fresh consideration of his claim for promotion after the punishment of withholding his increment for six months was already over.

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