The Madras High Court on Thursday granted an interim stay of all further proceedings pursuant to orders of December last year and January appointing retired forest range officers as Forest Rangers on a contract basis.

In the petition filed through counsel M.R. Jothimanian, four foresters contended that they were eligible for the post of Forest Ranger. The petitioners were promoted as Foresters belatedly. Therefore, they could not be denied the promotion as Rangers citing Tamil Nadu Forest Subordinate Service Rules.

By the impugned letter of December 27, the Principal Secretary, Forests, had ordered the appointment of retired Forest Range Officers as Rangers on contract basis to fill vacancies. Subsequently, another letter was issued by the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests to all circles for inviting applications from retired forest range officers on contract basis. The circular was against the Tamil Nadu Forest Subordinate Service Rules and the petitioners’ right of promotion.