Legal Correspondent

NEW DELHI: Court cannot direct the state or its instrumentalities to provide an employee with any particular avenue of promotion, the Supreme Court has held.

“It is true that the conditions of service under the state usually provide for promotional opportunities. Absence of any promotional opportunities to a particular section, while all others are being provided with promotional opportunities, may also lead to complaints of discrimination.

“But the court cannot direct the employer state to provide any particular avenue of promotion to an employee,” a Bench of Justices R.V. Raveendran and Markandey Katju said in a recent order.

The appellant, Devki Nandan Sharma, joined Navodaya Vidyalaya Samiti as an editorial assistant in 1988. He approached the Central Administrative Tribunal saying that there was no promotional avenue for the post he held; so he should be considered for promotion to the post of Section Officer on the same basis on which the Samiti considered the assistants in the Audit Department.

Tribunal directive

The Tribunal directed the Samiti to take a decision on giving him in situ promotion on his completing 12 years of service, if the assured career promotion scheme was not applicable to him. His petition against the Tribunal’s order was dismissed by the Delhi High Court.

Dismissing the appeal, the Bench said: “The question of directing the respondent [Samiti] to consider the appellant for promotion to the post of section officer does not arise, as there is admittedly no channel of promotion from the post of editorial assistant to section officer. As whatever relief that can be granted has already been granted [by the tribunal], we find no reason to interfere in the matter.”