CHENNAI: With reference to the news item in The Hindu on January 13, `Apex Court directs personal appearance of two IAS Officers', S. Sowrirajulu, retired Additional IG of Registration, writes:

"In Civil Appeal No.2791 to 2793/2002 of Supreme Court of India K. Madalaimuthu and Arumuganainar Vs State of Tamil Nadu and other Respondents, the Supreme Court bench has issued directions on 4.7.2006 not to reckon the initial appointment of promotee officers appointed under Rule 10(a(i)(i) of the General Rules while fixing the seniority of direct recruits.

"The present case relates to temporary appointment of District Registrars under rule 10(a(i)(i) against vacancies without affecting quota rules in the years 1981 to 1988. The panels for the above period were issued belatedly due to administrative reasons/court cases. It was approved by TNPSC and the services of the promotees were regularised retrospectively under rule 23A of TN State and Subordinate Services Rules.

"Now a situation has arisen wherein direct recruits of 1989 are placed above the promotee District Registrars of 1981 in the seniority list in contravention of the Supreme Court Division Bench Order No.2004 in P.N. Premachandran Vs State of Kerala having far reaching consequences in all the departments of the State Governments. Further, it goes against the statutory powers of the State Governments to regularise retrospectively the services of the officers. The affected promotee officers filed a review petition in the Supreme Court on 15.12.2006. As thousands of Government officers are affected by this order and the Government's power of regularisation is questioned, the State Government is in a fix to safeguard the interests of the promotee officers. The Service Associations and other officers, who are affected by this order have since approached the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu for redressal. They hope the Tamil Nadu Government, which is interested in safeguarding the rights of the officers, will come to their rescue. The basic question is whether a direct recruit (1989) can claim precedence over a promotee (1981) ignoring his long service. In other words promotee officers cannot be considered `juniors' vis-a-vis direct recruits, who entered service much later."