CHENNAI: The Madras High Court has vacated an interim stay granted against promoting assistants, serving in revenue department in districts, to the post of deputy tahsildhar. “Based on the statement made by the Additional Advocate General appearing for the respondents, there is no such amendment of the rules to protect the interest of the petitioners. The interim orders already granted by this court are vacated,” said Justice D Krishnakumar in his recent ruling while disposing of a batch of writ petitions filed by non-graduate assistants.
Pointing out that the representation of the petitioners’ association for amending the rules is pending with the government, the judge said unless the rules are amended, the petitioners are not entitled to any relief. The judge, however, gave non-graduate assistants the liberty to approach the revenue department within two weeks from the receipt of the copy of the order with a plea to consider their representation and directed the department to pass appropriate orders within eight weeks thereafter.
The legal fight among the directly recruited, graduate and non-graduate assistants for promotion to the post of deputy tahsildhar has been on for a long time after the government amended sections of the Tamil Nadu Revenue Subordinate Service (TNRSS) Rules in 1992, providing preferential treatment to directly recruited assistants. However, the GO issued in this regard was struck down by the administrative tribunal. Aggrieved by the order of the tribunal, the State government and directly recruited assistants filed a writ petition before the Madras HC, which upheld the amendments in its order dated September 10, 2005.
However, the promotees moved an SLP before the Supreme Court, which partly allowed the appeals in 2009 and restricted the application of the impugned amendment to non-graduate assistants. After a few rounds of litigations, the matter again reached the Supreme Court. In 2019, the apex court passed orders to the effect that no preference shall be shown in promotion. However, non-graduate assistants were left to the government.
Against this backdrop, the commissioner for revenue administration issued an order in 2011 directing District Collectors to redraw the panel for promotion to deputy tahsildhar posts by placing non-graduates behind the directly recruited and the graduates. Against this order, the non-graduates approached the court with the petitions, which were disposed of.
Supreme Court order
In 2019, the apex court passed orders to the effect that no preference shall be shown in promotion. However, the case of non-graduate assistants was left to the government