Question: The department has changed the old promotion policy after receiving approval from the governor. The 1986 rule has been completely replaced to promote junior officers who have additional qualifications. However, these qualifications were not required at the time of my joining the department. Later, some internal courses were conducted by the department to improve the officers’ efficiency, resulting in the eligibility of very junior officers for promotion.
This new promotion policy has curtailed the rights of senior officers, and the state government has entirely ignored the services rendered by them. As senior officers, we are facing humiliation because our junior officers will be promoted and rule over us in the department. We want to set aside this new promotion policy and apply the old policy, which was adopted in 1986.
Asked from: Madhya Pradesh
The state has the power to make a new promotion policy. Employees of the state have no right to challenge the new promotion policy on the grounds that the old policy was better. It is the prerogative of the state, and also, the court shall not interfere in the policy matters of the state.
Therefore, if you want to challenge the new promotion policy on the basis of reasonableness, you have to prove that there is some element which is against the provisions of Article 14 and 16 of the Constitution.
However, if you want to challenge the new promotion policy only on the grounds that it is not better than the old policy, you must show that there is some flaw in the new policy.
In Veerendra Huda versus State of Haryana, the Honourable Supreme Court has held that when the state declares a policy regarding the manner of filling up a post, and the said policy is not contrary to the rules, the employee must follow the same and cannot challenge the policy simply because they feel it would not have been fair or logical, as per the old policy.
If you want to challenge the new promotion policy in the High Court, you have to prove that there is some arbitrariness or lack of intelligible differentia. If there is a lack of direct nexus between the object sought by the state and the formulation of the new policy, this can also constitute a ground for quashing the new policy.
Regarding the facts of this case, there is a clear distinction between the old policy and the new policy. The old policy was silent about the enhancement of specialist skills of employees who had completed specific courses, which could enhance their efficiency in the discharge of their duties. Therefore, they could be the best-suited candidates for promotion. If this is the objective of the new policy, then there is no ground to challenge it.