Legal Advice

Promotion order is passed on the seniority basis instead of merit cum seniority

Question: I believe that the DPC has illegally ignored my promotion. The promotion order is based upon merit cum seniority. Initially, a seniority list was prepared by the DPC for the post of Executive Engineer. However, this list was challenged by some Assistant Engineers in the High Court. The High Court has directed the department and the DPC to prepare a fresh seniority list based on the date of joining. After the publication of the new seniority list, my seniority has been reduced by three steps, and my junior officers have become senior to me.  As a result, there is very little chance that I may be promoted to the post of Executive Engineer. In this scenario, I would like to know if it is possible for me to challenge the seniority list before the High Court. If yes, please guide me on how to take the legal steps in the right direction to get justice from the court.


The state has prepared the seniority list on the basis of direction of the high court. But there is a serious error while passing the promotion order. The promotion should have been on the basis of merit cum seniority. 

But in your case the promotion was done on the basis of seniority only. This is against the rule. Therefore, you should immediately challenge the promotion order. No need to challenge the seniority list because it is prima facie correct. 

As per the merit cum seniority rule the meritorious candidate should be promoted however he is junior in the seniority list. Your seniority is lowered three steps but as per the facts of your case you are more meritorious than the senior. 

Hence you should move a writ petition in the high court under article 226 of the constitution of India. You should adduce evidence that the promotion was done on the basis of seniority only however, according to the prevailing rule the promotion should have been done on the merit cum seniority basis. 

This promotion order is violative of article 14 and 16 of the constitution of India. Therefore, the high court may quash this order.

Shivendra Pratap Singh


High Court Lucknow