The Supreme Court, in a milestone decision, has ruled that the government officials have no any fundamental right to be promoted. They would not be able to get promotion despite of having eligibility criteria to work on the higher post.
The apex court’s decision is a major setback for the government employees at the time when they are making demands for time-bound promotions in their services.
The apex court Bench comprising Justices S B Sinha and C K Thakker stated that a person has no fundamental right of promotion in terms of Article 16 of the Constitution of India. Although he has a fundamental right to be considered thereof as the bench stated further that the consideration for promotion by Departmental Promotion Committee (DPC) regarding the candidature of the aspiring employees should be efficient and carrying great weight.
According to the Article 16 of the Constitution, there should be an equal opportunity to all in matters of public employment. The article does not talk about any fundamental right for an employee to get promotion. At the same time, the court bench clearly added in the ruling that all employees can have a genuine ambition to get promoted. They have the fundamental right to be considered for promotion by the Departmental Promotion Committee (DPC).
The Bench stated later that merit and suitability should be the primary consideration for promotion to a selection post. The Bench, during the hearing of a dispute between two government employees, S B Bhattacharya and S D Majumdar, for the post of executive engineer in Mizoram, also ruled that the terms and conditions of service of an employee, should be abide by the rules framed according to the Article 309 of the Constitution.
As far as the states are concerned those have not framed rules for promotions based on merit and suitability of candidates, the DPC should act as the deciding board to consider the promotions based on merit of the candidates.