Giving justice to a woman who was denied promotion to the post of Director of Urban Affairs Department, the Meghalaya High Court today ordered that although she had retired from service she should be given notional retrospective promotion with effect from November 1, 2021 till the date of her retirement.
Lukhimai Suchiang had moved the High Court with a grievance that after serving for a period of three years in the post of Joint Director in the Urban Affairs Department. She also stated that as per Notification No. UAU. 182/2007/49, dated November 18, 2008, she should have been considered for promotion to the post of Director since the appointment to the post is made by promotion from amongst the members of the services holding the post of Joint Director, who have rendered not less than three years of continuous service.
Suchiang argued that despite being qualified for promotion to the post of Director in the Urban Affairs Department, the State government had appointed another person not from the cadre to the post of Director, which she alleged to be in violation of the Notification dated November 18, 2008.
Suchiang’s lawyer Philemon Nongbri told the High Court that his client retired in February 2022, and on the eve of retirement, she was promoted to a newly created post of Director (Urban Survey) only on February 18, 2022.
Nongbri further contended that grave prejudice has been caused to Suchiang that if promotion was accorded to her in the usual course, on being eligible, she would have enjoyed a higher scale of pay with effect from May 2020. He therefore prayed that appropriate orders be passed granting Suchiang notional retrospective promotion from the date she was eligible, and for her placement in the correct pay band.
In this view of the matter, the High Court directed the State government to give notional retrospective promotion to Suchiang with effect from November 1, 2021 till the date of her superannuation.
“This notional promotion with retrospective effect, however, will be only towards re-fixation of the pay of the petitioner at pay matrix L-21, for the said period as allowed by this order that is from November 1, 2021 to February 28, 2022,” the bench of Justice Harmarsan Singh Thangkhiew said in the order.
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