SC hauls up appointment board for discrimination”

New Delhi : The Supreme Court struck down the denial of promotion to a major general by the Cabinet Committee on Appointments headed by the Prime Minister as “discriminatory and violative of Article 16,” declaring him as the Lieutenant General and all benefits in that rank until retirement on February 2009. The Bench of Justices A K Patnaik and Jagdish Singh Khehar noted in its judgment on Wednesday that the committee did not record any reason to negate the recommendation of the Army’’s selection board for promotion of Major General H M Singh of DRDO (Defence Research and Development Organisation), out of the panel of four names. The selection board had recommended his case on the basis of his record of of service, past performance, qualities of leadership as well as vision. While the selection board cleared his name just two days before his superannuation on February 29, 2008, the President, in fact, granted him three months of extension and then one more month of extension to let the cabinet committee decide the matter. He was, however, retired on June 3, 2008 after the cabinet committee disapproved his promotion. Singh first unsuccessfully tried his case before the Madras High Court before coming to the Apex Court that could not restore him back in the service as he was past the service age of 60 as the Lt. General. The Supreme Court, however, ruled to release to him within three months the monetary benefits due to him on account of his promotion as Lt General as also the revised retirement benefits on account of the promotion.

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