In a significant ruling, the Supreme Court dismissed the plea of the Himachal Pradesh Government in the case of State of Himachal Pradesh vs. Surender Kumar Parmar, affirming the High Court’s directive to provide two promotions to an employee, Surender Kumar Parmar, in the absence of promotional avenues for his post.
Surender Kumar Parmar, employed as a Computer Operator in the Health Service Department of the Himachal Pradesh Government, found himself embroiled in a dispute regarding promotions. Despite his duties aligning more closely with those of a clerk, he was consistently denied promotions. Parmar argued that other clerks in the office were receiving promotions to higher positions, while he remained stagnant in his role.
High Court’s Decision:
Relying on the precedent set by the case of State of Tripura and others vs. K.K. Roy, the High Court directed the State to grant Parmar two higher scales in the hierarchy of pay-scales, one upon completing 12 years of service and the other at 24 years of service. The court emphasized that promotion is a condition of service, and the state is obligated to provide promotional avenues to its employees.
Supreme Court’s Ruling:
The Supreme Court bench, consisting of Justices Hrishikesh Roy and Prashant Kumar Mishra, upheld the High Court’s decision, dismissing the plea of the Himachal Pradesh Government. The court noted that Parmar had been deprived of any promotion throughout his entire career, despite his eligibility and the absence of any valid reasons for denying him promotion. The bench affirmed the High Court’s observation that Parmar had faced stagnation in his position for nearly 28 years.
This ruling has significant implications for employees across the country, emphasizing the importance of providing promotional avenues to ensure career progression and prevent stagnation. It underscores the responsibility of state governments to formulate policies, based on recommendations from Pay Commissions, to address the lack of promotion opportunities for employees in various posts.
The dismissal of the State’s plea by the Supreme Court marks a victory for Surender Kumar Parmar and sets a precedent for ensuring the fair treatment of employees in matters of career advancement. The ruling serves as a reminder to employers, both in the public and private sectors, of their obligation to provide equitable opportunities for professional growth to their workforce.