Sri Lanka Law Reports
 2 Sri L.R.
ILLANGARATNE AND OTHERS
SUPREME COURTG. P. S. DE SILVA, C.J.
JULY 03 AND JULY 10, 1995.
Constitution – Tea Control Department – Employee – Promotion Discriminatoryand Violative of Article 12(1)- Merit – Seniority.
The Petitioner is the Administrative Officer, grade V attached to the Tea SmallHoldings Development Authority. He complained that the promotion of the 6thRespondent to a Senior Administrative Post was discriminatory and violative of hisRights under Act, 12(1). The Petitioner obtained more marks for seniority, bothhad equal marks at the written test, the 6th Respondent obtained more marksthan the petitioner at the interview.
The Petitioner did not allege mala fides or political motive against the 6thRespondent’s appointment. There is no intentional or purposeful discriminationwhich vitiates the impugned appointment.
AN APPLICATION for infringement of Article 12(1) of the Constitution.
Cases referred to:
Wijesinghe v. Attorney-General FRD (1) at p. 40 at 45.
Gunatileke v. Attorney-General FRD (1) at 86.
Weligodapola v. Secretary, Ministry of Womens Affairs 1989 – 2 SLR 63at 82-83.
A. H. H. Perera with Gamini Perera for the Petitioner.Mohan Pieris, S.S.C., for respondents.
Cur. adv. vult
Sirisumana v. Illangaratne and Others (Kulatunga, J.)
The petitioner is an Administrative Officer Grade V attached to theTea Small Holdings Development Authority. He complains that thepromotion of the 6th Respondent to a post of Senior AdministrativeOfficer Grade IV at the Head Office with effect from 17.01.95 wasdiscriminatory and violative of his rights under Article 12(1) of theConstitution.
The petitioner claims that on the basis of merit and seniority theappointment which is the subject matter of these proceedings shouldhave been given to him and not to the 6th respondent.
Both the petitioner and the 6th respondent joined the Tea ControlDepartment as clerks on 10.03.70. Next they joined the TeaSmall Holdings Development Authority on 20.03.78. In the courseof their career in different grades of service, each of them hadgained seniority over the other alternatively, on assessment forappointment.
In the selection to the Senior Administrative Officer, Grade IV, thepetitioner and the 6th respondent obtained equal marks at the writtentest; the petitioner obtained more marks for seniority for the reasonthat he was senior to the 6th respondent in grade IV; but therespondent obtained more marks than the petitioner at the interview.The final score was 63.4 for the 6th respondent and 62.8 for thepetitioner. In the result, the petitioner was not selected forappointment.
The petitioner complains that on a precise calculation of theirseniority in Grade IV namely, 9 years and 101/2 months for him and 8years and 3 months for the 6th respondent, the petitioner should havebeen appointed. On that basis he claims that he would have received64.8 marks whilst the 6th respondent would have received only62.508 marks.
The 6th respondent in his affidavit states that in the Tea ControlDepartment he was promoted as Grade IIA clerk before the petitioner
Sri Lanka Law Reports
 2 Sri L.R..
as the latter could not pass the promotion test. Hence, the 6threspondent became more senior at that point. In the Tea SmallHoldings Development Authority the 6th respondent was promotedas Grade 1 clerk on 01.06.82 whilst the petitioner was promoted onlyon 15.11.83 and thus the 6th respondent was 17 months senior to thepetitioner. However, when they competed for appointment to the postof Administrative Officer the petitioner received 10 marks more thanthe 6th respondent at the test. After interview, the petitioner wasappointed, though the 6th respondent was more senior.
The 6th respondent states that the petitioner was the President ofthe Branch Union of the Jathika Sevaka Sangamaya (a union whichenjoyed government patronage at that time). In proof of this, he hasproduced the document 6R2. The 6th respondent has also produceda letter dated 23.04.84 addressed by the Secretary, JSS to the thenMinister of Public Administration & Plantation Industries, introducingthe petitioner as a strong supporter of the government party.
The petitioner does not allege mala tides or political motive againstthe 6th respondent's appointment. There is no intentional orpurposeful discrimination which vitiates the impugned appointment.See Wijesinghe v. Attorney-General(”, Gunatilleke v. Attorney-General l2). See also Weligodapola v. Secretary Ministry of Women'sAffairs(3) where Amerasinghe J. said:
"The State, as I have said before, is entitled to lay downconditions of efficiency and other qualifications for securing thebest service. And when it does so, this court will not, in myopinion, insist that the classification is scientifically perfect andlogically complete".
These principles apply to the case before us. On the availableevidence, the alleged infringement of rights under Article 12(1) hasnot been established. This application is accordingly dismissed. Thepetitioner will pay Rs. 750/- as costs to the 6th respondent.
G. P. S. DE SILVA, J. – I agree.
WADUGODAPITIYA, J. – I agree.
SIRISUMANA V. ILLANGARATNE AND OTHERS