STATE TIMBER CORPORTAION AND 6 OTHERS
SEPTEMBER 22, 1994.
Fundamental Rights – Constitution – Violation of Article 12 (1) – Scheme ofPromotion- Application of same.
The Petitioner complained that the 9th and 10th Respondents were ap-pointed to a Grade (1) Post overlooking him. It was his position that thescheme was bad and further not properly applied.
Further it was contended that seniority should have been given about halfthe weightage and the interview was superficial, and the weightage giventoo high.
The weightage given to seniority vis-a-vis merit can vary depending onthe responsibilities, skills and aptitude required.
Where the interview performance relates to a senior post, interviewwould be relevant in assessing the candidate's suitability for the post.
AN APPLICATION made under Article 126 for infringement of Article 12 (1).
Cases referred to :
1. Perera v Ranatunga, S.C. 121/91, SCM 27.5.92 – 1993 – 1 SLR 39.
Jayampathy Wickremaratne for Petitioner.
Asoka de Silva, D.S.G., for 1, 2, 3 Respondents
Cur. adv. vult.
The Petitioner complains that his fundamental right under Article 12
has been violated by the appointment of the 9th and 10th Respond-ents to a grade (1) post in the 1st Respondent's service, overlookinghim. Learned Counsel for the Petitioner submits that the scheme ofpromotion was bad, and that in any event the scheme was not properlyapplied.
In regard to the scheme of appointment, the Petitioner complainsthat only 20% of the marks were allocated for seniority, although Gov-ernment policy required that promotion be based on seniority and merit;learned counsel submits that seniority should have been given abouthalf the weightage. He also attacks the scheme on the ground that30% of the marks were allocated for interview performance, and thatwas quite excessive.
In regard to seniority, the scheme provided an additional 20% forexperience, one mark being allocated for each year of relevant experi-ence. Accordingly, in effect 40% of the marks were allocated for sen-iority and criteria related to seniority. This cannot be regarded as un-reasonably low. Further, although "seniority and merit" are the speci-fied criteria, the weightage given to seniority vis-a-vis merit can varydepending on the responsibilities, skills and aptitudes required (Pererav. Ranatunga,(1))
In regard to interview performance, learned Counsel cited certainIndian decisions which suggested that 30% is too high for interviewperformance. However those decisions are distinguishable for at leasttwo reasons. They deal with the weightage to be given to an interviewvis-a-vis a written examination, and secondly they relate to admissionto universities and to recruitment, where this case relates to promotionto a senior post where an interview would be relevant in assessing thecandidate's suitability for post in question.
We therefore hold that the Petitioner has failed to establish that thescheme of promotion was arbitrary, unreasonable or discriminatory.
The Petitioner’s second contention is in regard to the application ofthe scheme. He claims that he should have been given ten marks forexperience but was only given three. However an examination of thedocuments relied on by the petitioner establishes that he did not haveten years' relevant experience but only three, so that the allocation ofmarks was perfectly proper.
He also contended that he was only given six marks out of 30 forinterview performance, that the interview was very cursory and lastedonly 4 minutes; and that only four questions had been asked and noneabout the quality of his service. However, one of the members of theinterview board swore an affidavit, in which, among other things, hereferred to the examination of several documents produced by the Pe-titioner relevant to the quality of his past service. In his counter affidavitthe Petitioner admitted the production of these documents. It is there-fore clear that the interview was not superficial as claimed by the Peti-tioner, and that the interview board did endeavour or assess the qualityof the Petitioner's services. In these circumstances, there is no justifi-cation whatever for the submission that the interview board acted un-reasonably or capriciously in giving him low marks for the interview. Inany event, the two successful candidates obtained eight and nine marksmore than the Petitioner, so that any error in assessment really madeno difference.
The Petitioner has failed to prove any violation of Article 12. The appli-cation is dismissed without costs.
DHEERARATNE, J. -1 agree.
PERERA, J. -1 agree.
ARIYASINGHE v. STATE TIMBER CORPORTAION AND 6 OTHERS