Govt should act as model employer: SC

New Delhi: The government should act as a model employer and ensure that its employees are treated fairly in appointment and promotion, the Supreme Court has said.

A bench of justices K S Radhakrishnan and Dipak Misra said the concept of good governance can be concretised only when government employees are sure they will be treated fairly and their trust shall not be betrayed.

"We are compelled to reiterate the oft-stated principle that the state is a model employer and it is required to act fairly giving due regard and respect to the rules framed by it," the bench said.

The bench rapped the Assam government for not following proper rules in appointment and promotion of its employees.

"It should always be borne in mind that legitimate aspirations of the employees are not guillotined and a situation is not created where hopes end in despair. Hope for everyone is gloriously precious and a model employer should not convert it to be deceitful and treacherous by playing a game of chess with their seniority," the bench said.

The court's order came on a bunch of petitions of Assam police officials, who were held by the Gauhati High Court to have been wrongly appointed in a special recruitment drive.

The apex court said the state government had violated rules in the appointment under special batch recruits in which serving officers were promoted in Assam Police Service in 1993-94.

The court also came to the conclusion that those officers were illegally granted seniority above other police officials who were appointed in direct recruitment at the same time.

"In the case at hand, the special batch recruits have encroached upon the quota of the direct recruits. The whole selection process is in violation of the rules," the court said.

It, however, refused to quash the appointment due to long delay in challenging the selection during which some of them have already retired.

"A sense of calm sensibility and concerned sincerity should be reflected in every step (of the govt). An atmosphere of trust has to prevail and when the employees are absolutely sure that their trust shall not be betrayed and they shall be treated with dignified fairness then only the concept of good governance can be concretised," the bench said.

"We have stated the role of the state as a model employer with the fond hope that in future a deliberate disregard is not taken recourse to and deviancy of such magnitude is not adopted to frustrate the claims of the employees," it said.