Chennai: The Madras high court prevented Tamil Nadu Fire and Rescue Service Department from according promotion to its firemen until further orders.
Justice Satrunghana Pujari passed an interim order on a plea moved by M. Elangovan of Thiruvallur and others, challenging the move to accord promotion, bypassing the existing seniority list. The court directed the director of the department to submit a reply by September 3. The judge said that if any promotion to the post of station fire officer is required to be given in public interest, this shall be from the panel of existing leading firemen and that too on a temporary basis.
According to the petitioners, they work as leading firemen under the department and are in the zone of consideration of the tentative vacancies of more than 180 posts of assistant station fire officer and station fire officer. Their next promotion is to the post of station fire officer from the panel of leading firemen from different divisions in the state, considering seniority in that cadre. Till now, promotions were given based on service rules and seniority.
The department now plans to accord promotion, bypassing the seniority list. They said this would affect about 707 leading firemen and station fire officers’ working under various divisions and they would lose their guaranteed and accrued right of promotion for the existing vacancy of assistant station fire officer or station fire officer for 2017-18 and 2018-19. Hence they sought the court to direct the department to accord promotions as per the existing seniority list.