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The order of the Maharashtra Administrative Tribunal has been quashed by the Bombay High Court which rejected the plea of a government employee seeking to condone the delay in claiming promotion which was denied to him by the authorities.

“In the facts and circumstances brought to our notice, we are satisfied that delay occurred to file application for condonation of delay, was not necessarily inordinate,” said justices Ashok Bhangale and A S Oka in a recent order.

“Delay was not solely attributable to the petitioner so as to leave him without any solution to his problem. Liberal, reasonable, and justice oriented approach is necessary under circumstances when lapse of time was not solely attributable to the petitioner, who was merely seeking to rectify what according to him was ‘grave injustice’ done to him, by examination of his case on the basis of evidence and merits,” according to the judges.

“The petitioner deserved an opportunity to contest original application on merits before the MAT. Delay was, therefore, condonable to advance the cause of substantial and real justice. In our view, therefore the MAT, Mumbai, erred to reject prayer for condonation of delay,” the bench remarked.

Observing that sufficient cause is made out to condone delay and to allow the petitioner to invite decision on merits, on the basis of evidence in his case, the judges quashed the impugned MAT order of September 20, 2011.

The judges held that opportunity shall be given to the petitioner, Basawant Devidas Nandgavali to contest the Original Application filed in the case on merits, according to law. They also asked Secretary of Water Resources Department in Maharashtra to pay Rs 7,500 costs to the petitioner.

The petitioner was appointed on July 27, 1976, as Junior Engineer (Mechanical) in Irrigation Department at Aurangabad. On September 15,1983, employees from open category were promoted as Deputy Engineer (Mechanical) against reserved post on the ground that persons from reserved categories were not available though the petitioner was eligible for promotion against the reserved post.

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