10 May 1996
Supreme Court







DATE OF JUDGMENT:       10/05/1996


CITATION:  JT 1996 (6)   217        1996 SCALE  (5)63



JUDGMENT:                          O R D E R      Delay condoned.      Counsel for  the petitioner  admits that a notification under Section  10 [5] of the Urban Ceiling Act was published pursuant to which the excess vacant land was surrendered and taken possession  of by  the Government.  Consequently,  the land  stands   vested  in   the  State  free  from  all  the encumbrances.  In  what  manner  the  lands  require  to  be utilized has been regulated under the provisions of the Act. It is  not a  condition, under  the  Act,  that  payment  of Compensation be made before utilization of the land of which the   petitioner    was   erstwhile   owner.   under   these circumstances, we  do not  find any  illegality in the order passed by  the High Court in Special Civil Appeal No 4093/93 on May 15,1995.      The Special Leave Petition is accordingly dismissed. Gaya Baksh Yadav V. Union of India & Ors.                            W I T H               CIVIL APPEAL NOS.4004-07 OF 1987 Kishori Lal Bablani & Ors. V. Union of India & Ors.                       J U D G M E N T Punchhi,J.      This  is  another  manifestation  of  the  never-ending dispute Between  direct recruits  and promotees,  arising in this bitch  of 5  appeals, directed against the judgment and under  dated   28.5.1987  of   the  Central   Administrative Tribunal, Principal Bench, New Delhi.      A representative  petition, representing  the interests of  the   promotee  officers,   belonging  to   the  Customs Appraisers Service  Class II,  was filed  before the Central Administrative  Tribunal,   Principal  Bench,   New   Delhi,



challenging Circular No. A, 23011/86-AD.II (A) dated the 2nd May, 1986  issued by  the Ministry of Finance (Department of Revenue),  Government   of  India,   containing   principles regarding "Promotion  of Appraisers  of Customs to the India Customs and  Central Excise  Service, Group A", for quashing of the  pursuant "All  India combined  List  of  Appraisers" circulated therewith,  and for a direction to the Government of India  to prepare  a fresh  seniority list  in accordance with law,  on the  basis  of  length  of  service,  quashing promotions of some of the respondents therein to the post of Assistant Collector  of Customs  and Central  Excise as also for a  corresponding  direction  to  promote  the  promotee- applicants to such posts, giving them the benefit of revised seniority with retrospective effect.      A glimpse  of the  service  related  history  would  be useful for  a thorough  grasp of  the problem. There existed Customs Houses  in the metropolitan cities of Bombay, Madras and Calcutta  at a  given point  of time, established by the Government of  India, and  manned by  members of the Customs Appraisers Service.  As far  back in 1936, the Central Board of  Revenue,   by  order,  had  established  the  manner  of recruitment to  the Customs  Appraisers Service  to be  done from  two   sources,  i.e.,  50  per  cent  by  departmental promotion, 25 per cent directly from experts and 25 per cent by means  of a  competitive examination  or selection by the Public Service  Commission. It was also provided in the said order that the percentages laid down denoted the maximum and the Collector  of Customs  would not  be  bound  to  recruit uptill the  maximum is  reached, particularly in the case of recruitment by  promotion In  actual practice, however, this order had  been acted upon as if providing 50 per cent posts for promotees  and 50  per cent for direct recruits, whether they be  experts or  coming by  competitive  examination  or selection by the Public Service Commission.      In 1940,  the Government  of  India  issued  a  General Circular  for   determination  of   relative  seniority   of candidates appointed  by direct recruitment and by promotion In that  Circular, it  was demonstrated  that  "Where  in  a department two permanent or quasi-permanent vacancies occur, even simultaneously,  and the  first vacancy  in  accordance with the  rotation is for direct recruit, the direct recruit will rank  in seniority  above the  promotee, even though he joined his post after the promotee who had been promoted and confirmed." On  December 12,  1959, the  Government of India issued another  Circular  containing  amongst  others,  some general principles  for determining the seniority of various categories of  persons employed  in Central  Services. Those were  effective  from  the  date  of  their  issue  and  not retrospectively. One  of the  principles projected  in  this Circular of  1959 was  with respect to relative seniority of direct  recruits   and  promotees  providing  that  relative seniority  of   direct  recruits   and  promotees  shall  be determined  according  to  the  rotation  of  the  vacancies between direct  recruits and promotees, which shall be based respectively on  the quota  of reservation for each given in the recruitment  rules. It  was  further  explained  that  a roster shall  be maintained  based on  the  reservation  for direct  recruits   and  promotees   for  promotion   in  the recruitment rules.  Where, for  example, the reservation for each is  50 per  cent, the  roster will run as i) promotion, ii)  direct   recruitment,  iii)   promotion,  (iv)   direct recruitment and so on. Appointments were thus required to be made in  accordance with  the aforesaid roster and seniority determined accordingly. It is thus deducible that whether it be by  the Circular  of Government of India of the year 1940



or that  of year  1959, seniority  was to  be determined  by working the  rotational system depending upon the respective quota reserved for direct recruits and promotees.      In accordance  with the 1959 Circular, the Collectorate of Bombay  Customs House,  under orders of the Central Board of Revenue,  prepared a  seniority list  in the  year  1963. Certain promotee Appraisers of the Customs Department of the Government of India challenged the seniority list of 1963 by means of  a petition  under Article  32 of  the Constitution before this  Court contending that the rotational system had resulted in  discriminatory treatment  against them with the consequence that  promotees of  much longer  service in  the cadre of  Appraisers were  put in  the seniority  list below direct recruits  with much  shorter service,  which offended the Equality  Rule with  respect to  opportunity  guaranteed under  Article   16(1)  of  the  Constitution.  The  dispute focussed and  resolved can  be seen  in Mervyn  Continho and Ors. Vs.  Collector of  Customs, Bombay  and Ors.,  1963 SCR 600, a decision by a five judge bench. The contention of the Union of  India in  response was  that in  a  service  where recruitment is  partly by  promotion and  partly  by  direct recruitment, the  system of fixing seniority by rotation has been adopted  and that  this pattern was being followed in a number of  services under  the Union. It was also urged that there is  nothing discriminatory  in such  a system  and  no denial  of   equality  of   opportunity  by   following  the rotational  system,   for  determining   seniority  in  such circumstances. This  Court in  Mervyn Continho’s case agreed with the  Union of India and the theme of the 1959 Circular. This Court  held that  where recruitment  to a cadre is from two sources,  namely,  direct  recruits  and  promotees  and rotational system  is in  force, seniority is to be fixed as provided  in  the  Explanation  by  alternatively  fixing  a promotee and  direct recruit  in the  seniority list. By the adoption of the rotational system this Court did not see any violation of  the  principles  of  equality  of  opportunity enshrined in Article 16(1) of the Constitution. The argument that the  system resulted  in anomalies  was rejected and it was viewed  that such  situation had  developed since direct recruitments had  not kept pace with the quota fixed and had they kept pace, there would have been no anomalies in fixing the  seniority.   This  Court  then  handling  the  question observed as follows :      "The question,  therefore,  narrows      down to  this : Can it be said that      there  is  denial  of  equality  of      opportunity which arises out of the      fortuitous circumstance  and  which      is  not  a  vice  inherent  in  the      rotational  system?   We  are   not      prepared to say that the rotational      system of  fixing seniority  itself      offends equality  of opportunity in      Government service.  Any  anomalies      which may  have resulted on account      of  insufficient   recruitment   of      direct recruits  in the past cannot      in our  opinion  be  a  ground  for      striking   down    the   rotational      system, which,  as  we  have  said,      does not itself amount to denial of      equality  of   opportunity  in  the      matter of  employment in Government      service,  It  is  regrettable  that      some   anomalies    have   appeared



    because of insufficient recruitment      of direct  recruits in  the past in      this particular  service. But  that      in our opinion can be no reason for      striking down  the  seniority  list      prepared   in    1963   which    is      undoubtedly  in  strict  accordance      with the rotational system based on      the fixed quotas for recruitment of      direct recruits  and promotees. The      order of  the Board  of 1963 on the      basis   of   which   the   impugned      seniority list  of  Appraisers  has      been  prepared  clearly  lays  down      that the principle of determination      of seniority of the direct recruits      and the  promotees inter  se in the      prescribed ratio of 1 : 1 should be      worked  out.   This  order   is  in      accordance  with  the  circular  of      1959 and  as we  have said already,      there is  no inherent  vice in  the      principle of  fixing  seniority  by      rotation in  a case where a service      is composed  in fixed proportion of      direct recruits and promotees."      The  other   grievance  of   the  promotees  in  Mervyn Continho’s case  was in relation to the promotional cadre of Principal  Appraisers.   There  was   only  one   source  of recruitment thereto,  i.e., by  promotion from  the cadre of Appraisers. It  was therefore  ruled that when the source of recruitment of  Principal Appraiser is one, namely, from the grade of Appraisers, there is, therefore, no question of any quota being  reserved for  the two  original sources  and in their cases the rotational system could therefore not apply, and rather  the normal rule would apply; i.e., that a person promoted to  a higher grade gets his seniority in that grade according to  the date  of promotion,  subject always to his being found  fit and  being confirmed  in the  higher  grade after the period of probation is over. In such a case it was continuous appointment  in the-higher grade which determined seniority because  the source  of recruitment being one. The departmental method  by which  seniority  in  the  grade  of Principal Appraisers was contrarily fixed was struck down as it denied equality of opportunity.      It would  not only  be relevant  but pertinent  to note here that  even though Mervyn Continho’s case was not fought and  defended   by  the   promotees  and   direct   recruits respectively in  a representative capacity, or even relating to any  particular Customs  House, lt was a decision plainly rendered in  relation to  the ’Service’  as established  and governed under the orders of the Government of India, issued from time  to time,  when  there  were  no  statutory  rules governing the subject till 1961 when for the first time, the Customs Appraisers  Service Class II Recruitment Rules, 1961 appeared on  the scene. This Court in Mervyn Continho’s case was seemingly aware of the existence of those rules, since those had  been referred to in the counter then filed by the Union of  India, but  those apparently  were not employed in determining the  spectrum  of  the  seniority  dispute  then existing. There is, therefore no reference to them at all in that judgment.  One of  the reasons perhaps could be that in the 1961  rules, there is no specific rule for determination of seniority.  Though Rule  3 thereof lays down four methods for recruitment  to the  service, Rule  4 mandates  that  no



appointment shall  be made  to the  service, or  to any post borne on  the cadre  of  the  service,  by  any  method  not specified under  Rule 3.  Additionally, clause  3 of  Rule 4 provides that the percentage of posts to be filled by direct recruitment by  competitive  examination,  or  by  selection otherwise than by competitive examination, shall not be less than 50  per cent  of the  total cadre of Appraisers and the remaining posts  may be filled by any other method mentioned in Rule  3. The  rule having  forbidden  direct  recruitment getting  less   than  50   per  cent,   necessarily   direct recruitment could,  in some  event, be even more than 50 per cent. The  rule castes  a  preference  and  leaning  towards direct  recruitment   and  guarantees  50%  allocation.  The promotees have to remain content with the remainder, if any, left after  satisfying the  50% allocation  or more  to  the direct recruits,  here discernibly  lies the  shift and  the discardence of  the rotational  rule, the  rule accepted  in Mervyn Continho’s  case, in  the  given  event,  valid  from August 15,  1947 (earlier  confirmed Appraisers  being  left undisturbed) uptill  the coming into force of the 1961 Rules and questionably afterwards.      It is  not disputed  that on the basis of the orders of the Central  Board of  Revenue of the year 1963, as approved by this  Court in  Mervyn Continho’s  case, seniority  lists were drawn  by the  respective custom  houses established in the country.  The next  promotional avenue then respectively available to  appraisers was the post of Principal Appraiser which was  a Grade  D post,  promotion to  which was made on regional basis  by the  respective Customs Houses. The Grade of Principal  Appraiser however  was abolished on 14-9-1970. The Appraisers  thenceforth were made eligible for promotion directly to  the post  of Assistant  Collector of Customs, a Group A  post, in  the Indian  Customs  and  Central  Excise Service. Since  the said  service was  an All  India Service need arose  to prepare  an  All  India  list  of  Appraisers working in  the Customs Houses, A decision in that direction was made by the Ministry of Finance, Department of Revenue & Insurance, vide  Circular  dated  28-2-1973,  The  following principles were  laid down  for the  Preparation of  an  All India list  of Appraisers  for  promotion  to  the  Class  I service: 1.  Direct   recruitment  Appraisers   belonging  to   three different cadres were arranged in the order of their rank in the  Select  List  prepared  by  the  Union  Public  Service Commission. This  was done  taking into  consideration  that direct recruits list is made on All India basis. 2.  The   name  of  promotee  appraisers  belonging  to  the different cadres  were so  placed in  the ALL  India list of direct recruits  that their relative seniority vis-a-vis the direct recruits, as obtaining in their respective cadres, to which the  promottees and  the direct recruits, belonging to the year, were maintained. 3. In  case more  than one  promottee officer  belonging  to different cadres  got placement between two direct recruits, names of such promottees were arranged in the order of their length of continuous service as Appraiser.      The basic  principle employed  for  preparing  the  All India list  was in  preserving the  inter  se  seniority  of Appraisers in  each Customs  Houses or in other words in the original cadre.  The employment of such calculation became a disquieting factor.  Some promottee  Appraisers belonging to the Bombay  Customs House  cadre found  themselves  to  have become junior  to the  promottee Appraisers  of Calcutta and Madras Custom Houses cadres The seniority list thus prepared on this  principle was  challenged before  the  Bombay  High



Court by  some promottee  Appraisers of  Bombay Custom house vide Writ  Petition No.2699  of 1972  which was  allowed  on October 18,  1979 setting  aside the  promotions made on the basis of  All India  Service prepared  in pursuance  of  the principles  contained   in  the  Circular  dated  28-2-1973. Direction was issued to the Government to prepare a combined seniority list  of Appraisers all over India on the basis of continuous length  of service rendered by them as Appraisers or any  other legal  or  valid  principle.  No  opinion  was however expressed  by the  Bombay High  Court with regard to the validity  of the principle set out in the Circular dated 28-2-1973. Rather  in so  many words the High Court left the validity of  these principles  expressly open conceding that if occasion arose the principles reflected in decision dated 28-2-1973 might  have to be fully considered and adjudicated upon. The Government was left to its own to device any other legal  and   valid  principle,   if  not  the  principle  of continuous length  of service  rendered. The  Special  leave petition of  the Union  of India,  so as  to  challenge  the judgment and  order of the Bombay High Court was rejected on 22-2-1982.      The Government then went into another exercise to untie the knot.  It made  a decision  on October 29, 1982 that the direct  recruits  and  the  promottee  Appraisers  would  be brought on  two different  lists on  All India Service basis and  the   promotional  posts   of  Assistant  Collector  of Customs/Central Excise  falling in  the share  of Appraisers will be  divided equally between the direct recruits and the promottees. The  circular inter alia provided that promottee Appraisers of  all the custom houses could be brought on one list on  the basis  of their  continuous length  of service, subject to  the order  on which  they were  included in  the panel, prepared  by the departmental promotion committees in the respective  customs houses. Further it was provided that vacancies in  the Group  A meant  for  Appraisers  would  be filled up  from the  two panels  i.e. One  meant for  direct recruits and  the other for the promottee Appraisers, in the ratio of  1:1, alternative vacancies going to the promottees and direct  recruits. This principle too was unacceptable to some. This  time challenge  came in  the Madras  region. The circular was challenged in the Madras High Court in two writ petitions Nos.,9925/82  and 3-77  of 1983 which were allowed on 12-9-1985  quashing the  circular dated  October 29, 1982 giving a  direction  to  the  Union  of  India  to  fix  the seniority of  the promottees  and direct recruits Appraisers on some  fair and  just principle  without  causing  serious prejudice to  either of  them. The  court took the view that the Appraisers  as a  class stood  integrated  and  thus  no distinction could  be kept alive between direct recruits and the promottees. Letters Patent Appeal in that Court filed by the Government  was  withdrawn  but,  statedly  one  letters patent appeal  at the  instance of  the direct  recruits was pending  in   the  Madras   High  Court   when  the  Central Administrative Tribunal became seisen of the matter.      Final venture  was made  by the Government by issuing a circular dated  May 22,  1986 deciding that the promotees of all the  three cadres/regions/custom  houses may  be  placed together on  the basis of their continuous length of service and the  direct recruits  correspondingly on  the  basis  of their inter  se ranking assigned by the U.P.S.C. and then an 471 India  list be  prepared by rotating the officers in the two lists  in the  ratio of  1:1. The  basis of the decision apart, the  circular provided  that  this  method  would  be applicable only  to those Appraisers who were in position on September 15,  1970 and were recruited/promoted to the Grade



on regular  basis  upto  February  28,  1986.  The  circular further provided that suitable modifications will be made in respect of those promoted/recruited to the Grade on or after March 1,  1986, keeping  in view the principles contained in the earlier  circular of February 7, 1986. The said circular dated 7-2-1986,  amongst others,  provided that the practice of keeping  vacant posts  for  being  filled  up  by  direct recruits  of  later  years,  thereby  giving  them  intended seniority over  promotees,  already  in  position  would  be dispensed  with.  It  was  conceded  that  when  the  direct recruits are  not available,  the promotees would be bunched together at  the bottom of the seniority list below the last position upto  which it  is possible to determine seniority, on the  basis of rotation of quotas with reference to actual direct recruits  who become  available. Further the unfilled direct recruits  quota vacancies  were to be carried forward and added  to the  Corresponding direct recruit vacancies of the next  year (to  subsequent years  where  necessary)  for taking action  for direst  recruitment for  the total number according to the usual practice.      The  circular  of  May  22,  1986  made  two  different provisions/basis for  two cadres.  One commenced  for  those Appraisers who  were in position from 15 September, 1970 and were promoted  to the  Grade on  regular basis upto February 28,1986 and the other in respect of those promoted/recruited to the  Grade on  or after  March 1, 1986. This circular too was put  to challenge  in this  Court by  means  of  a  writ petition under  Article 32  of the Constitution but the same was allowed  to be  withdrawn on  October  28,  1986  giving liberty  to   the  writ  petitioners  to  move  the  Central Administrative Tribunal  declaring  that  the  Tribunal  had authority  to   entertain  petitions   in  a  representative capacity. Thus  the matter before the Tribunal was projected as also  defended  in  a  representative  way  in  order  to determine whether  the impugned circular of May 22, 1986 was fair and  reasonable, not violating the equality rule and if so to  ascertain what  could be  the basis  to  settle  this otherwise never-ending dispute.      The Central  Administrative Tribunal  by  an  elaborate judgment dated  28-5-1987 quashed  the circular  dated 22-5- 1986 setting  aside any  promotions made  to  the  posts  of Assistant Collector  of Customs  and Excise  Group A  on the basis of  the said  list. The Union of India was directed to prepare afresh  an All  India combined list of Appraisers on the basis  of continuous officiation of the incumbent in tie post of  Appraisers leaving  a niche  that should the Madras High Court  reverse the  decision of the single Bench in the Letters Patent Appeal, the Union of India would no longer be under an obligation to prepare a combined list. The Tribunal recorded that  the debate  had proceeded on the footing that the combined  eligibility list  of Appraises  on  All  India basis has necessarily to be prepared. The Tribunal expressed no opinion  as to on That principle the combined eligibility list should  be prepared  in such  a contingency. It is this decision of  the Tribunal  which is  the subject  matter  of challenge in this bunch of appeals.      Having travelled  thus far  let us  take stock  of  the situation, try to grasp it and smoothen its rough edges: (i)  The Rule  of  Mervyn  Continho  does  not  touch  those Appraisers who were appointed prior to 15-8-1947. (ii) As and  from 15-8-1947  the  Rule  of  Mervyn  Continho applied till  such date  from which  the Customs  Appraisers Service, Class  II Recruitment Rules, 1961, came into force. In accordance  therewith there  was a quota system operating rotationally. The  anomolies pointed out by the promotees in



working the quota system were ordered to be tolerated. (iii)     As per  mandate of Rule 4-C of the above Rules the percentage of  posts to  be filled  by  direct  recruitment, either by  competitive examination or by selection otherwise than by  competitive examination, could not be less than 50% of the  total cadre  of Appraisers  and the  remaining posts could be filled by any other method mentioned in Rule 3. 50% allocation is  thus assured  to direct recruits in the total cadre. They may get even more; there is no limit to it. (iv)      The above  Rules expressly  do not provide a fixed unalterable quota  for the  promotees  (remaining  sources), which can keep fluctuating. (v)       In the  absence of  specific quotas being fixed in the rules  it becomes  evident that  the quota  rule  stands discarded. When  there is no quota provided in the Rules the rotational system cannot function. (vi)      Mervyn Continho’s  case could have kept applied to the post Rules period had the quota and rotational rule been preserved. Since  earlier to  the rules  the quota  and rota principles were  dn vogue,  this Court  in the  light of the Government’s Orders’  then existing,  and in particular that of the year 1959, gave its approval. (vii)     That the service knit up under the Rules is an All India Service. (viii)    Inter se  seniority in  the said Rules between the direct recruits  inter-se is  determinable in  the order  of selection prepared  by the  Union Public  Service Commission from  time   to  time.  Direct  recruits  on  selection  are allocable to  any of  the Customs  Houses functioning in the country. (ix)      Promotees  Appraisers   get  to   the  service  by promotion  on   selection  by   the  Regional   Departmental Promotion Committees,  becoming members  of  the  All  India Service from the date of promotion. (x)       Within  the  Regional  Customs  Houses,  seniority inter se  between promotees  and direct recruits, as also on All India  basis, prior  to the coming into the force of the Rules had  to be  regulated by  the rotational principles in accordance With  Mervyn Continho’s  case irrespective of the length of continuous officiation. (xi)      In view  of the  five-judge bench decision of this Court in  Direct  Recruit  Class  II  Engineering  Officers’ Association Vs. State of Maharashtra and others 1990 (2) SCC 715, no  argument can  be entertained  merely on a ground of unfairness and  unreasonableness to  question the  ratio  in Mervyn  Continho’s   case  as  that  is  a  binding  service precedent. The  Rule of  Mervyn  Continho’s  case,  however, would apply  up to  w.e.f. date  when the  Rules  came  into force. (xii)     Mervyn Continho’s  case would  thus hold the field to regulate  inter se  seniority between the direct recruits and promottee Appraisers on the basis of quota and rotation, irrespective  of   continuous  length   of  service  of  the promottee. This  rule would  have, however,  to stop  w.e.f. date when the Rule of 1961 came into force. (xiii)    The Direct  Recruit’s case  is the amalgamation of all streams  of thought, confluencing the entire case law on the subject  and  given  appropriate  placement.  Individual reference of  each case as cited therein and at the bar need not be  made herein.  Reference may be had with advantage to the report in the Direct Recruit’s case.      We are not expected to unsettle the principle of Mervyn Continho or  to discover  instances of  the breaking down of the rotational  rule on  the basis  of some anomalies having arisen, because  of direct recruitment not keeping pace with



the situations arising from time to time. We are equally not expected to  discover any "deemed relaxation" of the Rule on the supposition of the quota rule having been broken down We have no proceed on the supposition that in the respective Customs houses,  termed as  cadres, there  is  no  inter  se dispute of  seniority amongst  the allocated direct recruits Appraisers  and   departmentally  promoted  Appraisers.  The dispute is  narrow and centers on the need to prepare an All India Seniority  List. On every occasion when the Government of India  has made  an effort  to draw  one, it’s effort was thwarted by  decisions in  succession  by  the  Bombay  High Court, Madras  High Court  and  the  Central  Administrative Tribunal. The  matter has  again been left to the Government of India to devise a proper principle for drawing a combined seniority list and the placement of the respective personnel on that list.      We must  bear in  mind and strive that there should, in the interests  of justice,  be an  end to litigation. It has also to  be borne  in mind that the attempt herein is not to amalgamate separate  services. Here  the service  was and is one i.e.  an All  India Service  of Appraisers. Prior to the Rules 50%  posts  in  the  service  were  filled  by  direct recruitment and  the seniority of the selectees was fixed by the U.P.S.C.  in the  order of selection. Inter se seniority amongst direct  recruits was  thus a  sealed event. That was the  foundation.   Entry  into   service  by  promotion  was fortuitous dependent  on the  exercise by  the  departmental committees in the respective Customs Houses and the outcome. Mervyn Continho’s  case tells  the way  to work  it out.  In their  respective   quotas  direct   recruits  as   well  as promottees rotate  the quota  system as  1:1 as mentioned in Mervyn Continho’s  case. But  after the  Rules of 1961, when the quota  system has  been discarded Mervyn Continho’s rule cannot apply.  As per  Rule  4-C  of  the  1961  rules,  the allocation of  at  least  50%  posts  in  favour  of  direct recruits is  ensured at  all times.  The enlistment  of  the direct recruits, allocated to Customs Houses on the basis of their selection,  would  obviously  present  no  difficulty. Equally enlistment  of promottee  Appraisers,  since  coming from feeder  sources of  Customs Houses,  from the  date  of their promotion,  would present no difficulty. Both would be entitled to  placement in  the joint  seniority list  on the basis of their continuous officiation.      We thus go to uphold the orders of the Tribunal to this extent that a fresh All India Combined list of Appraisers be prepared by  the respondents  on  the  basis  of  continuous officiation of  the  incumbent  in  the  post  of  Appraiser appointed on  and from  the date  of the  Customs Appraisers Service, Class II Recruitment Rules 1961. But for appraisers appointed prior  to that  date the  rule of  Mervyn Continho would be  the basis  to work  out the inter seniority of the incumbents to operate the quota and rotational rule.      The appeals stand disposed of accordingly. No costs.