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Wrongful Denial of Promotions;The Right to Retrospective Monetary Benefits in Government Services

Updated: Oct 8

In the realm of government services, circumstances may arise wherein employees, despite being qualified and with available vacancies, are subjected to wrongful denial of promotions while their juniors are promoted. In certain scenarios, even when a court or government, during a revision or appeal process, directs the promotion of the affected employee, it may be granted as a notional promotion without accompanying monetary benefits. The question then arises: Does an employee who has been wrongfully denied promotion have the right to retrospectively claim monetary benefits? The answer is yes.

As per numerous rulings from the Supreme Court, High Courts, and Administrative Tribunals the employees are entitled to get monetary benefits retrospectively. One of the primary rationales behind this is that when an employee is denied promotion due to administrative errors, with no fault on the part of the employee, the authorities bear the responsibility of disbursing arrears of salary and other benefits upon rectifying their mistakes through retrospective promotion.

Various courts have consistently ruled that when promotions and associated benefits are granted to both senior and junior colleagues, the individual who was wrongly denied promotion must invariably receive backdated salary for the period during which they were unjustly denied promotion.

The highest court in the land has also held that the usual principle of 'no work, no pay' does not apply in situations where an employee, willing and ready to work, is unjustly prevented from doing so.

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