Supreme Court in R. K. Sethi v. Oil and Natural Gas Commission, (1997) 10 SCC 616 held that in service jurisprudence, the “next below rule” contemplates to ensure that if junior employee is given promotion without considering his senior then the senior employee can claim the right to be considered for such promotion with effect from the date on which the junior was so promoted. It was approved that:-
“where . . . . . . . . . . two or more categories have been merged, for purposes of promotions to the next higher pay scale, inter se seniority of the employees considered for promotion will be fixed on the basis of length of service put in by the individual in the respective pay scale with those in the higher erstwhile scale, being treated as senior to those in the lower erstwhile scale, en bloc”.
This Court in State of Maharashtra v. Chandrakant Anant Kulkarni, (1981) 4 SCC 130 enunciated the principles which are required to be kept in mind while considering the question of equation of posts allotted to the service. It was reiterated in S. P. Shivprasad Pipal v. Union of India, (1998) 4 SCC 598 that the principles formulated in the matter of equation of posts were:-
“(1) where there were regularly constituted similar Cadres in the different integrating units the Cadres will ordinarily be integrated on that basis, but (2) where there were no such similar Cadres, the following factors will be taken into consideration in determining the equation of posts:
(a) Nature and duties of a post;
(b) Powers exercised by the officers holding a post, the extent of territorial or other charge held or responsibilities discharged;
(c) The minimum qualifications, if any, prescribed for recruitment to the post; and
(d) The salary of the post.”