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Friday, February 8, 2013

CAT Order: Regarding stepping up of pay only not the pay scale at par with junior

All India Postal Accounts Employees & other vs Union of India & others orders on 1st February, 2013 regarding grant of stepping up pay of all Senior Accountants on par with Senior Accountants who are junior to the former in the cadre of Sr. Accountant
Introductory first two paras of Order:
The applicants have sought the following relief:-

(a) Direction from this Honble Tribunal to Respondents for grant of stepping up pay of all Senior Accountants on par with Senior Accountants who are junior to the former in the cadre of Sr. Accountant. (b) Direction to the Respondents to pay compound interest on the arrears, compounded every months, as the respondents caused serious prejudice to the Applicants every months when the Applicants were not granted the financial upgradations by stepping up their pay. (c) Direction from Honble Tribunal to declare the CLAUSE 8 of the condition for grant of BENEFIT UNDER THE ACP SCHEME being uptra vires beyond the statute which provide The financial upgradation under the ACP Scheme shall be purely personal to the employee and shall have no relevance to his seniority position. As such, there, shall be no additional financial upgradation for the senior employee on the ground that the junior employee in the grade has got higher pay scale under the ACP Scheme. (d) Direction to the respondents to pay cost of litigation to the Applicants as the Applicants have been dragged to the Tribunal by the respondents.

(e) Any other order as this Honble Tribunal may deem fit under the present facts and circumstances of the case.

2. Briefly undisputed facts of the case are that the applicants joined the Department of Posts as LDCs and were promoted as Junior Accountant. Subsequently, on restructuring of the Accounts Cadre, 80% of the Accountants were designated as Senior Accountants and were placed in the pay scale of Rs.1400-2600 (revised Pay Scale Rs.5500-9000) w.e.f. 01.04.1987. Government of India promulgated an Assured Career Progression (ACP) Scheme for Central Government Civilian Employees vide their O.M. No. 35034/1/97-Estt(D) dated 09.08.1999 which provided for two financial upgradations to employees who had completed 12 and 24 years of service but had not found regular promotion in their department. Financial upgradation under the Scheme was to be given to the next higher grade in accordance with the existing hierarchy in a cadre. Clause-8 of the Scheme by which the applicants are aggrieved reads as follows:- The financial upgradation under the ACP Scheme shall be purely personal to the employee and shall have no relevance to his seniority position. As such, there shall be no additional financial upgradation for the senior employee on the ground that the junior employee in the grade has got higher pay-scale under the ACP Scheme.

Conclusion para of Order (Order given by Hon'ble CAT):
9. In our opinion, the case of the applicants is covered by the aforesaid order of the Tribunal, hence they are also entitled to the same benefits. Accordingly, the present O.A. is allowed. Respondents are directed that the pay of the applicants be stepped up in terms of Para-9 of the aforesaid judgment. This shall be done within a period of three months from the date of receipt of a copy of this order. There shall be no order as to costs.

See full details of Court Case:

Principal Bench, New Delhi.
OA-2124/2011
MA-1617/2011
Reserved on : 28.01.2013.
Pronounced on : 01.02.2013.

Honble Mr. G. George Paracken, Member (J)
Honble Mr. Shekhar Agarwal, Member (A)

1. All India Postal Accounts Employees
Association represented by S. Santosh Kumar,
President, R/o 13-B, DDA Flats, Type-IV,
New Mahavir Nagar, New Delhi-18.
2. E. Kanagraj, Senior Accountant
in O/o General Manager, Postal Accounts &
Finance, Tamilnadu Circle, Chennai-8. . Applicants
(through Sh. B.K. Berera, Advocate)

Versus

1. Union of India through
The Secretary,
Department of Posts (Postal & Accounts Wing)
Ministry of Communication & Information
Technology, Dak Bhawan, Sansad Marg,
New Delhi-1.

2. The Secretary,
Department of Personnel & Training,
Ministry of Public Grievances & Pensions,
North Block, New Delhi-1. . Respondents
(through Sh. S.M. Zulfiqar Alam, Advocate)

O R D E R

Mr. Shekhar Agarwal, Member (A)

The applicants have sought the following relief:-

(a) Direction from this Honble Tribunal to Respondents for grant of stepping up pay of all Senior Accountants on par with Senior Accountants who are junior to the former in the cadre of Sr. Accountant. (b) Direction to the Respondents to pay compound interest on the arrears, compounded every months, as the respondents caused serious prejudice to the Applicants every months when the Applicants were not granted the financial upgradations by stepping up their pay. (c) Direction from Honble Tribunal to declare the CLAUSE 8 of the condition for grant of BENEFIT UNDER THE ACP SCHEME being uptra vires beyond the statute which provide The financial upgradation under the ACP Scheme shall be purely personal to the employee and shall have no relevance to his seniority position. As such, there, shall be no additional financial upgradation for the senior employee on the ground that the junior employee in the grade has got higher pay scale under the ACP Scheme. (d) Direction to the respondents to pay cost of litigation to the Applicants as the Applicants have been dragged to the Tribunal by the respondents.

(e) Any other order as this Honble Tribunal may deem fit under the present facts and circumstances of the case.

2. Briefly undisputed facts of the case are that the applicants joined the Department of Posts as LDCs and were promoted as Junior Accountant. Subsequently, on restructuring of the Accounts Cadre, 80% of the Accountants were designated as Senior Accountants and were placed in the pay scale of Rs.1400-2600 (revised Pay Scale Rs.5500-9000) w.e.f. 01.04.1987. Government of India promulgated an Assured Career Progression (ACP) Scheme for Central Government Civilian Employees vide their O.M. No. 35034/1/97-Estt(D) dated 09.08.1999 which provided for two financial upgradations to employees who had completed 12 and 24 years of service but had not found regular promotion in their department. Financial upgradation under the Scheme was to be given to the next higher grade in accordance with the existing hierarchy in a cadre. Clause-8 of the Scheme by which the applicants are aggrieved reads as follows:- The financial upgradation under the ACP Scheme shall be purely personal to the employee and shall have no relevance to his seniority position. As such, there shall be no additional financial upgradation for the senior employee on the ground that the junior employee in the grade has got higher pay-scale under the ACP Scheme.

3. The grievance of the applicants is that they have been denied benefits under this Scheme on the grounds that they had joined as LDC and had already found two promotions in their cadre, namely, to the post of Junior Accountant and then as Senior Accountant whereas those who had joined the department as direct recruits to the post of Junior Accountant and had found only one promotion to the level of Senior Accountant were given benefit of the ACP Scheme and placed in higher grade. The applicants have contended that due to denial of benefit of ACP Scheme to them many of the direct recruits who are junior to them in the cadre have started drawing more salary than their seniors. The applicants have further stated that all Senior Accountants regardless of the fact whether they are promotees or direct recruits are placed in a single gradation list and their seniority is determined on the basis of their date of appointment as Senior Accountants. The applicants had represented before the respondents but their representations had been rejected. Aggrieved by this, they have approached this Tribunal. Their main prayer is that Clause-8 of the ACP Scheme be declared ultra vires beyond the statute and their pay be stepped up to bring it at par with their juniors.

4. The respondents have in their reply stated that the ACP Scheme was enforced to deal with the problem of stagnation in certain cadres. It provides for at least two financial upgradations in service career of an employee even if he is not able to find regular promotions due to unavailability of vacancies. According to them Clause-8 of the Scheme clearly states that the financial upgradation under the Scheme is purely personal to the employee and shall have no relevance to his seniority position and as such no additional financial upgradation will be given to a senior employee on the ground that the junior employee has got higher pay scale under the ACP Scheme. The respondents argued that there is no infirmity in the Clause-8 of the Scheme placing reliance on the decisions of Honble Supreme Court in the case of UOI and Anr. Vs. V.R. Swaminathan, JT 1997(8) SC 61 and State of U.P. & Ors. Vs. J.P. Chaurasia and Ors., JT 1988 (4) SC 53.

5. We have heard the learned counsel for both sides and perused the material placed on record.

6. During the course of arguments, the respondents made available judgment of Bombay Bench at Nagpur of CAT in OA-2117/2005 (A.N. Pant & Ors. Vs. UOI & Ors.) dated 01.08.2012 between the same parties. By the aforesaid judgment, the claim of the applicants for placement in higher pay scale on the ground that junior employee had got that grade on account of ACP Scheme was rejected. However, learned counsel for the applicants pointed out that the prayer of the applicants in the instant case was different. According to him, in the case decided by the Bombay Bench at Nagpur, the prayer of the applicants was for grant of higher pay scale whereas in the instant case the prayer is only for stepping up of pay.

7. We have seen the judgment of the Honble Supreme Court on which reliance has been placed by the respondents and we find that the facts and circumstances of the two cases are different. Thus, in the case of V.R. Swaminathan (supra) senior employees were demanding stepping up of pay on account of the fact that juniors had got the benefit of higher pay because they had officiated on higher post based on local/circle seniority. Further, in the other case of J.P. Chaurasia (supra) two scales had been created in the cadre of Bench Secretaries of Allahabad High Court that promotions from lower to higher scale taking place based on seniority-cum-fitness. None of these two cases appears to be relevant.

8. On the other hand, the applicants have placed reliance on the judgment of Chandigarh Bench of this Tribunal dated 19.01.2010 in OA-156-JK-2009(Ashok Kumar Vs. UOI & Ors.). Relevant porition of this judgments reads as under:-
9. The issue raised in this case as to whether a senior person, though having received two promotions, is entitled to stepping up of his pay at par with his junior, who has been granted benefit under ACP Scheme and by virtue of this, is receiving higher pay than his senior, stands clinched by various decisions of this Tribunal including in O.A. No. 842-JK-2007 decided on 17.11.2009 titled Madan Gopal Sharma & Others Vs. Union of India & Others. In that case reliance was placed on decisions of Apex Court in the case of Ram Sarup Ganda (supra) and (Gurmail Singh). Reliance was also placed on decision in the case of Harcharan Singh Sudan (supra). It was held that seniors are entitled to step up their pay as a general rule as and when any junior gets fixed in a pay scale higher to them on account of grant of ACP Scale. Para 14 of the decision in the case of Harcharan Singh Sudan (supra) in Para 14 is reproduced as under:- 14. However, one aspect is to be seen. In the case decided by the Apex Court, the State Government was the appellant and the challenge was against the High Court judgment, which held that the higher pay scale be given to the respondents at par with their juniors whose pay scale became higher on account of the benefit of ACP afforded to them. The appeal was not dismissed but partly allowed and it was declared that the respondents were entitled to stepping up of pay. In other words, there shall only be the stepping up of pay and not the pay scale. The pay scale in respect of the applicants would remain the same as of date but the pay would be fixed in appropriate stage, and if there is no stage to match the pay drawn by the junior, the difference shall be treated as one of personal pay. The pay parity would be compared annually and partly would be maintained in future

10. Finding that the facts of this case are covered by the decision in the case of Harcharan Singh Sudans case as well as Madan Gopal Sharma and Others (supra), this Original Application is allowed to the extent that annexure A-2 relating to rejection of claim of applicant is quashed and set aside.

11. With this O.A. stands disposed of and the respondents are directed to step up the pay of the applicant at par with his junior aforesaid and in terms of the directions contained in the case of Harcharan Singh Sudan (supra). It is made clear that the applicant shall be given stepping up of pay only and not the pay scale, as explained above. The pay may be fixed accordingly and arrears be also paid to him within a period of three months from the date of receipt of a copy of this order. However, in the given facts and circumstances of the case, applicant is not entitled to interest. Parties to bear their own costs.

9. In our opinion, the case of the applicants is covered by the aforesaid order of the Tribunal, hence they are also entitled to the same benefits. Accordingly, the present O.A. is allowed. Respondents are directed that the pay of the applicants be stepped up in terms of Para-9 of the aforesaid judgment. This shall be done within a period of three months from the date of receipt of a copy of this order. There shall be no order as to costs. 
(Shekhar Agarwal) (G. George Paracken)

Member (A) Member (J)

Source: http://indiankanoon.in/doc/119664509/

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4 comments:

  1. sir, i was appointed as class 111 Group c in 1973, retired on 31.1.2013
    there was vacancy of sse, and i should have been promoted to sse, rail board issued and order to complete promotional procedure within 31.12.12, again on 15.1.13 passed an order to review the promotional expects, i applied on 17.1.13. to railway authority, but dealing assistant suppressed my appeal still my retainment, is there is any judgement/rule by which i can get promotion from back date. N.C.Chatterjee.Ex JE CLW

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You have to represent as soon as possible, if any person junior to you got promotion with retrospective effect then your claim will be valid.

      Delete
  2. Sir,I am working as Lirarian in sainik school bijapur, my junior new recruit working as Librarian in sainik school nalanda getting more pay then me as bonus to new recruit by vi pay commission we have only one post in each sainik schools,both are having same grade pay+pay band,same cadre working under one same homogeneous body ie sainik schools society New Delhi,I have approached my higher authorities they replied only compare in your school not other school,hence as there is only one post in each school I cannot,As National Anomoly committee agreed such cases but no GO out till today,please help me as i have unjustified are any CAT/Court orders pl suggest whom to approach sir

    ReplyDelete
  3. I am A K Shitole Postal Assistant in department of post working at Osmanabad head office Maharashtra circle, Aurangabad Region. I am promoted from postman to postal assistant through departmental competitative examination on 15/ 01/2007. My present basic is 8370+2400 +da+hra.There is huge difference between me & direct recruited poastal assistant who are appointed on 15/01/2008. Diffference between our basic is over 1000/- .please advice me that what can I do for my basic upgration.Other Promotee Also drawing More Basic pay than me. I have no any punishment also.

    ReplyDelete

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