Meera Chhibber, Member (J)
1. By this O.A., applicants have sought the following relief:
(i) That the Hon'ble Tribunal may graciously be pleased to pass an order of quashing the impugned order dated 28.2.2007 only to the extend by which the respondents enhance the washing allowances w.e.f. 23.2.2007, declaring to the effect that the whole action of the respondents not increasing the washing allowance of the applicants at the rate of Rs. 30/- PM w.e.f. 1.8.1997 is illegal, arbitrary and discriminatory in the eyes of law and consequently pass an order directing the respondents to grant the Washing allowance to the applicants at the rate of Rs. 30/- PM w.e.f. 1.8.1997 with all the consequential benefits including the arrears of difference of washing allowance.
2. It is submitted by 5 applicants who are ASI and Head Constable respectively in Delhi Police that Delhi Police comes under Ministry of Home Affairs, therefore, they are governed by all the Circulars & instructions issued by MHA.
3. The 5th Pay Commission recommended that washing allowance should be revised for those who are required to wear uniform. The recommendation was accepted by the Government as Ministry of Finance vide Circular dated 16.6.1998 revised washing allowacne for all eligible Groups C & D employees to Rs. 30/ PM w.e.f. 1.8.1997 and the same was given in all other Departments of Government of India including all the Police Organizations as well as Para-Military Forces under MHA except Delhi Police.
4. Applicant No. 1 filed a representation on 16.5.2005, but since no reply was given, O.A was filed. OA No. 1094/2006 was disposed off vide order dated 19.05.2006 with direction to the respondents to consider their grievances and to pass reasoned order.
5. Pursuant to the directions, Govt. of India sanctioned washing allowance @ Rs. 30/- PM instead of Rs. 20/- PM vide order dated 28.2.2007 but it was given w.e.f. 23.2.2007 even though all others were given w.e.f. 1.8.1997. The present OA has been filed only for this grievance.
6. Rely has been filed only by Delhi Police though MHA was made a party and they had been served also but they neither filed any reply nor were represented by any counsel.
7. Counsel for Delhi Police submitted that controlling authority is MHA. They have only implemented the orders as issued by MHA.
8. I have heard both the counsel and perused the pleadings. Admittedly Delhi Police employees groups C & D were already getting Rs. 20/- per month as washing allowance while Central Para-Military Forces were getting Rs. 5/- in addition to supply of washing soap prior to 1.8.1997.
9. After due consideration, 5th Pay Commission recommended as follows:
122.6 Presently a monthly washing allowance of Rs. 15 is being given to those employees who are in receipt of either uniforms or uniform allowance. We are of the view that while washing allowance should continue to be paid to all the categories of employees required to wear to uniforms, the rates thereof have to be revised. Accordingly, we recommend that the general category of Nurses may be paid washing allowance at the rate of Rs. 75 per month. This allowance, in case of all other entitled categories, may be raised to Rs. 30 per month.
From Govt. of India's O.M. dated 16.6.1998 it is clear that the Government accepted this recommendation and enhanced uniform allowance of Customs, Central Excise and Narcotics Departments from Rs. 15/- to Rs. 30/- per month w.e.f. 1.8.1997 (page 15).
10. Even though Delhi Police is also a uniformed Force and were being paid washing allowance @ Rs. 20/- per month for Groups C & D employees, their washing allowance was not enhanced so they gave representation. When their grievance was not addressed, applicants filed OA. The said OA was disposed off by directing the respondents to consider their grievance and pass a reasoned order.
11. Now the Government has allowed washing allowance to Groups C & D employees of Delhi Police @ Rs. 30/- per month vide order dated 28.2.2007 (page 11) but it has been granted w.e.f. 23.2.2007 only. No reasons are given by MHA in this order as to why it has been enhanced w.e.f. 23.2.2007 when for all other eligible uniformed Forces it has been granted w.e.f. 1.8.1997. Surprisingly, MHA did not even think it proper to explain or give any reasons in the Court as to why Delhi Police employees are being treated in a different manner. I have seen the proposal mooted by Delhi Police was also to grant washing allowance to Group C & D employees at enhanced rate of Rs. 30/- p.m. w.e.f. 1.8.1997. Since no explanation has come forth, I do not know the reasons for taking this cut off date.
12. In these circumstances, I deem it fit to dispose of this OA by giving positive directions to Ministry of Home Affairs to pass a reasoned order as to why Delhi Police Group C & D employees have been given washing allowance w.e.f. 23.02.2007 when all other eligible uniformed organizations have been allowed washing allowance @ Rs. 30/- per month w.e.f. 1.8.1997. They shall pass speaking and reasoned order within three months from the date of receipt of copy of this order under intimation to the applicants through Delhi Police.
13. O.A. stands disposed off. No order as to costs.