Mobile View
Main Search Forums Advanced Search Disclaimer
Cites 1 docs
The Code Of Civil Procedure (Amendment) Act, 2002

User Queries
Delhi High Court
Akashvani & Doorshan ... vs Union Of India (Uoi) And Ors. on 25 September, 2002
Author: S Sinha
Bench: S Sinha, A Sikri

JUDGMENT

S.B. Sinha, C.J.

1. This writ petition is directed against a judgment and order dated 15.04.2002 passed by the Central Administrative Tribunal, Principal Bench, New Delhi in O.A. NO. 974 of 2002 whereby and whereunder the Original Application, filed by the petitioners herein claiming fixation of scale of pay in the pay-scale of Rs. 2,000/- Rs. 3,5000/-, was dismissed.

2. The short question, which arose for consideration before the Tribunal, was as to whether pursuant to or in furtherance of the recommendations of the Fifth Central Pay Commission ) in short, 'V CPC'), the Senior Administrative Officers ( in short, 'S.A.O.') working in the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting are entitled to the scale of pay of Rs. 2,500/- Rs. 4,000/-.

3. The contention of the petitioner had been that although the said recommendations of the V CPC were duly accepted by the appropriate Ministry, the Ministry of Finance turned down the same without assigning any valid or cogent reason.

4. The learned Tribunal in a very cryptic judgment refused to grant any relief to the petitioners holding:- "3. We have considered the submissions made by the learned counsel and find ourselves unable to agree with the contentions raised. There is no doubt that the 5th Pay Commission, in their wisdom, made a recommendation to the effect that if the functional consideration so required, the pay-grade of Rs. 2000-3500 could be upgraded to Rs. 2500-4000 but the aforesaid recommendation by its nature, is conditional. Respondents having examined the aforesaid recommendation and having recommended upgradation on that basis cannot, in our view, bind the Government to grant the higher pay grade. In accordance with the normal procedures of the Government, such a proposal/recommendation is required to be examined in consultation with the Ministry of Finance and it is the latter which is entitled to take a final view in the matter having regard to various factors which go into decision making in such cases. If the Ministry of Finance has further considered and rejected the claim and the same has been accepted by the Ministry of I&B. who have, after such acceptance, proceeded to pass order dated 27.12.2001, there is little that can be done as the decision finally taken by the Government in these matters, cannot be questioned. In this view of the matter, we do not find any substance or merit in the present OA which is dismissed in liming.

5. The recommendations of the said Commission are in the following terms:-

"46.13. The hierarchy above the level of Office Superintendents comprises Assistant Administrative Officers and Administrative Officers. A small number of them are in the pay scale of Rs. 2000-3200, but the majority are in the pay scales of Rs. 2000-3500/ Rs. 2375-3500 and Rs. 2200-4000. A good number of Superintendents are also in the pay scale of Rs. 2000-3200. Due to the general decision to merge the pay scale of Rs. 2000-3200 with the pay scale of Rs. 2000-3500, the Office Superintendents in the pay scale of Rs. 2000- 3200 and Assistant Administrative Officers in the same pay scale or in the higher pay scale of Rs. 2000-3500 will need to be treated equally. The post of Administrative, Officer in these organisations may, therefore, be reorganized/ redesignated in the following manner:- sl. No.

Present

Designation / Pay Scale

Revised

Designation / Pay Scale

1.

Supdt.

/ Asstt. Administrative Officer (Rs.2000-3200) Rs.2000-3500)

Administrative

Officer Gr. III (Rs. 2000-3500)

2.

Administrative

Officer (Rs.2375-3500)

Administrative

Officer Gr. II (Rs.2500-4000)

3.

Administrative

Officer (Rs. 2200-4000)

Administrative

Officer Grade - I. (Rs. 2200-4000)

4.

Sr.

Administrative Officer (Rs. 3000-4500)

Sr.

Administrative Officer (Rs. 3000-4500)

In offices having posts in both the pay scales of Rs. 2000-3500 and Rs. 2000-3200, the former being promotion grade for the latter, the pay scale of higher post shall be revised to Rs. 2500-4000, if the functional considerations so dictate. Otherwise, both the grades on can be merged in the pay scale of Rs. 2000-3500."

6. The contention of the parties mainly revolves round the aforesaid recommendations. The said recommendations are in two parts being (i) in offices having posts in the pay scales of both Rs. 2, 000/-- Rs. 3,500/- and Rs. 2,000/-- Rs. 3,200/-, the former being feeder grade for promotion to the latter and, thus, the pay-scale of higher post should be revised to Rs. 2,500/- - Rs. 4,000/-, if the functional considerations so dictate; (ii) in the event, same is not possible both the grades can be merged in the pay-scale of Rs. 2,000/-- Rs. 3,500/-.

7. The petitioners had categorically contended that the said recommendations of the V CPC were duly accepted by the Central Government. It has further been contended that the Cadre Controlling Authority undertook the study to find out as to whether the grade of Rs.2,00/-- Rs. 3,500/- was functionally required or not even prior to such recommendation as would appear from the communication dated 12.11.1994. However, by communications dated 10.03.1999 and 28.03.2000, it was stated that both the said posts should be merged.

8. The relevant portion of the communication dated 10.03.1999 is as follows:-

"3. According to Fifth Pay Commission's recommendations which are accepted and notified by the Government pay scales of Administrative Officer and Sr. Administrative Officer have been merged into one pay scale. Earlier the pay scale of Administrative Officer was Rs. 2000-3200/- and that of Sr. Administrative Officer was Rs. 2000-3500/-. These pay scales have been merged and one replacement scale of Rs. 6500-10500/- has been notified vide Part-A of first schedule to CCS(Revised Pay) Rules 1997. Vide para 46.13 of chapter 46 of Fifth CPC recommendations pertaining to Administrative Officers the commission has recommended as follows:- ... ... ... ... ... ...

4. In the meeting taken by DG:AIR on 6th May, 1998 with the representative of ADASA as well as M/o I&B & DG: DDn, it was decided that the higher pay scale for Sr. AO could be examined only if decision towards up-gradation of the post of IA to DDA is finalized. As we have already recommended the up-gradation of IA to the post of DDA by giving matching savings, the higher pay scale for Sr. AO may be considered, for acceptance. Incidently, when the cadre review committee recommended the merger of these two cadres viz. AO & Sr. AO M/o I&B had not agreed to it vide their letter No. 45011/92-B(A), dt. 17.11.94 (copy enclosed). Moreover, after up-gradation of IAs the total strength in the grade of DDA will be 21 only and if the posts of AO & Sr. AO are merged the promotional avenues will be reached considerably resulting into further stagnation at the lower levels. There are approximately 780 posts in the feeder grade i.e. HC/AC/SSK and if the posts of AO & Sr. AO are merged there will be resentment among tem feeder grades as now a days approximately 296 persons are eligible for promotion in the higher grade i.e. AO, but due to non-availability of vacancies they are no getting the promotion. The pay scales of EA & SEA (Group 'C' posts) have been recently upgraded by the M/o I&B to Rs. 6500-10500/- and Rs. 7450-11500, respectively, whereas the posts of AO & Sr. AO are Group 'B' Gazetted Posts. Hence, a scale of pay slightly higher than that of SEA (i.e. Rs. 7500-12000) is recommended for Sr. AO. So far as duties and responsibilities are concerned Sr. AOs are having higher duties and responsibilities than those of AOs. Sr. AOs are supposed to enjoy the powers of DDAs where DDA posts are not sanctioned. It is also clearly mentioned in the manual of AIR & DDn. Further AOs are normally posted in small AIR & DDK offices whereas Sr. AOs are posted in Zonal Offices/Kendras of AIR DDn. This has been done only because the Sr. AO will be able to deliver the goods in major AIR/DDK offices. The pay scale of Rs. 7500-12000 for Sr. Administrative Officer in AIR/DDn is recommended, but the revised scale for AO will continue to be the normal replacement scale (Rs. 6500-10500) for pre-revised scale of Rs. 2000-3200/-."

9. The Cadre Review Committee in its report dated 17.11.1994 made the following recommendations:- "Recommendations No.8 The pay scale of the posts of Administrative Officer (Rs. 2000- 3200) and Senior Administrative Officer 9rs. 2000-3500) should be merged into a single scale (Rs. 2000-3500). The posts may be re-designated suitably."

However, the same appears to have not been accepted.

10. The job of the S.A.O. is said to be the same to the Deputy Director (Administration). Only where there does not exist post of Deputy Director (Administration), the posts of S.A. O. were said to have been created.

11. The respondents have not filed any counter affidavit, despite grant of several opportunities. However, the records of the matter had been produced, from a perusal whereof it appears that a purported anomaly to the effect that in the event pay-scale of S.A.O., which is feeder to the post of Senior Inspector of Accounts, is accepted, it was proposed that the pay-scale of Inspector of Accounts may also be enhanced to Rs. 8,000/--Rs. 13,500/-.

12. The Deputy Secretary (IC) in his Note noticed:-

"3. The recommendation of the Fifth CPC in respect of Administrative Officers are contained in para 46.13. of their report. In the said para the Fifth CPC has recommended as under:- Sl.No.

Present

Designation/ Pay Scale

Revised

Designation / Pay Scale

1.

Supdt./Asstt.

Administrative Officer (Rs. 2000-3200) Rs. 2000-3500)

Administrative

Officer Gr. III (Rs. 2000-3500)

2.

Administrative

Officer (Rs. 2375-3500)

Administrative

Officer Gr. II (Rs. 2500-4000)

3.

Administrative

Officer (Rs. 2200-4000)

Administrative

Officer Grade - I. (Rs. 2200-4000)

4.

Sr.

Administrative Officer (Rs. 3000-4500)

Sr.

Administrative Officer (Rs. 3000-4500)

4. A perusal of the recommendations of the Fifth CPC indicated in the above Table would show that not taking the designations, which may vary from office to office, into account the recommendations of the Fifth CPC were to place the categories of Administrative Officers in the pre-revised pay scales of Rs. 2000-3200 and Rs. 2000-3500 in the pay scale of Rs. 2000- 3500 and the category of these officers in the pre-revised pay scale of Rs. 2375-3500 in the pre-revised pay scale of Rs. 2500-4000. As per these recommendations of the Fifth CPC, the posts of Administrative Officer and Senior Administrative Officer in the Ministry of I&B which were in the pre-revised pay scale of Rs. 2000-3200 and Rs. 2000-3500 respectively could only be placed in the scale of Rs. 2000- 3500 (revised : Rs. 6500-10500). Similarly the post of Inspector of Accounts, which was in the pre-revised pay scale of Rs. 2375-3500 could only be placed in the scale of Rs.2500-4000 (Revised: 7500-12000). As these scales have already been extended to these posts, no further upgradation is warranted. The administrative ministry may, however, look into the feasibility of merging the posts of Administrative Officers and Senior Administrative Officers as they have come to lie in an identical pay scale of Rs. 6500-10500. This, if approved, may be conveyed to the administrative ministry. Accordingly DFA."

Certain quarries, however, were made and ultimately it was proposed:-

"7. The Fifth CPC has specifically considered the cadre of Administrative Officers in para 46.13 of the report and has recommended for reorganization/ redesignation of posts in this cadre as under:- Sl.No.

Present

Designation/ Pay Scale

Revised

Designation / Pay Scale

1.

Supdt./Asstt.

Administrative Officer (Rs. 2000-3200) Rs. 2000-3500)

Administrative

Officer Gr. III (Rs. 2000-3500)

2.

Administrative

Officer (Rs. 2375-3500)

Administrative

Officer Gr. II (Rs. 2500-4000)

3.

Administrative

Officer (Rs. 2200-4000)

Administrative

Officer Grade -I. (Rs. 2200-4000)

4.

sr. Administrative

Officer (Rs. 3000-4500)

Sr.

Administrative Officer (Rs. 3000-4500)

In offices having posts in both the pay scales of Rs. 2000-3500 and Rs. 2000-3200, the former being promotion grade for the latter, the pay scale of higher post shall be revised to Rs. 2500-4000, if the functional considerations so dictate. Otherwise, both the grades can be merged in the pay scale of Rs. 2000-3500. The Fifth CPC had also considered the cadre of administrative officers in the AIR vide recommendations in para 46.21 of the repot wherein the Fifth CPC has observed that a final decision the recommendations of the Review Committee in respect of this cadre should be expedited based on functional requirements and posts created, if any, should be designated as per their recommendations.

8. Accordingly in view of the factual position the instant proposal of the Ministry of I&B to upgrade the pay scale of the post of Sr. Administrative Officer and Inspector of Accounts from the pay scale of Rs. 6500-10500 and Rs. 7500-12000 to the pay scale of Rs. 7500-12000 and Rs. 8000-13500 and their redesignation AO Grade II and AO Grade I respectively is in conformity with the recommendations of the Fifth CPC in so far as it relates to the cadre of Administrative Officers in the offices outside the Secretariat. The same is accordingly submitted for consideration and approval please. If approved, the upgraded pay scale shall take effect from 1.1.1996."

The said proposal of the Administrative Ministry was considered in the following terms:-

"2. The above proposal of the Adm. Ministry has to be seen in light of the following facts:-

(i) The Fifth CPC had only recommended the scale of Rs. 2500-4000 for the posts & in the pay scale of Rs. 2375-3500 in the common category of Administrative Officers. Consequently placing the post of Inspector of Accounts, which was earlier in the pre- revised scale of Rs. 2375-3500, in the higher scale of Rs. 2200-4000 (Revised: Rs. 8000-13,500) would be contrary to the recommendations of the Fifth CPC and would also upset the established relativities.

(ii) Similarly, as per

recommendations of Fifth CPC, the posts of Sr. Administrative Officer or equivalent in the pre-revised scale of Rs. 2000-3500, could only be placed in the corresponding revised pay scale of Rs. 6500-10,500. Thus, placing this post in AIR/DD in the higher pay scale of Rs. 2500-4000 (Revised: Rs. 7500- 12,000) would be contrary to the recommendations of the Fifth CPC (para 46.13) of the Report refers) and would also upset the established relatives.

(iii) The post of Inspector of Accounts cannot be said to belong to the Accounts cadre as it is filed by promotion of Sr. Adm. Officers. In any case even for the organized accounts cadre, Fifth CPC has recommended the pay scale of Rs. 2500- 4000 for such of the posts belonging to this cadre as were in the pre-revised scale of Rs. 2375-3500.

(iv) The Fifth CPC had specifically considered the posts of Administrative Officer's cadre in par a 46.21 of their Report, but had not recommended any upgradation of their pay scales. Thus, these cases cannot be treated as left out cases.

(v) In so far as the issue of posts of Sr. Accounts Officer and Accounts Officer coming to lie in the same pay scale of Rs. 6500-10,500 is concerned, it is seen that duties of these posts are identical in AIR and even in DD there is not much difference in their duties. Accordingly the posts can be merged in the revised scale of Rs. 6500-10,500. This will also be in consonance with the recommendations of the Fifth CPC.

3. In view of the above-mentioned facts, we may, if approved, intimate to the Administrative Ministry that posts of Sr. Administrative Officer and Inspector of Accounts may continue to exist in their existing pay scales of Rs. 6500-10,500 and Rs. 7500-12,000 respectively and that the posts of Administrative Officer and Sr. Administrative Officers and Sr. Administrative Officer which exist in the identical pay scale of Rs. 6,500-10,500 may be merged."

Accordingly, the said recommendations were accepted.

13. It may be true that the Central Government is not bound to accept the recommendations of the V, CPC, but it is also beyond any cavil of doubt that such recommendations having been made by an expert committee are ordinarily required to be accepted, unless there exists a cogent and compelling reason therefore.

The respondents, in our considered view, have proceeded to consider the matter from a wrong angle. The question as to whether a higher scale of pay was required to be granted or not should have been considered from a larger perspective.

14. In Resolution dated 30.09.1997, it appears that the scales of pay of Grade S-1, S-2, S-3, S-4, S-5 and S-13 were accepted by the Department of Expenditure. Para 3 of the said recommendations reads thus:- "3. The recommendations of the Commission for revised pay scale S-14, shall not be operative for CSS and also for other Services where the Cadre Controlling Authority does not deem it necessary.'

However, according to the petitioners, the same has nothing to do with the CSS, as the same did not come into operation at all.

15. According to the learned counsel, having regard to the recommendations made by the V CPC, the Ministry of Finance could not be said to be the ultimate authority inasmuch as the functional requirement was required to be considered by the Cadre Controlling Authority, which have been made and the same having been accepted by the Central Government, it could not have been even interfered with by the Ministry of Finance. Our attention has further drawn to the fact that in furtherance of the report of the V CPC, the scale of pay at S-14 was fixed as follows:- "S.No.

Existing

Scales of Pay

Grades

Revised

Scales of Pay

14.

Rs.2,500-4000

S-14

Rs. 7,500-225- 12,000

(proposed

new pre-revised scale)"

The said scale of pay allegedly was to be granted to the Senior Administrative Officer or Inspector of Accounts.

16. We, having regard to the facts and circumstances of the case, are prima facie of the opinion that the submissions made by the learned counsel appearing on behalf of the petitioner appear to be correct.

If the Cadre Controlling Authority found that there was functional requirement for the post of S.A.O., there was no question of merger of the said posts. Furthermore, if grant of such scale of pay leads to an anomaly, the same could have been referred to the Anomaly Removal Committee, but once the Cadre Controlling Authority found that there existed a functional requirement, it was not open to the Ministry to take recourse to the second part of the said recommendations. Such a methodology could be taken recourse to only if the first part of the recommendations of the said Commission cannot be given effect to which contingency will arise only when the Cadre Controlling Authority finds that there is no functional requirement of the post of Senior Administrative Officer. The respondents herein had not considered the matter from this angle.

We, therefore, cannot uphold the impugned judgment and/or decision of the Central Government rendered in this behalf. They are set aside accordingly and the matter is remitted to the appropriate authority of the Central Government for consideration of the matter afresh in the light of the observations made hereinbefore.

This writ petition is allowed accordingly. However, in the facts and circumstances of the case, there shall be no order as to costs.