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Pannalal Tayal Vs. the State of M.P. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectService
CourtMadhya Pradesh High Court
Decided On
Case NumberSecond Appeal No. 256 of 1972
Judge
Reported inAIR1976MP48
ActsSpecific Relief Act, 1963 - Sections 34
AppellantPannalal Tayal
RespondentThe State of M.P.
Appellant AdvocateM.P. Bhatnagar, Adv.
Respondent AdvocateR.S. Bajpai, Govt. Adv.
DispositionAppeal allowed
Cases ReferredIn Lt. Col. G.S. Dutta v. Union of India
Excerpt:
- - 120-250). thus, it would appear that the integration committee had recommended revised scale of pay of rs. 120-250 like other accountants......ex. p-7. in the final gradation last (ex. p-9) also the plaintiff was included in the gradation list of accountants at serial no. 17. in the provisional list he was shown in the grade of rs. 120-250, but in the final gradation list he was shown in the scale of rs. 100-200. the contention of the plaintiff is that he was entitled to the grade of rs. 120-250 and his pay in the unified revised scale of accountants should be fixed accordingly. he has also claimed that in the final gradation list, he should have been shown at serial no. 13 and not at no. 17. he, therefore, filed a suit seeking a declaration in respect of the aforesaid masters.3. the trial court decreed the claim regarding fixation of pay, but his claim regarding seniority was dismissed. the appellant, however, did not file.....
Judgment:

S.M.N. Raina, J.

1. This is a second appeal by the plaintiff arising out of a suit pertaining to service matter regarding his seniority and fixation of pay,

2. The plaintiff-appellant was appointed as a clerk on 14-10-1947 in the former State of Gwalior. He served in the Food Department of the former State of Madhya Bharat upto 31-3-54. On 1-4-54 he was retrenched from that department, taut was absorbed on the post of Upper Division Clerk in the Tahsil Office at Shiv-puri on 5-10-54 in the grade of Rs. 50-3-80. Thereafter, he was transferred to the Treasury Shivpuri and worked there as Upper Division Clerk upto August 1957. In the provisional integration list of employees of the Treasury of Madhya Bharat he was shown as a confirmed Treasury Accountant and his name appeared at serial No. 17 vide Ex. P-7. In the final gradation last (Ex. P-9) also the plaintiff was included in the gradation list of Accountants at serial No. 17. In the provisional list he was shown in the grade of Rs. 120-250, but in the final gradation list he was shown in the scale of Rs. 100-200. The contention of the plaintiff is that he was entitled to the grade of Rs. 120-250 and his pay in the unified revised scale of Accountants should be fixed accordingly. He has also claimed that in the final gradation list, he should have been shown at serial No. 13 and not at No. 17. He, therefore, filed a suit seeking a declaration in respect of the aforesaid masters.

3. The trial Court decreed the claim regarding fixation of pay, but his claim regarding seniority was dismissed. The appellant, however, did not file any appeal against the dismissal of his claim regarding seniority and as such the question of seniority is no longer in issue in this appeal.

4. The State Government filed an appeal against the decision of the trial Court regarding fixation of pay. The appeal was allowed by the learned Additional District Judge, Gwalior, and the suit of the plaintiff was dismissed. Being aggrieved thereby the plaintiff has filed this second appeal.

5. The main point for consideration in this appeal is whether the plaintiff-appellant was entitled to the revised scale of Rs. 120-250 as an Accountant. In the provisional gradation list (Ex. P-7) he was shown as an Accountant on revised scale of Rs. 120-250. I agree with the learned Additional District Judge that the provisional gradation list does not confer on the plaintiff any right to the said scale of pay because it was a list pending further consideration before fina-lisation. It is significant, however, that in the final gradation list of Accountants (Ex. P-9) also the plaintiff was shown as Accountant. It is, therefore, clear that the then Government of Madhya Bharat had decided to absorb the plaintiff as an Accountant. There is nothing to show that there was any intention on the part of the Government to siplit the cadre of Accountants into different grades. On the other hand, it would appear from the report of the Integration Committee (Ex. P-15) that the Committee had proposed 3 posts of Accountants in the grade of Rs. 100-150 (revised to Rs. 120-250) and 14 (posts of Accountants in the scale of Rs. 70-120 (revised to Rs. 120-250). Thus, it would appear that the Integration Committee had recommended revised scale of pay of Rs. 120-250 for all the 17 posts of Accountants sanctioned in the new set-up. Therefore, there appears to be no justification for singling out the plaintiff and denying him the revised pay scale of Rs. 120-250, particularly when it was decided to absorb him as an Accountant.

6. Shri R. S. Bajpayee, learned Government Advocate submitted that there were only 16 Treasuries in the former State of Madhya Bharat and, therefore, a cadre of 16 Treasury Accountants in the scale of Rs. 120-250 was created, but no order of the Government has been filed to show that the Government intended to create only 16 posts in the scale of Rs. 120-250. It has been urged on behalf of the respondent that the plaintiff was merely an Accountant in the Pension Branch and was, therefore, to be treated as an Accountant of a lower grade. But if the intention of the Government had been to treat the plaintiff as an Accountant of the lower grade, he would not have been absorbed as an Accountant without any distinction. It was open to the Government to create only 16 posts of Accountants in grade I and 1 post of Accountant in grade II and put the plaintiff in the post of grade II. But it is clear from the final Integration list (Ex. P-9) that the Accountants were not classified into two different grades.

7. In paragraph (3) of the written statement at page 16 of the paper book it has been stated that the plaintiff prior to his being integrated as Accountant, was holding the post of Stamp Depot Keeper in the pay scale of Rs. 50-80, which was subsequently revised in Madhya Bharat to Rs. 70-150, but this does not explain why the plaintiff was put in the scale of Rs. 100-200. It would appear from the recommendations of the Integration Committee (Ex P-15) that even the Accountants in the scale of Rs. 70-120 were absorbed as full-fledged Accountants on revised scale of Rs. 120-250 along with Accountants in the scale of Rs. 100-150. Thus, the pay scale of an official prior to the integration was not the sole criterion. Apparently, other factors such as merit and suitability were taken into consideration and once it was decided to absorb the plaintiff as an Accountant, he was entitled to the same scale as in the case of other Accountants without any distinction.

8. The Government having decided to absorb the plaintiff as an Accountant he was entitled to the same revised scale of pay as other Accountants without any distinction. It appears to me that the discrimination arose on account of some confusion in implementing the orders of the Government. As pointed out above, it was open to the Government to create a post of Accountant of lower grade and to absorb the plaintiff on such post, but that has not been done and, therefore, the plaintiff is, entitled to the same scale of pay as other Accountants. I, therefore, hold that the plaintiff having been absorbed as an Accountant in the final gradation list (Ex. P-9) was entitled to the revised pay scale of Rs. 120-250 like other Accountants. The decision of the learned District Judge against the plaintiff on this point is erroneous and is liable to be set aside.

9. The next point that has been raised for consideration by Shri Baipayee, learned Government Advocate, is that the plaintiff is not entitled to any relief as he has filed a suit for bare declaration without claiming any consequential relief. This contention is based mainly on the proviso to Section 34 of the Specific Relief Act, 1963, which is reproduced below:--

'34. xxxxx: Provided that no court shall make any such declaration where the plaintiff, being able to seek further relief than a mere declaration of title omits to do so.'

10. Shri M. P. Bhatnagar, learned counsel for the appellant urged that this is not a declaration of the nature contemplated by the aforesaid section and, therefore, the proviso to the said section is not attracted. He urged that Section 34 is not exhaustive and the Court has power to grant a declaration independently of the provisions of the said section. In support of his contention he relied on the decision of the Supreme Court in Vermareddi Ramaraghave Reddy v. Kondru Seshu Reddy (AIR 1967 SC 436). Their Lordships held in the aforesaid case that Section 42 of the Old Specific Relief Act, corresponding to Section 34 of the new Act, was not exhaustive of the cases in which a declaratory decree may be made and the Courts have power to grant such a decree independently of the requirements of the section. It is, therefore, clear that the power of Court to grant a declaratory decree is not confined to Section 34 of the Act. No doubt, where the matter falls within the purview of the said sec-tion, declaration can only be made in accordance with the provisions thereof, but where the declaration claimed is in respect of a matter not falling strictly within the purview of Section 42, the Court has power to grant a declaratory decree independently of the requirements of the section.

11. In the instant case, the plaintiff is not seeking a declaration regarding his legal character or status or to any right in property. There is no dispute that he was absorbed as an Accountant and as such it is not necessary for him to obtain a declaration regarding his position in that capacity. All that he claims is that since he was absorbed as an Accountant, he is entitled to a particular scale of pay. Such a declaration does not fall strictly within the purview of Section 34 and as such the proviso to Section 34 is not attracted in this case,

12. Apart from this, declarations claimed by Civil servants in regard to service matters stand on a different footing. In such a case a declaratory decree serves the purpose, the consequential relief being implicit in it, and, therefore, it is not necessary for the plaintiff to seek any further relief. Once a declaration has been made, the logical consequences of such declaration are implemented by the Government and, therefore, it is not necessary to seek any consequential relief in such cases. A similar view was expressed by this Court in J.S. Dhopte v. State (1962 Jab LJ (SN) 228).

13. In Lt. Col. G.S. Dutta v. Union of India (AIR 1966 J & K 124) it was held that in a suit for declaration that the plaintiff was entitled to pension at a higher rate, omission to seek the relief in consequence does not disentitle the plaintiff to seek a declaratory decree because the plaintiff has a recurring cause of action for enhanced rate of pension in future also.

14. In a suit by a Government servant against the Government in a service matter declaration itself is sufficient because the consequential relief follows automatically from such declaration and it is; therefore, not necessary to seek it as a separate relief.

15. I, therefore, do not agree with the learned counsel for the State that the plaintiff is not entitled to a declaration as he has not sued for the arrears of his salary consequent on such declaration.

16. The appeal is, therefore, allowed and the decree of the trial Court is hereby restored. The respondent State shall pay the costs of the appellant and bear their own. Counsel's fee according to schedule if certified.


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