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Ghanshyamlal Soni Vs. State of M.P. and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectLabour and Industrial
CourtMadhya Pradesh High Court
Decided On
Judge
Reported in(1971)IILLJ279MP
AppellantGhanshyamlal Soni
RespondentState of M.P. and ors.
Cases ReferredState of Mysore v. P. Narasinga Rao
Excerpt:
.....in government junior technical schools. while this state of uncertainty existed, the state government issued a notification (annexure a-20) dated 21st november, 1966 by which unified scales as well as the revised scales were refixed and all the previous notifications in that respect were superseded. there can be no doubt that particularly in the education department a better qualified lecturer can perform his duties more efficiently than a less qualified one. --in our opinion, therefore, higher educational qualifications such as success in the s. we are satisfied that actual appointments were made to particular subjects. we are, therefore, satisfied that the petitioner was appointed a lecturer in physics. we are, therefore, satisfied that the petitioner, merely by acquiring..........to those who had been absorbed from different units. while this state of uncertainty existed, the state government issued a notification (annexure a-20) dated 21st november, 1966 by which unified scales as well as the revised scales were refixed and all the previous notifications in that respect were superseded. under this notification the unified scales were to be effective from 1st april 1958 and the revised scales from 1st july, 1960. by this notification lecturers (non-technical) were divided into two classes. those holding post-graduates degrees were to get a unified scale of rs. 200-10-250-15-325-eb-15-400 and a revised scale of rs. 250-10-290-15-350-eb. 20-450. the second category of lecturers, who were only graduates, were to get a unified scale of rs. 110 running up to rs. 250.....
Judgment:
ORDER

Bishambhar Dayal, C.J.

1. This is a writ petition by Ghanshyamlal Soni who was appointed a Lecturer in a Government Junior Technical School in 1961. He has claimed several reliefs with which we will deal separately. It is necessary to give a short resume of facts which have given rise to this petition.

2. In 1961 the Government of Madhya Pradesh published an advertisement for the post of Junior Lecturer in Government Junior Technical Schools, Madhya Pradesh. The qualification prescribed for the post was a degree in Science. The petitioner applied and on the 1st September 1961, he was appointed a Junior Lecturer (non-technical) in Science on a pay scale of Rs. 150-10-250. It was expressly mentioned in the order of his appointment that the designation as well as the pay scale were liable to be revised. Subsequently, in 1962 the Government declared the unified scale as well as the revised scale for these lecturers who were then called Lecturers (non-technical) in Government Junior Technical Schools. The unified scale was from Rs. 100 to Rs. 250, while the revised scale was from Rs. 200 to Rs. 400. Further details are not relevant. These scales were, however, actually not made applicable to the petitioner as the Principal of his Institution was doubtful whether these unified and revised scales were applicable to new entrants also who had been appointed after the reorganisation of the State or whether they were applicable only to those who had been absorbed from different units. While this state of uncertainty existed, the State Government issued a notification (Annexure A-20) dated 21st November, 1966 by which unified scales as well as the revised scales were refixed and all the previous notifications in that respect were superseded. Under this notification the unified scales were to be effective from 1st April 1958 and the revised scales from 1st July, 1960. By this notification Lecturers (non-technical) were divided into two classes. Those holding post-graduates degrees were to get a unified scale of Rs. 200-10-250-15-325-EB-15-400 and a revised scale of Rs. 250-10-290-15-350-EB. 20-450. The second category of lecturers, who were only graduates, were to get a unified scale of Rs. 110 running up to Rs. 250 and a revised scale of Rs. 150 going up to Rs. 290. These scales were applied to the petitioner also and by order dated 30th April, 1969, (Annexure-A-XXII) the Government directed that a sum of Rs. 3,975.63, which had been overpaid to the petitioner according to the scale mentioned in his appointment letter and which was in excess of the new scales applied to him, should be deducted from his future pay. He was thus, being only a graduate, not given the higher scale. Against these orders the present writ petition has been filed.

3. The first contention of learned Counsel for the petitioner is that the State Government violated principles of equality under Arts. 14 and 16 of the Constitution by creating two categories of Junior Lecturers (non-technical) by the notification dated 21st November, 1966 (Annexure-A-XX) and that, that being illegal, the petitioner was entitled to the higher scale on the ground that lecturers, who were post-graduates, and those who were graduates performed the same kind of work, and were entitled to the same pay. We are not impressed by this argument. The Government was entitled to create two classes among the Lecturers based upon higher qualifications. There can be no doubt that particularly in the Education Department a better qualified lecturer can perform his duties more efficiently than a less qualified one. The criterion, therefore, for making this classification is both reasonable and based on an intelligible differentia and also has a reasonable relation to the object sought to be achieved. After reorganisation of this State the Government was entitled to determine the classes of its employees for different purposes and if in 1966 the State Government decided to create two classes of lecturers for these subjects, it is not possible to say that the principle of equality was violated. In Kishori v. Union of India : [1962]44ITR532(SC) , their Lordships of the Supreme Court recognized this right of the State and observed:--

It is fantastic to suppose that Article 16 of the Constitution forbids the creation of different grades in the Government service,....

In that case among the Income-tax Officers two grades had been created called Class I and Class II and this was upheld by the Supreme Court. Again, in State of Mysore v. P. Narasinga Rao : (1968)IILLJ120SC , the State of Mysore created two classes of tracers, those who had passed the S.S.L.C. examination and those who had not passed the same, and fixed different pay scales for the two classes of tracers. The High Court struck it down as violative of Articles 14 and 16 of the Constitution. But the Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the High Court and at page 352 of the report observed as follows:--

In our opinion, therefore, higher educational qualifications such as success in the S.S.L.C. examination are relevant considerations for fixing a higher pay scale for tracers who have passed the S.S.L.C. examination and the classification of two grades of tracers in the new Mysore State, one for matriculate tracers with a higher scale and the other for non-matriculate tracers with a lower pay scale is not violative of Article 14 or 16 of the Constitution.

We are, therefore, unable to agree with this contention of the petitioner.

4. It was next contended that the petitioner also acquired M.Sc. degree in Mathematics in the year 1968 and at least from that date the petitioner is entitled to the higher scale of pay which has been denied to the petitioner. In reply on behalf of the State it has been contended that the petitioner was a Lecturer in Physics and, therefore, on acquisition of a post-graduate degree in Mathematics he was not automatically entitled to the higher scale of pay. As soon as a post in Mathematics would fall vacant, he would be appointed to that post and would be entitled to the higher scale but not so long as he was a teacher in Physics. To this, the reply of learned Counsel for the petitioner was that the appointments were not made subject wise but the appointments were made to the post of Junior Lecturer in Science (non-technical) and these lecturers taught all the three subjects Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics, and hence it did not matter whether the petitioner was actually teaching Physics. We have heard learned Counsel and looked into a large number of documents filed from time to time by the parties. We are satisfied that actual appointments were made to particular subjects. The documents relied upon by the petitioner are only documents which have determined the pay scales of these lecturers. Naturally, lecturers (non-technical) to these technical schools have been classed together and one scale of pay has been provided, whether they taught Physics, Chemistry or Mathematics. But that does not indicate that teachers were appointed to take charge of particular subjects. On behalf of the State a large number of documents showing appointments of different teachers have been filed as Annexure R-16. In those documents more than two dozen teachers are expressly mentioned as having been appointed for particular subjects, either Physics or Chemistry or Mathematics. It is also natural and general experience that a teacher must be appointed to take charge of a particular subject so that he may be responsible for that subject in a particular institution. It is fantastic to think that three teachers would be appointed in all the three subjects, and any of them may take any subject haphazardly. Two applications of the petitioner himself have also been filed on behalf of the State (Annexures R-17 and R-18) in which the petitioner himself has signed as Lecturer in Physics. If he had not been appointed as Lecturer in Physics, he would not have so described himself. We are, therefore, satisfied that the petitioner was appointed a Lecturer in Physics.

5. The next contention of learned Counsel for the petitioner in this connection was that notification of 1966 fixing two scales of pay does not state that the lecturer who acquires a post-graduate qualification can get the higher scale only if he acquires a qualification in his own subject which he is teaching, and, therefore, according to learned Counsel, acquisition of a post-graduate qualification in any subject would entitle the petitioner to the higher scale of pay. We are unable to agree with this contention. The result of accepting such a proposition would be that in these technical schools where only science subjects are being taught, a teacher may acquire a post-graduate qualification in Economics or Music and may claim the higher scale of pay which would be ridiculous. The only reasonable interpretation of this notification would be that post-graduate degree refers to the post-graduate degree in the subject which the teacher is taking. In the supplementary return filed on behalf of the State it has been shown that in 1968 when the petitioner acquired a post-graduate degree in Mathematics, all the posts of Mathematics teachers in the 14 junior technical schools were already occupied by teachers holding a postgraduate degree in Mathematics and hence it was not possible even to transfer him to any such post immediately. It has been stated that as soon as a post is available, the petitioner would be transferred to a post in Mathematics subject and he would then be entitled to the higher scale. We are, therefore, satisfied that the petitioner, merely by acquiring a postgraduate qualification in Mathematics, was not entitled to get the higher scale of pay.

6. Another complaint of the petitioner is that he has not been made permanent although he is in Government service since 1961. That is a matter in the discretion of the Government and we are unable to see how this Court can direct that the petitioner should be made permanent. We are, however, informed that during the pendency of this petition, the Government has issued an order making the petitioner quasi-permanent.

7. The last contention of learned Counsel is that in any case the direction in Annexure A-22 regarding refund of excess payment to the petitioner is unwarranted. We are satisfied that this contention of the petitioner is well-founded. When the petitioner was appointed, he was given a pay scale of Rs. 150-10-250. It was noted at the bottom of the appointment order that the scale of pay was liable to revision. This note only meant that as long as the pay was not revised, the petitioner would be entitled to receive the pay mentioned in the order. Thus, the petitioner was entitled to the pay on the scale of Rs. 150-10-250 till his scale was revised which was done by Annexure A-20 in 1966. To apply this new scale of pay retrospectively would be to go back upon the promise given to the petitioner that he would be entitled to get that pay as long as that was not revised. The appointment order cannot be read to mean that at any future time even the scale of pay which had already been given to him can be reduced from a back date so that he may have to refund the amount which he had taken and consumed. Even the Government cannot have the right to go back upon its assurances and clear undertakings. We are, therefore, of opinion that the order dated 30th April, 1969 (Annexure A-XXII) directing refund of pay is without jurisdiction and it is quashed so far as it applies to the petitioner. The petitioner is not entitled to any other relief.

8. In all the circumstances of the case, we direct the parties to bear their own costs. The outstanding amount of the security deposit shall be refunded to the petitioner.


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