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T.R.S. Nair Vs. State of Gujarat and anr. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectLabour and Industrial
CourtGujarat High Court
Decided On
Case NumberSpl. C.A. No. 2934 of 1983
Judge
Reported in(1984)1GLR397; (1984)IILLJ102Guj
ActsConstitution of India - Article 14
AppellantT.R.S. Nair
RespondentState of Gujarat and anr.
Excerpt:
.....working in departments or offices of sachivalaya or in offices of heads of department is same - selection grade granted to all stenographers was same - no justification or reason to deny above benefit to stenographers who are similarly situated but are working in offices or departments other than sachivalaya - action of state government in denying benefit to petitioner arbitrary and discriminatory - petitioner entitled for all arrears and increments. - industrial disputes act, 1947. section 2(s): [m.s. shah, sharad d. dave & k.s. jhaveri,jj] workman part time employees held, part time employees are not excluded from the definition of workman in section 2(s) merely on the ground that they are part time employees. the ex abundante cautela use of the words either whole time or part..........1st january, every year to the selection grade with effect from the date he was placed in the selection grade. he would thus be entitled to draw pay of rs. 945/- per month on 1st january, 1980 and earn increment thereafter every year on 1st january in the said pay-scale. government is directed to give effect to this order and pay to the petitioner all the arrears and increments within two months after the receipt of the writ of this court. 8. rule made absolute with costs. 9. petition allowed.
Judgment:

1. Gujarat Public Service Commission held competitive examination in April 1963 for recruitment of Stenographers Grade I English for appointment to various posts in Sachivalaya and allied offices and offices of Heads of Departments situated at Ahmedabad, which was the capital of the Gujarat State at the relevant time. Petitioner appeared at the competitive examination and was selected by the Gujarat Public Service Commission for appointment to the post of Stenographer Grade I English (hereinafter referred to as the 'Stenographer'). Petitioner secured fourth rank in the examination and was allowed to the Gujarat Revenue Tribunal (hereinafter referred to as the 'Tribunal'). The other selected candidates were allotted to various departments of the Government. Some of them were allotted to various offices of the Sachivalaya. It appears that allotment was made in accordance with exigencies of administration. In other words, candidates who were allotted to various departments of offices in the Sachivalaya did not possess any special merits or were not more meritorious than the candidates allotted to the offices or departments other than Sachivalaya. Petitioner's allotment in the Tribunal was purely fortuitous not on the basis of assessment of relative or comparative merits of the selected candidates.

2. The State Government by its memorandum dated 7th July, 1980 read with Government Resolution Finance Department No. PCR-2279-200/GH dated 17th July, 1979, granted selection grade of Rs. 900-45-1080-50-1180-EB-50-1280 with effect from 1st July, 1979 to 14 Stenographers working in the Sachivalaya. These stenographers included two Stenographers who ranked below the petitioner at the examination referred to above. It may be mentioned here that there was a separate seniority list of Stenographers working in Sachivalaya and separate seniority list for Stenographers working in non-Sachivalaya departments. There Stenographers working in non-Sachivalaya departments were also granted selection grade of Rs. 900-1280 referred to above with effect from 1st July, 1979 as per norms laid down by Government Resolution dated 17th July, 1979. Since the petitioner was third in the seniority list of the Stenographers working in non-Sachivalaya Departments he was granted selection grade with effect from 1st July, 1979 vide Government Order No. SACHM/2182/1(4)/KH-4 dated Nil May, 1982.

3. Under Government Resolution, Finance Department No. PPA-1069-2267(16)-CH dated 5th October, 1976, it is laid down if an employee is drawing pay in the ordinary scale less than the minimum of the selection grade at the time of his appointment in the selection grade, his pay should be fixed at the minimum of the selection grade and his next increment would be due after full incremental period of one year is over. Before the petitioner was placed in selection grade he was in the pay-scale of Rs. 650-30-750-35-810-EB-35-880-40-1040 and his pay on 1st July, 1979 was Rs. 880/-. The normal date of increment for the petitioner was 1st January in the said pay-scale. In accordance with the aforesaid Government Resolution dated 5th October, 1976, petitioners was entitled to fixation of his pay at the minimum of the selection grade, that is at Rs. 900/- per month and after full incremental period of one year, he would have been entitled to Rs. 945/- with effect from 1st July, 1980. As pointed out above petitioner's pay was Rs. 880/- in the ordinary pay-scale on 1st July, 1979. Petitioner's pay would have been raised to Rs. 920/- per month with effect from 1st January, 1980 had he remained in the ordinary pay-scale. However, since the petitioner was placed in the selection grade and since he was entitled to his increment in the selection grade only with effect from 1st July, 1980 his pay remained at Rs. 900/- per month on 1st January, 1980. It appears from the table given by the petitioner in paragraph 6 of his petition, which is not disputed on behalf of the State Government that the difference in pay on account of postponement of the date of increment, as stated above, would be reflected throughout the career of the petitioner. For certain periods petitioner would draw pay less than what he would have drawn had he remained in the ordinary pay-scale.

4. Identical situation had arisen in the case of one G. R. Patel who was working in the Sachivalaya and placed in the selection grade with effect from 1st July, 1979. His date of increment in the ordinary pay-scale was 1st January as in the cases of the petitioner. Ordinary pay-scale and selection grade pay-scale both in the case of the petitioner and G. R. Patel are the same. As in the case of the petitioner since the date of increment was postponed in the case of G. R. Patel also on his being placed in the selection grade, his pay was Rs. 900/- per month on 1st January, 1980 though it would have been Rs. 920/- per month had he remained in the ordinary pay-scale. As in the case of the petitioner this difference in pay on account of postponement of the date of the increment was to be reflected throughout the career of G. R. Patel and for certain period he would have drawn less pay than what he would have drawn had he remained in the ordinary pay scale. G. R. Patel made a representation and pointed out the above anomalous position to the Government. The State Government realised the anomalous situation created by the aforesaid Government Resolution, accepted the representation made by G. R. Patel and directed to give him increments with effect from the date he was entitled to increments in the ordinary pay-scale. In other words, it was directed that G. R. Patel will be entitled to draw increment with effect from 1st January in the selection grade. As a result of this direction given by the State Government G. R. Patel started drawing pay of Rs. 945/- per month in the selection grade with effect from 1st January, 1980 and subsequent increments were accordingly given to him in the selection grade. It is not controverted by the State Government that similar benefit has been given to other Stenographers working in various Departments and Offices of Sachivalaya.

5. Since the petitioner and stenographers working in various Departments and Offices other than those of Sachivalaya were similarly situated, petitioner made representation to the State Government pointing out the above anomalous position and requested them to give increments in the selection grade with effect from 1st January every year, as in the case of Stenographers working in Sachivalaya. The State Government however, by its order Annexure 'F' dated 17th May, 1983, rejected the petitioner's representation informing him that the question has been referred to the Third Pay Commission for consideration. Petitioner has, therefore, approached this Court by way of this petition under Art. 226 of the Constitution of India.

6. In the affidavit in reply filed on behalf of the State Government, petitioner's contention that he and Stenographers working in Sachivalaya are similarly situated is not controverted. The manner in which the recruitment and allotment of Stenographers was made is also not disputed. As stated by the petitioner, a common selection list of selected candidates for appointment to the posts of Stenographer in Sachivalaya, allied offices and in the Heads of the Departments was prepared. Allotment of candidates to various offices was not on the basis of comparative merits of the candidates but in accordance with exigencies of administration. In other words, the candidates possessing better merits or who were more meritorious were not specially selected for Departments and Offices in Sachivalaya. In fact, candidates who ranked below the petitioner in the selection list had been allotted to the Sachivalaya. Thus it was fortuitous circumstance that petitioner was allotted not to any Department or Office of Sachivalaya but to the Gujarat Revenue Tribunal. The pay-scale of all the Stenographers whether working in the Departments or Offices of Sachivalaya or in the Offices of the Heads of the Departments is the same. Selection grade which was granted to all the Stenographers is also the same. In other words, all the Stenographers wherever they are working are similarly situated. In the background of these facts, it is difficult to understand and appreciate as to how the State Government could have given any preferential or better treatment to the Stenographers working in the Sachivalaya. All the Stenographers who were similarly situated ought to have been given the same treatment. It is however, found that in the case of the Stenographers working in the Sachivalaya, who drew pay less than the minimum of the selection grade, the State Government gave direction that they will be entitled to earn increments in the selection grade on the date on which they were entitled to increments in the ordinary pay-scale. In other words, the resolution under which they were entitled to increment only on expiry of period of one year from the date of their being placed in the selection grade was not made applicable to them. This position is not disputed by the State Government. There is absolutely no justification or reason to deny the above benefit to the Stenographers who are similarly situated but are working in the Offices or Departments other than Sachivalaya. The action of the State Government in denying the above benefit to the petitioner must be held to be arbitrary and discriminatory, violative of Art. 14 of the Constitution of India. In my opinion petitioner is entitled to the same benefit which was extended to G. R. Patel under the order Annexure 'D' dated 6th October, 1981. In other words, petitioner is entitled to draw increments on the date on which he would have been entitled to draw increments i.e. 1st January, in the ordinary pay-scale. Consequently, petitioner is entitled to draw pay of Rs. 945/- per month with effect from 1st January, 1980. Rs. 990/- per month from 1st January, 1981, Rs. 1035/- per month from 1st January, 1982 and so on.

7. In the result, this petition is allowed. The order Annexure 'F' dated 17th May, 1983, passed by the Revenue Department of State of Gujarat rejected the petitioner's request or representation to remove anomaly as aforesaid is quashed and set aside. The respondents are directed to allow the petitioner to draw increments on 1st January, every year to the selection grade with effect from the date he was placed in the selection grade. He would thus be entitled to draw pay of Rs. 945/- per month on 1st January, 1980 and earn increment thereafter every year on 1st January in the said pay-scale. Government is directed to give effect to this order and pay to the petitioner all the arrears and increments within two months after the receipt of the writ of this Court.

8. Rule made absolute with costs.

9. Petition allowed.


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