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S.K. Ghosh and 7 ors. Vs. the State of Rajasthan and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectService
CourtRajasthan High Court
Decided On
Case NumberS.B. Civil Writ Petitions Nos. 1565 to 1568 of 1983
Judge
Reported in1985(1)WLN65
AppellantS.K. Ghosh and 7 ors.
RespondentThe State of Rajasthan and ors.
Cases ReferredIn Charanjit Lal v. Union of India
Excerpt:
constitution of india - article 226, 14 & 229--writ of mandamus--issue of--refusal to accord approval to proposal of chief justice arbitrary--held, court can issue writ of mandamus.;writ of mandamus can be issued if the court finds on facts that the refusal of the state government to accord approval to the proposal of the chief justice under article 229 of the constitution is ultra vires, mala fide or arbitrary. ;(b) constitution of india - articles 14 & 229 and rajasthan high court (conditions of service of staff) rules, 1959--rule 5--parity between pay scales of private secretaries to judges of high court and private secretaries to commissioners from 1(sic)50 to 1973--departure from parity by state government--proposal of chief justice ignored by keeping silence--held, action of.....k.s. sidhu, j.1. the petitioners in the eight writ petitions, listed above, are officers of the rajasthan high court, holding the posts of 'private secretaries attached to the chief justice and judges' appointed as such by the chief justice of the court in accordance with the provisions of article 229 of the constitution of india and the rules framed thereunder by the chief justice. the irony of this litigation is that officers attached as private secretaries to the chief justice and judges of the high court should find themselves in a situation which led them to file these petitions under article 226 of the constitution, seeking justice from the high court, against the chief justice of the court and the state government of rajasthan who, according to the petitioners, have not redressed.....
Judgment:

K.S. Sidhu, J.

1. The petitioners in the eight writ petitions, listed above, are officers of the Rajasthan High Court, holding the posts of 'Private Secretaries attached to the Chief Justice and Judges' appointed as such by the Chief Justice of the Court in accordance with the provisions of Article 229 of the Constitution of India and the rules framed thereunder by the Chief Justice. The irony of this litigation is that officers attached as private secretaries to the Chief Justice and Judges of the High Court should find themselves in a situation which led them to file these petitions under Article 226 of the Constitution, seeking justice from the High Court, against the Chief Justice of the Court and the State Government of Rajasthan who, according to the petitioners, have not redressed their legitimate grievance inspite of repeated representations over the years. Their grievance, in short is that inspite of the fact that their duties and responsibilities as private secretaries and judgment writers in the High Court are far more arduous and onerous in nature as compared to the private secretaries to Commissioners and Secretaries to the Government of Rajasthan, the authorities concerned acted in 1973 and thereafter in such a manner as to deprive them of the parity in pay scales, which existed between the two categories of private secretaries from 1950 to 1973. They are, in effect, seeking a writ of mandamus from this Court directing the Chief Justice of the Court and the State Government of Rajasthan to equate them with private secretaries to the Commissioners and Secretaries to the Government of Rajasthan for the purpose of pay scales.

2. Article 229(1) of the Constitution vests the Chief Justice of a High Court and his delegate with exclusive power to appoint officers and servants of the High Court. Under Article 229(2), the Chief Justice and his delegate may make rules regulating the conditions of service of such appointees. This power to make rules is however, subject to certain limitations. One of the limitations imposed by the proviso to Article 229(2) is that the rules, to the extent they relate to salaries, allowances, leave or pensions, require the approval of the Governor of the State.

3. The Rajasthan High Court (Conditions of Service of Staff) Rules, 1953 (here in after called the High Court Staff Rules) were made by the Chief Justice with the approval of the Governor to the extent such approval was necessary. Rule 5 of the High Court Staff Rules as it stood in 1953 reads as under:

5. Rates of pay.-Subject to the provisions of the Rajasthan Civil Services Unification of fay Scales Rules, 1951 relating to fixation of the rates of monthly pay admissible to person appointed to the staff attached to the High Court, whether in substantive or officiating capacity on as a temporary measures, shall be as shown in the schedule to these rules.

A purusal of the schedule to which reference is made in Rule 5 reproduced above would show that the stenographers attached to the Chief Justice and Judges of the High Court were known from the very beginning under the name and style of 'Personal Assistant and Judgment Writers'. Since the pay-scales of these 'Personal Assistants and Judgment Writers' were subject to the Rajasthan Civil Services (Unification of Pay Scales) Rules, 1950, they were naturally enjoying the same pay scales of 200-10-3 0, 100-10-20 and 120-10-220 which were respectively admissible to their counter-parts, i.e. Stenographers Grade 1, Stenographers Grade II and Stenographers Grade (II, in the Government Secretariat under the Rajasthan Civil Services (Unification of Pay Scales) Rules, 1950

4.The parity continued under the Rajasthan Civil Services (Rationalisation of Pay Scales) Rules, 1956, even though the pay scales of Stenographers Grade I Stenographers Grade II and Stenographer Grade III were thereby revised upwards at 200-350, 150-300 and 120-250, respectively. The parity was maintained thereafter under the Rajasthan Civil Services (Revised Pay) Rules, 1961 (here in after called the 196 Rules) which increased the pay scales of these three grades of Stenographers to 200-435, 170-385 and 140-90 respectively. The 1961 Rules were amended by the State Government vide notification, dated May 4, 1965, which was ordered to take effect from March 1, 1965. As per the said amendment, Stenographers Grade I and Stenographers Grade II in the Government Secretariat were merged into a single category of posts carrying the name of 'Senior Stenographers' with a uniform pay scale of 155-485 with a minimum pay of Rs. 175/- per month. By the selfsame amendment, the post of Stenographer Grade III in the Government Secretariat was redesignated simply as 'Stenographer'. The net result was that under the 1961 Rules, as amended in 1965, there were only two categories of stenographers in the Government Secretariat, namely the 'Senior Stenographers' and the 'Stenographers' carrying the pay scales of 155-485 and 140 330, respectively.

5. Though the corresponding amendments, if any in the High Court Staff Rules, have not been brought to my notice, never the less a perusal of the Rajasthan Service (New Pay Scales) Rules, 1969 (hereinafter called the 1969 Rules) would show that these amendments were also extended to the posts of Personal Assistants and Judgment Writers in the High Court under the 1961 Rules as well. Schedule I to the 1969 Rules consists of six sections, namely, Sections A, B, C, D, E and F. Section A enumerates and describes all the 33 new pay scales applicable to posts and services in connection with the affairs of the State of Rajasthan. Section B to F give the pay scales, both old and revised, of all the State Services and the posts in connection with the affairs of the State. Column 3 of each section gives the pay scales of different posts as they existed under the 1961 Rules. Column 4 gives the new pay scales granted under the 1969 Rules. Section E deals with non-gazetted posts common to all departments including the Rajasthan Government Secretariat. It will be seen on a perusal of the relevant' entries in section E that the pay scales of the 'Senior Stenographer' and Stenographers' in the Government Secretariat were as under:

Name of the Pay-scale under the Pay-scale under the

post 1961 Rules 1961 Rules

2 3 4

Senior Stenographer 155-485 with a minimum pay 225-525

of Rs. 175/- per month

Stenographer 140-330 170-390

6. Turning now to Section F Schedule I to the 1969 Rules, it will be seen that this section also deals with the posts in the Judicial Department including the High Court. The following table, prepared on the basis of Section F will show that the benefit of the amendments, effected in the 1961 Rules, were extended to the Personal Assistants and Judgment Writers in the High Court in the same measure and from the same date as in the case of Senior Stenographers and Stenographers in the Government Secretariat. The relevant entries in Section F are as under:

Name of the Pay-scale under the Pay-scale under the

post 1961 Rules 1961 Rules

2 3 4

Personal Assistants 15 5-485 with a minimum pay 225-525

to Judges and of Rs. 175/- per month

Judgment Writers

Stenographer 140-330 170-390

7. It will thus be seen that the authorities concerned had been scrupulously maintaining strict parity between the Senior Stenographers in the Government Secretariat and the Personal Assistants-cum-Judgment Writers in the High Court in the matter of their pay-scales for a period of nearly 20 years from 1950 to 1969. The principle of parity in fact remained intact till 1973 when the State Government acted, wittingly or unwittingly, in a manner which has relegated the Personal Assistants and Judgment Writers attached to the Chief Justice and Judges of the High Court to a much inferior position in the matter of Day-scales as compared to their counter-parts in the Government Secretariat. How the age-old strict parity was turned into gross disparity is a question which can be easily answered by narrating here the history of events which took place between 1973 and 1978. It is however not easy to explain as to why it was thought proper to discriminate against the Personal Assistants-cum-Judgment Writers attached to the Chief Justice and Judges of this Court in 1973 and thereafter to let the discrimination continue all these years.

8. In order to understand as to how it all started, it may be mentioned that the foundation was laid with the amendment of the Rajasthan Secretariat Ministerial Service Rules, 1970 (here in after called the Ministerial Service Rules) on May 22, 1973. The State Government issued a notification on the even date amending Schedule I to the Ministerial Service Rules and inserting the posts of 'Selection Grade Stenographers' at serial No. 1 of Group-C and renumbering the previous Nos. 1 and 2 (relating to 'Senior Stenographers' and 'Stenographers') as Nos. 2 and 3, respectively. All the posts of 'Selection Grade Stenographers' created as a sequel to this amendment were required to be filed in 100% by promotion from amongst the confirmed 'Senior Stenographers'. The Ministerial Service Rules were further amended in 1979 to substitute the words' Senior Personal Assistant' and 'Personal Assistant' for the than existing words 'Selection Grade Stenographers' and 'Senior Stenographers', respectively. No corresponding amendment was made in the High Court Staff Rules, or the 1969 Rules to maintain and preserve the parity of pay-scales between the Personal Assistants in the Government Secretariat and their counter-parts in the High Court. The result was that Senior Stenographers, renamed as 'Personal Assistants' in 1979 in the Government Secretariat were placed in a much better position by opening to them the avenues of promotion to the posts of 'Selection Grade Stenographers' renamed as 'Senior Personal Assistants' in 1979. The Personal Assistants and Judgment Writers attached to the Chief Justice and Judges of the High Court stayed where they were before 1973, in as much as the statutory rules, applicable to them, were not amended, to give them similar opportunity of promotion to the selection grade posts as had been created for their counter-parts in the Government Secretariat.

9. The new category of posts, namely, the Selection Grade Stenographers in the Government Secretariat were given the pay-scale of 275-650. No such scale was available in the establishment of the High Court for being given to Personal Assistants-cum-Judgment Writers in the High Court. The High Court seems to have taken up the matter with the State Government to rectify the situation regarding the pay-scab of these officers. It appears that the Chief Justice himself wrote a demi-official letter, dated June 28, 1974, to the Chief Minister drawing the tatter's attention to the fact that the counter parts in other High Courts of the Personal Assistants-cum-Judgment Writers of the Rajasthan High Court were enjoying parity of pay scales with private secretaries in the Government Secretariats of these States; and, therefore, the Chief Justice strongly recommended that the terms and conditions of service of Personal Assistants-cum-Judgment Writers in the RHC should at least be brought at par with the Selection-Grade Stenographers in the Raj. Govt. Secretariat with a special pay of Rs. 100/- par month in view of the fact that their work involved the performance of duties of a much more arduous and strenuous nature than their counter parts in the Raj. Government Secretariat.

10. These efforts on the part of the C.J. did not achieve the desired result. A reference to Schedule I to the Raj. High Court (Conditions of Service of Staff) Amendment Rules, 1975, would show that the cadre of Personal Assistants-cum-Judgment Writers in the High Court consisted of 10 permanent posts and 5 temporary posts, in all 15 posts in 1975. All that the State Government agreed to was to sanction selection grade of 275-650 for 2 posts with effect from Sept. 18, 1974, leaving the remaining 13 in the old scale of 225-525. Rule 5 of the High Court Staff Rules was also amended in 1975. The amended rule reads as under:

5. Rates of pay:

(1) The pay admissible to the persons appointed to the staff attached to the High Court whether in substantive or officiating capacity or as a temporary measure shall be as shown in Schedule I to these Rules as revised from time to time.

(2) The posts shown in Schedule II to these rules have been equated with the Government of Rajasthan Secretariat posts shown against them and the pay scales applicable to the equivalent Secretariat posts and the orders regarding fixation in such pay scales issued from time to time by the Government shall be applicable to the corresponding High Court posts by an order of the Chief Justice.

Schedule II to the High Court Staff Rules which was inserted by the aforesaid amendment w.e.f. October 31, 1975 equates the post of Persona) Assistant cum-Judgment Writer in the High Court with the post of Senior Stenographer in the Govt. Secretariat for the purpose of pay-scale. As already stated, the posts of Selection Grade Stenographers had already been created in the Government Secretariat with effect from May 22, 1973, and two such posts had also been sanctioned for the High Court w.e.f September 18, 1974. Strangely enough, Schedule II does not mention any equation of the selection grade posts of Personal Assistant-cum-Judgment Writer in the High Court as compared to the selection grade stenographers in the Govt. Secretariat for the purpose of fixation of pay scale.

11. Then followed the Rajasthan Civil Services (Revised New Pay Scales) Rules, 1976 (here in after called the 1976 Rules), which took effect from September 1, 1976. The revised pay-scale of the posts of 'Senior Stenographers' and 'Selection Grade Stenographers' in the Govt. Secretariat and also of the time-scale posts and the selection grade posts of Personal Assistants cum-Judgment Writers in the High Court, were fixed at Rs. 550-1010 and Rs. 620-1100, respectively, under the 1976 Rules. Meanwhile, the C.J. had amended the High Court Staff Rules (see the Govt. Gazette, Rajasthan, dated December 4, 1975) in exercise of his powers under Article 229 of the Constitution. By the said amendment, the designation of the posts of 'Personal Assistants and Judgment Writers' in the High Court was changed and the new designation of these posts, given by the aforesaid statutory amendments, is 'Private Secretaries attached to Heon'ble the Chief Justice and Hon'ble Justice' of the High Court. So, by the end of 1976, the posts of Private Secretaries to the Chief Justice and Judges of the High Court, except two, ranked inferior to the posts of Selection Grade Stenographers in the Govt. Secretariat in so far as pay-scale is concerned.

12. The disparity introduced for the first time in 1973 assumed a more aggravated from by reason of the action of the State Govt. in amending the Raj. Secretariat Services Rules, 1974, on Aug. 29, 1978, giving the amendment retrospective effect from March 1, 1978. By virtue of this amendment of the Government inserted the post of Private Secretary to Commissioner and Secretary to Government' in the category of posts constituting the Raj. Secretariat Service which comes in the category of a State Service (Class I; as compared to the posts of Selection Grade Stenographers, Senior Stenographers and Personal Assistant-cum-Judgment Writers, all of whom fall in the category of Ministerial Services (Class III). It is stated at the Bar that even before this statutory amendment had been made the State Govt. had already created, by executive orders, posts of Private Secretaries in the Govt. Secretariat in the pay-scale of 930-1500 for being attached to the Commissioners and Secretaries to the Government. The amendment gave statutory form to what had already been achieved by issuing executive orders. The amendment further lays down that recruitment to the posts of Private Secretaries to Commissioners and Secretaries to Government shall be made by promotion from amongst the Selection Grade Stenographers in the Government Secretariat having experience as such for a period of three years or more. This means that shortly after the promulgation of the 1976 Rules, the State Government had once again chosen the Selection Grade Stenographers in the Government Secretariat for a second installment of preferential treatment within a span of 3 or 4 years, as compared to the Private Secretaries to the C.J. and Judges of the High Court, who were still waiting for being given the pay-scales given to the Senior Stenographers in the shape of the creation of a higher cadre of Selection Grade Stenographers for them by way of, so to say, the first installment in 1973.

13. In appears that the C.J. once again took up with the State Government the matter of restoring parity in the pay-scales and promotion prospects of these two categories of Private Secretaries. The Government does not seem to have agreed to restore the parity which obtained till May, 1973. All that it agreed to was to up grade two posts of Private Secretaries to the Chief Justice and Judges of the High Court to what was described as super time scale of 9301500 somewhere in 1978. The Government obviously did not agree to equate the Private Secretaries to the Chief Justice and Judges of the High Court, as a class, with the Private Secretaries to the Commissioners and Secretaries to Government as a class for purposes of pay scales.

14. These lop-sided executive actions and statutory amendments of rules by the State Government during 1973-1978 have not only destroyed the twenty year old parity of pay scales between the Private Secretaries to Commissioners and Secretaries to Government on one side and Private Secretaries to the Chief Justice and Judges of the High Court on the other, they have also created a situation which is extremely frustrating from the stand point of the latter. The petitioners' case is and the learned Advocate General in his written arguments admits it, that the situation as it emerged it) 1983 on the commencement of the Rajasthan Civil Services (Revised Pay Scales) Rules, 1983, is depicted by the comparative table as follows:

Government Secretariat High Court

(1) (2) (3) (1) (2) (3)

Serial Name of the Number Serial Name of the Number of

No. post with of No. post with posts

pay scale posts pay scale

(i) Private 23 (i) Private 2

Secretaries Secretaries to

to Commis- Chief Justice

sioners & and Judges

Secretaries (1210-2040)

to Government

(1210-2040)

(ii) Senior Personal 30 (ii) Private 2

Assistant Secretaries to

(820-1550) Chief Justice

and Judges

(820-1550)

(iii) Personal 94 (iii) Private 23

Assistant Secretaries to

(740-1420) Chief Justice '

and Judges

(740-1420)

This table speaks for itself. The names of the three categories of posts in the Government Secretariat clearly indicate that each category is different from the other by reason of its attachment to a particular hierarchy of the bureaucrats. The highest category, i.e., the Private Secretaries, carrying the pay scale of 1210-2040, are attached to the Commissioners & Secretaries to Government who themselves are in the top category of bureaucracy in the Secretariat. The middle-rung, i.e., Senior Personal Assistants carrying the pay scale of 820-1550 would be attached to other high bureaucrats, lower than the Commissioners & Secretaries to Government, but higher than the Deputy Secretaries etc. who get secretarial assistance from Personal Assistants in the lowest scale of 740-1420.

15. Mow, looking at the table on its right side, it will be seen that the three categories of posts in the High Court carry one and the same name. The reason why the name is common is that all the incumbents of these posts no matter whether a particular incumbent is enjoying the top scale 1210-2040 or the lowest scale of 740-1420, are attached to one and the same class, i.e., the Chief Justice and Judges of the High Court.

16. The history of pay scales of Private Secretaries to the Chief Justice and Judges of the High Court on one side, and of Private Secretaries to Commissioners and Secretaries to Government, Senior Personal Assistants & Personal Assistants in the Government Secretariat as narrated above, enables us to draw the following conclusions:

(i) Strict parity was maintained in the pay scales of Private Secretaries to the Chief Justice and Judges of the High Court and those of the Private Secretaries to Commissioners and Secretaries to Government from 1950 to 1973.

(ii) The name of the post of Private Secretary did not affect the said parity. The post was earlier known in the High Court by the came of Personal Assistant-cum-Judgment Writer which was subsequently changed to Private Secretary to Chief Justice/ Judge of the High Court. The original name in the Secretariat was Stenographer Grade-I and Grade II which was later replaced by a compendious name of 'Senior Stenographer'. So far as parity was concerned, these changes in names did not affect it at ail.

(iii) The parity was disturbed for the first time in 1973 when the State Government created the cadre of Selection Grade Stenographers in the Government Secretariat without creating a corresponding cadre in the High Court,

(iv) Last blow was struck on the principle of parity in 1978 when the State Government created yet another cadre of Private Secretaries to Commissioners and Secretaries to Government as a part & parcel of the Rajasthan Secretariat Service by amending the Rajasthan Secretariat Service Rules, 1954.

(v) The efforts of the Chief Justice between 1973 and 1978 to persuade the State Government to restore the parity, as it existed from 1950 to 1973 did not succeed. All he could achieve in 1974 was the up gradation of two posts of Personal Assistants-cum-Judgment Writers, subsequently, renamed as Private Secretaries, in a pay scale equal to the pay scales of Selection Grade Stenographers in the Government Secretariat, and upgradation of two other posts in 1978 in what is known as supertime scale of 930-1500 revised to 1210-2040.

17. The petitioners are seeking a writ of mandamus against the respondents directing them to restore the parity by equating the posts of Private Secretaries to the Chief Justice and Judges of the High Court with the posts of Private Secretaries to the Commissioners and Secretaries to Government for the purpose of pay-scales. Their case is based mainly on the history narrated above. They have also quoted passages in their writ petitions from various resolutions passed at different conferences of the Chief Justices of all the High Courts in the country. One of such conference held in Bombay under the Chairmanship of the Chief Justice of India in 1962 unanimously resolved:

The conference took note of the fact that all the posts on the staff of the Supreme Court have been equated with the corresponding posts in the Secretariat of the Government of India. It was, therefore, decided that the same principle should be applied to the employees of the High Court vis-a-vis the corresponding State Secretariat.

They pleaded that pursuant to the said resolution most of the State Governments in the country have already equated the Private Secretaries to Judges of High Court with the Private Secretaries in the Government Secretariats in all respects including pay scales.

18. The petitioners also referred to the report of the Rajasthan Pay Commission (1976-1981) and averred that the Commission had recommended that the Private Secretaries in the High Court should be granted the same pay-scales which were being recommended for the Private Secretaries in the Government Secretariat. They underscored the point that having regard to the fact that their duties and responsibilities were of more arduous and exacting natures compared to the duties and responsibilities of Private Secretaries the Government Secretariat, the Commission had recommended the grant of a special pay of Rs. 100/- per month to them in addition to the pay under the scale recommended.

19. They complained that inspite of the fact that the Chief Justice has recommended the grant in their favour of the same pay-scale (1210-2040) which is being enjoyed by ail the Private Secretaries to Commissioners and Secretaries to Government, the State Government has not agreed to grant them the said pay scale.

20. In para 20 of the writ petition, the petitioners have given facts bearing on the comparative qualifications, duties, peculiar nature of work and responsibilites in an attempt to show that the qualifications and training needed, and the proficiency and experience insisted upon are identical and common. According to them, their duties and responsibilities are of more exacting and arduous nature.

21. It is on the basis of the averments, recapitulated above, that petitioners are seeking orders directing the Stat Government to accord approval to the proposal of the Chief Justice to grant the pay scale of 1210-2040 to the Private Secretaries to the Chief Justice and Judges of the High Court with effect from December 4, 1975, i.e. the date on which the High Court Staff Rules were amended and thereby the designation of the posts of 'Personal Assistants and Judgment Writers' in the High Court was replaced by the designation 'Private Secretaries attached to the Hon'ble Chief Justice and Hon'ble Judges' of the High Court They are also seeking an order quashing schedule I[ to the High Court Staff Rules in so far as it equates Personal Assistants and Judgment Writers' in the High Court with the Senior Stenographers' in the Government Secretariat for the purpose of pay scale. Instead, they pray for equation of the posts of Private Secretaries to the Chief Justice/Judges of the High Court with the posts of Private Secretaries to Commissioners and Secretaries to Government for the purpose of pay scales with effect from December 4, 1975 and for a direction for the amendment of Schedule II accordingly.

22. Notices of motion regarding these writ petitions were served on the respondents (State of Rajasthan and the Chief Justice, High Court of Judicature for Rajasthan) in August, 1983. The Deputy Government Advocate entered appearance on August 25, 1983, and obtained adjournment so that he could seek instructions from the respondents for filing reply to the petitions. The case was thereafter adjourned from time to time at the instance of the Government Advocate, but even then no reply was filed on behalf of the respondents. Eventually, on December 12, 1983, all the eight writ petitions were admitted and rule nisi was issued requiring the respondents to show cause why the same be not made absolute. While adjourning the proceedings in these petitions to January 12, 1984, this Court made it clear that if the respondents did not fib their return with a supportive affidavit in answer to the rule on or before the even date, it shall be presumed that the respondents are not desirous of filing any return. The case was taken up on January 18 and thereafter on February 1, 1984, but the respondents did not file any return. The court was thus left with no option, but to conclude that the respondents did not want to file their return in answer to the rule, I am therefore to take it that the averments in the writ petition are admitted by the respondents.

23. The Advocate General of the State began to appear in this case from February, 1984 onwards. Oral arguments started in February, 1984, and concluded in May, 1984. On May 2, 1984, learned Counsel for the petitioners (Mr. Paras Kuhad) and the learned Advocate General obtained adjournment for 4 months stating that the petitioners would like to approach the authorities concerned once again for reconsideration and necessary relief. The learned Advocate General made a statement that if and when the Chief Justice of the High Court of Judicature for Rajasthan made a proposal under Article 229 of the Constitution for equation of the posts of Private Secretaries to Chief Justice/Judges of the High Court with Private Secretaries to Commissioners and Secretaries to Government the State Government would take its decision thereon within a period of three months from the date of receipt of the proposal.

24. The case was thereafter taken up on September 6, 1984. It transpired that the State Government had not taken any decision on the proposal of the Chief Justice as aforementioned by that date. In order to find out if the Chief Justice had made any proposal to the State Government regarding the equation of these posts I summoned the relevant file and found from it that vide letter, I/B/(iii)(a)(10) 24/83/2592 dated July 11, 1984, the Chief Justice has already made a proposal seeking approval of the State Government for granting same pay scales and special pay to the Private Secretaries to the Chief Justice/Judges of the High Court as are already admissible to the Private Secretaries to Commissioners and Secretaries to Government, and for maintaining parity between these two categories of private secretaries as envisaged by Rule 5(2) of the High Court Staff Rules with effect from the date from which the private secretaries to the Commissioners and Secretaries to Government are enjoying the benefit of higher scales of pay. It appears that the State Government has not so far accorded its approval to the said proposal.

25. Both sides supplemented their respective oral arguments by written arguments filed in October, 1984.

26. After giving the matter my careful consideration, I find that the preposition, that the qualifications prescribed, the training, proficiency, skill and experience required for and the nature of work and responsibilities of the posts of private Secretaries to Chief Justice/Judges of the High Court and private secretaries to Commissioners and Secretaries to Government in the Civil Secretariat are similar in nature, is not in question by any one. In fact it has time and again been recognised at high levels that the job of a stenographer attached to a Judge of the High Court is more strenuous and exacting than his counter-part in the Secretariat. For example, the High Court Arrears Committee presided over by one of the former Chief Justices of India observed in its report in 1972 that stenographers attached to Judges of the High Court have to put in full time work in court and also to attend sometimes at the residence of Judges to take dictation of judgments and that therefore the terms and conditions of their service should be revised and made attractive. The Committee further stated that the work of the staff of High Court is often specialised and more complex than that of the secretarial staff. The Committee recommended that the least that should be done for the staff of the High Court is to bring their sales of pay and allowances on a par with the scale prevailing to the State Secretariats.

27. The Beri Commission (Rajasthan Pay Commission Report, 1979-81) also made similar observations which may be extracted here as under:

The job of judgment-writers in the High Court is more strenuous for a stenographer then most of the stenographers. The judgments will bear testimony. I am, therefore, in these circumstances prepared to make an exception and consider the grant of special pay for the judgment writers in the High Court. The job calls for strain, speed, efficiency endurance and reliability.

Having regard to all these factors, the Beri Commission recommended not only parity of pay scales between the private secretaries to Chief Justice/ Judges of the High Court and the Secretariat, but also a special pay of Rs. 100/- per mensem for the private secretaries in the High Court. Earlier in 1962, the Chief Justices' Conference presided over by the Chief Justice of India, had recommended that all the posts on the staff of the High Court should be equated with corresponding posts in their respective State Secretariats.

28. As a matter of fact, such a parity, as mentioned above, existed in the State of Rajasthan at least in respect of personal assistants cum-judgment writers in the High Court on one side and senior stenographers in the State Secretariat on the other from 1950-1973. This would be evident from the comparative history of these posts from 1950 to 1973, as narrated earlier in this judgment. The party was statutorily recognised by the Rajasthan High Court (Conditions of Service of Staff ) Amendment Rules, 1975, in as much as the post of a personal assistant and judgment writer in the High Court was equated with the post of a senior stenographer in the State Secretariat for the purpose of pay scale with effect from October 31, 1975. The Rajasthan High Court (Conditions of Service of Staff) Amendment Rules, 1975, are, however, silent to the equation of posts of selection grade stenographers in the State Secretariat and the High Court. It appears that so far as the State Secretariat is concerned the State Government issued a notification, dated May 22, 1973, thereby amending the Ministerial Service Rules and creating the posts 'Selection Grade Stenographers' in the State Secretariat, equal in number if not more, to the number of posts of Commissioners and Secretaries to Government so that every stenographer attached to a Commissioner and Secretary could be promoted and given the higher scale prescribed for a selection grade stenographer. It does not seem to have occurred to the authorities concerned, not even to the Chief Justice of the High Court at that time, that simultaneously with the amendment of the Ministerial Service Rules and the resultant creation of the posts of selection grade stenographers in the State Secretariat, the High Court Staff Rules were also in need of corresponding amendment so that at least one personal assistant-cum-judgment writer attached to the Chief Justice and every judge of the High Court be promoted and given the higher scale identical to the scale prescribed for a selection grade stenographer in the State Secretariat It was more than a year after the aforesaid amendment of the Ministerial Service Rules that the Chief Justice wrote to the State Government recommending that the terms and conditions of service of personal assistant-cum judgment writers in the High Court should be brought at least at par with the selection grade stenographers in the State Secretariat. He further recommended that having regard to the arduous nature of the duties of Personal Assistant cum judgment writers attached to the Judges of the High Court, each of them should be granted special pay of Rs. 100/-per mensem. The cadre of personal assistant-cum-judgment writers in the High Court consisted of 10 permanent posts and 5 temporary posts in 1974-75. If the Government had approved of the proposal of the Chief Justice, all the 15 posts of personal assistant cum judgment writers attached to the Chief Justice/Judges of the High Court would have been brought not only at par with the Selection Grade Stenographers in the Secretariat with effect from May 22, 1973, i.e. the date from which posts of Selection grade Stenographers had been created in the Secretariat, they would have also got special pay of Rs. 100/' per mensem with effect from the even date. It seems the State Government did not approve the proposal of the Chief Justice. Instead, all that the State Government did was to convert two of the fifteen posts of personal assistants-cum-judgment writers into selection grade posts, carrying a pay scale of Rs. 275-650 with effect from September 18, 1974. The remaining 13 posts stayed in the old scale of Rs. 225-5 25. Schedule II of the High Court Staff Rules, as amended with effect from October 3(sic), 1975 equated the post of personal assistant cum-judgment writer in the High Court with the post of Senior Stenographer in the Government Secretariat for the purpose of pay scales In other words, notwithstanding the conversion of two posts of personal assistant-cum judgment writers in the High Court to selection grade posts carrying a pay-scale equivalent to the posts of Selection Grade Stenographers in the State Secretary-at by virtues of an executive order, not a single post of personal assistant-cum-judgment writer was statutorily equated with the post of a selection Grade Stenographer in the Secretariat by amending Schedule II to the High Court Staff Rules. This omission on the part of the authorities concerned has resulted in disturbing the age old parity in the matter of pay scales between the personal assistants-cum-judgment writers in the High Court and the Senior Stenographers in the State Secretariat. Had the authorities concerned applied their mind to their duty of equating the newly created posts of selection grade stenographers in the Secretariat with corresponding posts in the High Court, they would have surely discovered the historical basis of equating at least such number of posts of personal assistants-cum-judgment writers in the High Court, as was equal to the number of Judges in the High Court at that time, with the posts of selection grade stenographers in the Secretariat with effect from May 22, 1973.

29. As already stated, the High Court Staff Rules were amended on December 4, 1975, substituting the old designations of 'Personal Assistants and Judgment Writers' by the new designation of 'Private Secretaries attached to Hon'ble the Chief Justice and Hon'ble Judges' of the High Court. This change of designation did not confer any monetary benefits on the Private Secretaries to Chief Justice/Judges of the High Court in as much as their pay-scale as Personal Assistants-cum-Judgment writers were not increased. On the other hand, the State Government not only changed the designation of the corresponding posts in the State Secretariat but also increased their pay scale. By an executive order, the State Government created the posts of Private Secretaries to Commissioners and Secretaries to Government in pay scale of Rs. 930-1500, i.e. much higher than the pay scales of Private Secretaries to the Chief Justice-Judges of the High Court and the Selection Grade Stenographer in the Secretariat. The executive order whereby the posts of Stenographers to Commissioners and Secretaries to Government were elevated to the status of class I post in the pay scale of Rs. 930-1500 was subsequently formalised by amendment of the Rajasthan Secretariat Service Rules, 1954, whereby the post of 'Private Secretary to Commissioner and Secretary to Government' was inserted in the category of posts constituting the Rajasthan Secretariat Service. The amendment also made provision to the effect that recruitment to the posts of Private Secretaries to Commissioners and Secretaries to the Government shall be made by promotion from amongst the selection Grade Stenographers in the Government Secretariat. No corresponding amendment was made in the High Court Staff Rules to bring the Private Secretaries to the Chief Justice/Judges of the High Court at par with the Private Secretaries to Commissioners and Secretaries to Government in the matter of pay scales and status. Instead, all that the Government agreed to do in the case of Private Secretaries to the Chief Justice/Judges of the High Court was to up-grade only two of their fifteen posts to what was described as super time scale of Rs. 930-1500. If all the Private Secretaries attached to Commissioners and Secretaries to Government could be grouped in one cadre carrying the same pay-scale and enjoying the same status, it is difficult to think of any plausible reason why a group of private secretaries attached to the Chief Justice and Judges of the High Court who had all along been enjoying parity of pay-scales and status with the former where not granted the same pay-scale and status as had been granted to the former as a consequence of the amendment of the Rajasthan Secretariat Service Rules, 1954 with effect from March 1, 1978. One can quite understand the argument that not more than one post of private secretary in the scale of 930-1500 (since revised to 1 210-2040; per Judge may be sanctioned on the basis of the pattern adopted for Commissioners and Secretaries to Government, but it is not understandable why the Private Secretaries to Chief Justice and Judges of the High Court could not be treated at par with the former in all respects on the basis of the formula of 'one private Secretary per one Judge', simultaneously with the creation of class I posts for private secretaries to Commissioners and Secretaries to Government in March, 1978.

30. If we have a look once again at the table given in paragraph 14 of this judgment, one thing which will stick out from it is that as against 94 posts of Personal Assistants in the pay scale of Rs. 740-1420 in the State Secretariat, there are 30 posts of Senior Personal Assistants in the Pay-scale of Rs. 820-155C, and 23 posts of Private Secretaries to Commissioners and Secretaries to Government in the pay-scale of Rs. 1210-2040, in all 33 promotion posts to which the Personal Assistants may legitimately took for promotion. In contrast, as against 23 posts of Private Secretaries to Chief Justice/Judges of the High Court in the pay scale of Rs. 740-1420, only 4 promotion posts, consisting of two posts in the pay-scale of Rs. 82J-1550 and another two in the pay-scale of Rs. 1210-2040, are available in the High Court. This means that as against the overall promotional avenues of nearly 57 per cent for Personal Assistant in the State Secretariat, such avenues in the High Court work out to 17 per cent oddly. Moreover, it must be borne in mind that the number of Posts of Private Secretaries to Commissioners and Secretaries to Government keeps increasing with the increase in the number of Commissioners and Secretaries to Government. For example, the number of such Private Secretaries was just 6 in 1980-81 (see the Report of the Rajasthan Pay Commission, page 313), and the said number increased from 6 to 23 in 1983-84, as is admitted in his written arguments by the learned Advocate General. On the other hand, the number of posts of Private Secretaries to the Chief Justice/Judges of the High Court in the higher pay scale of Rs. 1210-2040 was at 2 in 1978 and it is still 2 in 1984. As and when there is an increase in the number of Judges of the High Court the number of posts of Private Secretaries in the pay-scales of Rs. 740-1420 is increased correspondingly, but there is no increase in the number of posts in the higher pay scale of Rs. 1210 2040 which stands frozen at 2 since 1978.

31. In fact the entire approach of the authorities concerned in respect of the question of cadre-constitution and pay-scales of the Private Secretaries to Chief Justice and Judges of the High Court is vitiated not only by reason of the fact that they ignited the age old parity between them on one side and the Private Secretaries to Commissioners and Secretaries to Government on the other, but also they divided the cadre of Private Secretaries to Chief Justice/Judges of the High Court into three artificial units having three different time-scale pays i.e. (0 740-1420, (ii) Rs. 820-1550 and (iii) 1210-2040. The Private Secretaries in the lime-scale pays of Rs. 740-1420 and Rs. 820-1450 fall in the category of ministerial service which is a class (iii) service in Rajasthan. The Private Secretaries in the time scale pay of Rs. 12(0-2040 are members of a class I State (service enjoying a gazetted status. It seems these artificial units were created to correspond o three separate units in the Secretariat, viz., the Personal Assistants in the pay-scale of Rs. 740, 1420, the Senior Personal Assistants in the pay-scale of Rs. 820-1550 and the Private Secretaries to Commissioners and Secretaries to Government in the pay-scale of Rs. 1210-2040. So far as the Secretariat is concerned, one can quite understand the creation of three different cadres of stenographers with three different designations and pay-scales. As already stated, Personal Assistants are attached to administrative officers like Deputy Secretaries, and Senior Personal Assistants to Special Secretaries and Secretaries not enjoying the rank of Commissioners. Private Secretaries are attached to Commissioners and Secretaries to Government. They form a class apart and have therefore, been given the status of a Rajasthan State Service of Class I. Such a classification would have no basis in respect of Private Secretaries to Chief Justice/ Judges of the High Court for their duties and responsibilities are of identical nature. One would have, therefore, thought that all the posts of Private Secretaries to Chief Justice/Judges of the High Court, calculated on the basis of one such post per one Judge, would naturally be included in one and the same cadre, just as posts in the State Secretariat have been constituted to form a single cadre in the pay-scale of 1210-2040. Having constituted the cadre in that manner, a percentage of posts out of the cadre could be earmarked as selection grade posts, if selection grade posts are also available to the Private Secretaries to Commissioners and Secretaries to Government in the State Secretariat. What the authorities concerned have instead done is to constitute a single cadre of Private Secretaries to Chief Justice/Judges of the High Court in the lowest pay scale of Rs. 740-1420 which is equivalent to the pay scale of Personal Assists to Officers of the level of Dy. Secretaries in the State Secretariat. This is not only patently violative of the principle of age-old parity between the Private Secretaries to Chief Justice/Judges of the H.C. on one side and the Private Secretaries to senior officers belonging to the Indian Administrative Service like Commissioners and Secretaries to Government in the State Secretariat on the other, but also grossly arbitrary and discriminatory. No effort has been made to explain why it was felt necessary to make a radical departure from the principle of parity mentioned above. As already stated, the State Government has not cared to file any return in answer to the rule nisi issued to it. The allegations of discrimination and arbitrariness made by the petitioners in their writ petitions, therefore, stand uncontravened.

32. In his arguments, the learned Advocate General confined himself mainly to the legal aspect of the case & argued that merely because the State Government has not approved the proposal of the Chief Justice of the High Court to treat the Private Secretaries to the Chief Justice/Judges of the High Court at par with the Private Secretaries to Commissioners and Secretaries to Government in the matter of pay-scale and status, it will not justify the issuance of a writ of mandamus directing the State Government to accord approval to the said proposal He cited State of A.P. v. T. Gopal Krishna : [1976]1SCR1008 , in support of this argument. I have very carefully studied the cited judgment and find that it has no application to the facts of this case. It will be seen that their Lordships of the Supreme Court themselves made it clear in the cited case that writ of mandamus can be issued if the court finds on facts that the refusal of the State Government to accord approval to the proposal of the Chief Justice under Article 229 of the Constitution is ultra vires, malafide or arbitrary. It has already been stated that the State Government is neither approving nor refusing to approve the proposal of the Chief Justice made from time and reiterated during the tendency of this case on July 11, 1984. The State Government has abstained, deliberately it so seems, from filing any reply to these with petitions. Under the circumstances any having regard to the historical perspective of parity between the Private Secretaries to Chief Justice/Judges of the High Court and Private Secretaries to Commissioners and Secretaries to Government in pay scales from 1950 to 1973, I have no hesitation to hold that the State Government has acted arbitrarily in ignoring the proposal of the Chief Justice. The plain truth is that the State Government is no longer prepared to abide by the age-old principle of parity in the matter of pay scales and status between the Private Secretaries to Chief Justice/Judges of the High Court on one side and the Private Secretaries to Commissioners and Secretaries to Government on the other, and since it has no valid reason to justify the departure from the said parity, it is trying to tone wall the proposal by its studied silence and its decision not to file a return or affidavit in answer to these writ petitions. The conclusion of arbitraries is thus inescapable from these facts.

33. Moreover, in the cited Aadhra case, there was no history of parity of pay scales between the staff of the High Court and the Staff in the Secretariat. The Chief Justice of the Andhra Pradesh High Court had made a proposal recommending parity for the first time, and the State Government did not accept the proposal, giving reasons for its refusal before and during the pendency of the writ petition in the High Court. It was on these facts that the Supreme Court did not find any arbitrariness in the refusal of the Andhra Pradesh Government. Their Lordships, even then, observed that one should expect in the fitness of things and in view of the spirit of Article 229 of the Constitution that ordinarily and generally the Government should accord approval to the proposal of the Chief Justice In any case, this authority does not support the contention that the Government may withhold approval in an arbitrary and whimsical manner, as in the instant case.

34. On the other hand, Mr. Paras Kuhad, learned Counsel for the petitioners cited a number of rulings in support of his contention that courts have not hesitated to issue writ of mandamus in case it was found that particular State Government had acted arbitrarily in refusing to accord approval to the proposal of the Chief Justice of the High Court concerned in respect of pay-jacks for a particular cadre of the staff of the High Court. He cited Satpal Singh v. Union of India 1977(1) Service law Reporter 159 in which the Punjab & Haryana High Court held that the Private Secretaries in the High Court of Punjab and Haryana are entitled to selection grade posts in their cadre on the same pattern as such posts are provided in the Punjab Civil Secretariat. He also cited P.N. Chopra and Ors. v. Union of India and Ors. 1981 ILR (Delhi) 356, in which the Delhi High Court issued a writ of mandamus directing the Union of India to equate the post of Private Secretaries in the Delhi High Court with Private Secretary to the Chief Secretary, Delhi Administration for the purpose of pay scale. Another ruling cited Mr. Kuhad is H.L. Vij v. Union of India 1984 (1) Service Law Reporter by which also supports the petitioners' case. The Delhi High Court again held in the cited case that the proposal of the Chief Justice under Article 229 of the Constitution of India recommending parity of pay-scales between an official or a class of officials in the High Court on the one hand and corresponding official or class of officials in the State Secretariat should ordinarily and generally be accepted by the State Government. The Delhi High Court issued a writ of mandamus directing the Union of India to grant the same special pay to the Deputy Registrars of the Delhi High Court drawn from the Delhi Judicial Service as was already admissible to the Deputy Registrars promoted as such from the staff of the High Court.

35. In Charanjit Lal v. Union of India : [1950]1SCR869 the Supreme Court explained the doctrine of classification of persons or things in the context of Article 14 of the Constitution and pointed out that every classification in some degree is likely to produce some inequality, but the mere production of inequality is not by itself enough and that the inequality produced, which may be held as violative of Article 4, must be 'actually and palpably unreasonable and arbitrary' I have already pointed out that amendment by the State Government of the Rajasthan Secretariat Service Rules, 1954 with effect from March 1, 1978 thereby granting statutory recognition to the creation of a cadre of Private Secretaries to Commissioners and Secretaries to Government and the virtual rejection by the State Government of the proposal of the Chief Justice to amend the High Court Staff Rules with a view to equating the Private Secretaries to the Chief Justice/Judges of the High Court with the Private Secretaries to Commissioners and Secretaries to Government for the purpose of pay-scales is, in fact, patently arbitrary and grossly discriminatory. That being so, it is essential to issue a writ of mandamus to the authorities concerned to amend the High Court Staff Rules in such a manner as to restore the parity between the two categories of Private Secretaries in the matter of pay-scales and status.

36. It has been mentioned earlier in this judgment that for a period of more than 20 years from 1950 to 1973 strict parity was maintained in the pay-scales and status of Personal Assistants-cum Judgment Writers in the High Court subsequently renamed as Private Secretaries to Chief Justice/ Judges of the High Court) on one side, and Stenographers Grade I and Grade II (subsequently merged into a single cadre of Senior Stenographers' which was still later reorganised and reconstituted into two cadres, namely, Personal Assistants and Senior Personal Assistants) in the State Secretariat, on the other. The old cadre of Stenographer Grade fill both in the Secretariat and the High Court has since been renamed as 'Stenographers' in both the establishments. We are not concerned in these writ petitions with the cadre of Stenographers, for they are attached with the junior-most administrative officers in the Secretariat and with officers of the Registry in the High Court As already stated, the cadre position of senior stenographers in the State Secretariat in 1983 was 94 Personal Assistants, (sic) Senior Personal Assistants and 23 Private Secretaries to Commissioners and Secretaries to Government. The cadre position in the High Court at that time was 27 Private Secretaries to Chief Just ice/Judges, out of whom 23 were in the pay-scale equivalent to Personal Assistants, 2 in the pay-scale equivalent to Senior Personal Assistants and another two-equivalent to Private Secretaries to Commissioners and Secretaries to Government in the State Secretariat. (Having regard to all these facts and for the reasons discussed at various places in this judgment,'a writ of mandamus is hereby issued directing the respondents to amend the High Court Staff Rules, of otherwise make an executive order, so as to give effect to the following:

(a) A cadre of Private Secretaries to Chief Justice/Judges of the High Court consisting of posts, equal in number to the posts of Chief Justice and Judges of the High Court, carrying pay scale, allowances and status, at par with the pay-scale, allowances and status of Private Secretaries to Commissioners and Secretaries to Government, shall be constituted with effect from the commencement of the financial year following the year of institution of these writ petitions (i.e. with effect from April 1, 1984).

(b) An official who has actually worked as Personal Assistant-cum-Judgment Writer/Private Secretary to Chief Justice/Judges of the High Court in the pay-scale of 225-525, later revised to Rs. 550-1010 and still later revised to 740-1420, or on such a post, in a higher pay-scale, for a continuous period of at least 3 years shall be eligible for being appointed to a post in the cadre constituted as per (a) above

(c) Such posts of Private Secretaries to Chief Justice and Judges of the High Court, as may be in excess of the number of posts reconstituted into the new cadre as per (a) above, shall form a distinct cadre carrying a distinct designation, like personal Assistants-cum-Judgment Writers, and enjoying the pay-scale, allowances and status at par with the Personal Assistants in the State Secretariat w.e.f. April 1, 1984

(d) Not less than one third posts out of the posts as per (c) above, shall be given the pay-scale and status equal to the pay-scale and status of Senior Personal Assistants in the State Secretariat w.e.f. April 1, 1984

(e) Appointments to various posts as mentioned above and the dates of such appointment shall be determined by the Chief Justice in accordance with the rules framed by dim or by his delegate under Article 229 of the Constitution and for the time being in force.


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