Case BriefsHigh Courts

Madhya Pradesh High Court: G.S. Ahluwalia, J., directed the respondents to give the benefits of a classified permanent employee to the petitioner.

The petitioner filed a petition under Article 226 of the Constitution of India asking the Court to direct the respondents to pay him the salary as per the pay scale of the post of Helper to Carpenter. On 03-08-1982, the petitioner held the post of Helper to Carpenter on a daily wage basis. The respondent issued an order in 2004 for classification of daily rated employees to have permanent status and later in 2005, they were classified as a permanent employee. The petitioner requested the court to direct the respondents to release his regular salary along with all benefits of his permanent status pursuant to the classification.

The Court relied the Supreme Court’s judgment on Ram Naresh Rawat v. Ashwini Ray, 2017 (3) SCC 436 to discuss the law in regard to the benefits flowing from an order of classification. Once a person is conferred the status of permanent employee by the court and it is held by the Court that they are entitled to regular pay attached to the said post, not only the pay should be fixed in the regular pay-scale, they would also be entitled to the increments and other emoluments attached to the said post. For the same reason, it is necessary to determine whether these employees can be treated as ‘regular’ employees in view of the aforesaid classification? A ‘permanent employee’ has the right to receive pay in the graded pay-scale, but they will receive the minimum of the said pay-scale with no increments. It is only the regularization in service which would entail grant of increments etc. in the pay-scale. The Court also discussed that the State Government grants increments while fixing the pay scale. 

The Court disposed of the petition by holding that the petitioner must be paid the minimum pay scale admissible to the post on which he was classified as a permanent employee without any increment. [Ashok v. State of M.P., 2019 SCC OnLine MP 1959, decided on 09-08-2019]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Rajasthan High Court: The Bench of Arun Bhansali, J., allowed a petition filed with the prayer to extend to the petitioners same benefits of service which were granted to the candidates who stood lower in merit than the petitioners. 

The facts of the case were that there were appointments made and the petitioners contended that they should be given the same benefits as those who stood lower in the merit. They had approached the respondents for extending the same benefits of service which were granted to the candidates who stood lower in merit than the petitioners but nothing was done in this regard.  They placed reliance on Manoj Khandelwal v. State of Rajasthan, S.B.C.W.P. No. 7283/2014, which dealt with the same matter and relief was granted by the Court. 

The Court allowed the petition and ordered to extend them the relief as prayed for, as the candidates, who stood lower in merit, were getting the benefit of higher pay, seniority, annual grade increments and other service benefits including the selection scales. It was further ordered that if the respondent decided to place the petitioners above in seniority than the candidates who stood lower in merit, then the petitioners would be entitled to all benefits of seniority but they would be entitled only to notional benefits. [Satveer Singh v. State of Rajasthan, S.B. Civil Writ Petition No. 5951/2019, Order dated 02-05-2019]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Kerala High Court: The Bench of P.V. Asha, J. was seized of civil writ petition where the issues were: (i) whether the recommendation in Justice K.J. Shetty Commission Report to grant advance increments to candidates having post-graduation in law applies to the District Judges also; and (ii) whether the order passed by Government on 23-11-2013 as modified on 17-11-2017 to the extent it limited advance increments only to those District Judges who were in service on 22-11-2013 was discriminatory.

Petitioner herein had commenced his service as a District Judge on 18-08-1995, on direct recruitment, was elevated as a Judge of this Court on 18-01-2012 and demitted office on 24-11-2015. At the time of his recruitment as District Judge in the Kerala State Higher Judicial Service, he was holding LLM Degree from the University of Kerala. He filed the instant petition seeking increment, as recommended by Shetty Commission.

The Court opined that Chapter 10 of the Shetty Commission Report dealt with direct recruitment to the cadre of District Judges. The said Chapter had no recommendation to grant incentives to Civil Judges (Senior Division) or the District Judges having higher qualification.

Further, it is settled law that whenever a new benefit is introduced it is open to the Government to fix a date so as to grant the benefit with effect from the date of the order or any particular date. Advance increments were granted as per government’s order to the District Judges having LLM, who were in service on 22-11-2013. Those who had already left service as on that date, either by retirement or elevation or otherwise, were automatically left out from the class. Therefore, classification of District Judges on such ground was not violative of Article 14 of the Constitution of India.

In view of the above, the petition was dismissed. [A.V. Ramakrishna Pillai v. State of Kerala, 2018 SCC OnLine Ker 7429, decided on 13-11-2018]

 

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Patna High Court: A Single Judge Bench comprising of Anil Kumar Upadhyay, J. quashed an office order issued against a delinquent employee ruling that the disciplinary authority had not assigned reasons for the said order and had also not given an opportunity of hearing to the employee.

The instant petition was filed having been aggrieved by an office order inflicting upon him major punishment of stoppage of two annual increments with cumulative effect, censure, non-payment of salary for the period of suspension and punishment that he shall not hold the post of Headmaster-cum-Drawing & Disbursing Officer in future.

The Court noted that the petitioner had been proceeded against on the basis of charges submitted by the District Superintendent of Education, Munger. After enquiry report, second show cause notice was issued to him in the form of impugned office order. The said second show cause notice which recorded a finding different from that of the enquiry officer did not accord reasons for order and no opportunity of hearing was provided to the petitioner.

The Court placed reliance on dictum of  Apex Court in Punjab National Bank v. Kunj Behari Misra, (1998) 7 SCC 84 and observed that while the finding of enquiry officer is not binding on the disciplinary authority, but while differing with the finding disciplinary authority is required to assign reasons and provide opportunity of hearing so that the delinquent may have an opportunity to persuade it in respect of favourable finding of the enquiry officer. Further, Rule 18 of the Bihar Government Servants (Classification, Control & Appeal) Rules, 2005 made it obligatory for the disciplinary authority to follow the principles laid down in the Kunj Behari case.

In view of the above, the petition was allowed and impugned office order was quashed for being issued without following principles of natural justice and for being a non-speaking order.[Yogendra Paswan v. State of Bihar,2018 SCC OnLine Pat 2108, decided on 22-11-2018]