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THANJAVUR DISTRICT EMPLOYEES versus THE SECRETARY TO GOVERNMENT

High Court of Madras

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Thanjavur District Employees v. The Secretary to Government - Writ Petition No. 12659 of 2000 [2002] RD-TN 66 (13 February 2002)



IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT MADRAS

DATED: 13/02/2002

CORAM

THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE V. KANAGARAJ Writ Petition No. 12659 of 2000

and

WMP No. 18233 of 2000

Thanjavur District Employees

Co-op. Credit Societies,

Employees Union,

19/2480, AIBEA Building,

Javuli Chetty Street,

Thanjavur, rep. by its

President. .. Petitioner Vs. 1.The Secretary to Government,

Co-operation, Food and

Consumer Protection Dept.,

Fort St. George,

Chennai.9.

2.The Registrar of Co-op.

Societies,

N.V. Natarajan Maligai,

Poonamallee High Road,

Chennai.10.

3. The Joint Registrar of Co-op.

Societies, Thanjavur Region,

Shivaji Nagar,

Thanjavur.9.

4. The Joint Registrar of Co-op.

Societies, Nagapattinam Region,

Nagapattinam.

5. The Joint Registrar of Co-op.

Societies,

Tiruvarur Region,

Tiruvarur. .. Respondents Petition filed under Article 226 of Constitution of India to issue a Writ of Certiorarified Mandamus as stated therein. For Petitioner : Mr.K.V.Ananthakrishnan

For Respondents: Mr.M.Mahalingam,

Govt. Advocate

:O R D E R



Petition praying to issue a Writ of Certiorarified Mandamus to call for the records relating to the impugned G.O.Ms.No.89, Cooperation, Food and Consumer Protection Department, dated 16-5-2000 of the first respondent and quash the clauses 2.03, 3.03 and 4.03 modifying the recommendations of the Streamlining Committee, as illegal and against law and direct the first respondent to implement the recommendations of the Streamlining Committee and amend the G.O. accordingly.

2. In the affidavit filed in support of the writ petition, the Thanjavur District Co-operative Credit Societies Employees Union would allege that there are 35 Thrift and Credit Co-operative Societies registered under the provisions of the Co-operative Societies Act 1961 and they have employed 70 employees only and in connection with the scale of pay and other benefits payable to them, the petitioner used to enter into a settlement either under Section 12 (3) or under Section 18 (1) of the I.D. Act 1947 "in order to streamline the disparities in the scale of pay among employees of different co-operative societies in the same cadre and discharging similar functions and duties, the Government by G.O. O.(D) No.18, Co-operative Food and Consumer Protection Department, dated 21-1-1999 constituted a streamlining Committee with the Tamil Nadu Employees Co-operative Societies Federation as one of its members which made several recommendations in respect of pay scale, allowances cadre strength categorisation etc.; that the Government after examining the recommendations of the committee passed G.O.Ms.89, dated 16.5.2000 accepting most of the recommendations and modifying certain others, further, directing the Registrar of Cooperative Societies to implement the G.O. to enter into a settlement under Sections 12 (3) or 18 (1) of the I.D. Act; only if the employees accept and agree in toto the recommendations annexed to the above G. O. resulting in the Registrar issuing the circular in RC No.20795 of 1 998 VB-I, dated 29-5-2000 directing the societies to enter a fresh settlement on the basis of the recommendations made in the above G.O. and the union found several patent and apparent discrepancies and sent representations to consider the modifications to certain recommendations. They are:- 2.03:-

In the event of a society achieving the norms prescribed to a higher grade, such society shall be deemed to have achieved that higher status only if the norms prescribed to such higher grade is maintained at least for a period of one full Co-operative year.

3.03 SELECTION GRADE AND SPECIAL GRADE SCALE OF PAY Selection Grade on completion of 10 years and Special Grade on completion of 20 years as applicable to Tamil Nadu State Government employees may be conferred.

4.03 EXTENDING THE PACKAGES AND OTHER BENEFITS TO THE TEMPORARY EMPLOYEES:

The Government may consider extending the pay package and other benefits to these employees (temporary employees) whose services have not so far been regularised for one reason or other and who have been put in a service of not less than 480 days within a continuous period of two years subject to the condition that the status of such employees will remain as it is till a decision to regularise their services are taken by the Government as has been provided for in the case of employees of Primary Agricultural Co-operative Banks in Registrar' s Cooperative Societies letter Rc.158681/91 CR-1, dt.24.2.94. The recommendations of the Committee is accepted subject to the modification that norms prescribed to such higher grade is maintained consecutively and conclusively for at least 3 full cooperative years.

Awarding of Selection Grade and Special Grade is not accepted. Till Government take a decision on the irregular appointment made in Cooperative Institutions, it may not be proper to allow revised scale of pay to the irregular employees also. Hence, the wage revision is applicable only to regular employees Aggrieved of the said recommendations of the Government, the petitioner has come forward to file the above writ petition.

3. During arguments, the learned counsel appearing on behalf of the petitioners union pointing out that so far as Clause 2.03 is concerned which pertains to grading of the society that every year a cooperative society is graded on the basis of total amount of assets, liabilities, disbursement powers etc.; that so far as the employees of the Thrift and Credit Societies are concerned, the recoveries are made from the salaries; that when certain grades decided in all other societies are done each and every year, in the thrift and credit societies it is done once in three years and not every year which has no basis; that regarding clause 3.03 which is concerned with the regular employees, the recommendations of the streamlining committee is that after attainment of 10 years of service, the selection grade and after 20 years of service, the special grade become applicable for Tamil Nadu State Government Employees and this system of conferring the selection grade after 10 years and special grade after 20 years on the employees is not accepted by the Government for the employees of the petitioners society nor any valid reason assigned for such nonacceptance.

4. At this juncture, the learned counsel would also cite the decision reported in A.I.R. 1989, S.C. 1972 The relevant portion is extracted hereunder:-

"That then is the scope of bye-law 71(b)(ii). But that does not mean that we should interfere with the relief granted to respondent 1. By pointing out the error that crept into the decision of the Tribunal, we need not take to its logical end which will defeat justice. Respondent 1 is not a lay-man. He is a highly qualified engineer. Although joined service with a diploma in Engineering, he later passed Bachelor of Engineering (B.E.) and also acquired M.Tech degree and one more diploma (D.P.M.). He was, however, left without opportunity for promotion for about twenty years. This is indeed a said commentary on the appellant's management. It is often said and indeed, adroitly, an organisation public or private does not 'hire a hand' but engages or employs a whole man. The person is recruited by an organisation not just for a job, but for a whole career. One must, therefore, be given an opportunity to advance. This is the oldest and most important feature of the free enterprise system. The opportunity for advancement is a requirement for progress of any organisation. It is an incentive for personnel development as well. Every management must provide realistic opportunities for promising employees to move upward. "The organisation that fails to develop a satisfactory procedure for promotion is bound to pay a severe penalty in terms of administrative costs, misallocation of personnel, low morale, and ineffectual performance, among both non-managerial employees and their supervisors". There cannot be any modern management much less any career planning, man-power development, management development etc., which is not related to a system of promotions. The appellant appears to have overlooked this basic requirement of management so far as respondent 1 was concerned till N.R. and A.S. were introduced".

5. Learned counsel for the petitioner would further submit that regarding clause No.4.03 that those persons, who are discharging similar duties of the regular employees are not getting the pay scale; that the streamlining committee recommended that they should be paid equally on the basis of the equal work equal pay for which the Government would state that till they take decision on the irregular appointment made in co-operative institutions, it may not be proper to allow revised scale of pay to the irregular employees also and therefore, the wage revision is applicable only to regular employees. He would further point out that Courts have held that their services could be regularised since certain Office Assistants have completed 480 days in a couple of years as per G.O. Ms. No. 86, dated 12-3-2001. Learned counsel would point out that their services are only irregular and not illegal. Learned counsel would lament that the streamlining committee was appointed by the Government itself, but the recommendations are not accepted by the Government and hence, the writ petition praying for the reliefs extracted supra.

6. Learned counsel appearing on behalf of the respondents would submit that in the last clause 4.03, only because they are irregular appointees, it could be only by the approval of the head of the department i.e. the Registrar of Co-operative Societies; that this procedure is not valid. Learned counsel would also point out that even though the other clause 2.03 in granting higher grade to the Thrift and Credit Society, the Government have accepted the recommendations of the committee, but subject to the modification the norms prescribed to such higher grade is maintained consecutively for at least three cooperative years which is a reasonable restriction imposed by the Government. Likewise, for clause 3.03 pertaining to the question of granting selection grade on completion of 10 years and special grade on completion of 20 years as applicable to Tamil Nadu State Government Employees. The Government should have rejected only on certain complaints, which cannot be revealed and therefore, the learned Government Advocate (writ side) would ultimately pray for dismissing the writ petition.

7. In consideration of the pleadings by parties, having regard to the materials placed on record and upon hearing the learned counsel for both, the petitioner Employees Co-operative Societies Union has come forward with this writ petition on behalf of the members of the union, who are the employees of the Co-operative Thrift and Credit Societies seeking to implement the recommendations of the streamlining committee appointed by the Government itself. So far as it is concerned with clauses 2.03, 3.03 and 4.03, thereby modifying the recommendations of the streamlining committee are not accepted by the Government further directing to implement the other recommendations of the streamlining committee.

8. So far as clause 2.03 is concerned, the streamlining committee has recommended for the higher status or grade if the society achieves the norms prescribed to such higher grade is maintained for a full co-operative year, but the Government modifying the recommendations of the committee as advocated that the norms prescribed to such higher grade should be maintained consecutively and conclusively for three full co-operative years. But on the part of the Government, no valid reason has been assigned as to why it is fixing three year term for achieving the norms prescribed for the higher grade and therefore, the recommendations of the streamlining committee could be implemented by the Government without effecting any modification since the period of one year that is fixed for achieving the norms is sufficient to grant such gradations to the societies.

9. Secondly, coming to clause 3.03 the consultative committee has clearly recommended to confer on the employees of the Thrift and Co-operative Societies that selection grade on completion of 10 years of qualifying service and special grade on completion of 20 years of qualifying service as it is applicable to the Tamil Nadu Government Employees for which no proper reason has been assigned on the part of the Government and the recommendations have been blindly rejected stating not accepted. When the government employees are enjoying such facilities, the employees working in the co-operative sector, especially in the thrift and co-operative societies since being similarly placed on par with the Government employees, the streamlining committee has recommended to adopt standards meant for the Government employees to the employees of the co-operative societies also and therefore, the Government should have accepted these recommendations of the streamlining committee also.

10. Thirdly, coming to clause 4.03 i.e. Pay package and other benefits to the temporary employees, whose services have not so far been regularised for one reason or other but put in service not less than 4 80 days within a continuous period of two years and subject to certain service conditions, these facilities have already been extended to the employees of Primary Agricultural Co-operative Banks as per the Registrar Co-operative societies' letter in Rc.No.15868/91CR-1, dt. 24 -2-94. The petitioner would plead for providing them also the same pay scale as it is provided for the regular employees and as recommended by the streamlining committee on the principle of equal work, equal pay. On the part of the Government, there is no denial of the fact that the work that is done by the temporary employees is no way less or inferior but on par with the regular employees or the employees of the primary agricultural co-operative banks, but, the Government pointing out that they are irregular appointees would refuse to accept these recommendations to provide them with equal pay.

11. The irregularities pointed out shows that these employees have been employed without consulting the Co-operative Department nor following some directions issued by the Registrar of Co-operative societies and also without being forwarded through the Employment Exchange. This position is covered under Rule 149 (2) of the Co-operative society Rules wherein qualifications for appointment by direct recruitment to different class of posts are specified.

12. On the part of the petitioners, they would argue that the Courts have held that the services could be regularised on the ground that the services are only irregular and not illegal and therefore, they cannot be paid on par with the regular appointees is a wrong policy adopted on the part of the Government, but, the point is not whether regular appointees or irregular appointees; the point that is to be given credence is whether they do the equal work as the regular employees in the same cadre either in other co-operative sectors or in the Government or not? The answer is simple in the sense that they do the equal work as others. Since it is not rebutted on the part of the Government and therefore, when these temporary employees are doing the equal work, it is only desirable to permit them to get the equal pay and therefore, at this score also, the Government should accept the recommendations of the streamlining committee instead of refusing to allow the revised scale of pay to the employees of the petitioner union on the ground that they are irregular employees.

13. All the above three recommendations covering clauses 2.03, 3 .03 and 4.03, the streamlining committee has properly recommended to the Government on valid reasons and strong principles and the Government should have only accepted those recommendations of the streamlining committee instead of either modifying or refusing to accept the same.

14. For all the above discussions held, the writ petition becomes entitled to be allowed as prayed for. In result, the above writ petition is allowed. (i) G.O.Ms.No.89, Co-operative Food Consumer Protection Department, dated 16-5-2000 of Tamil Nadu Government is quashed so far as it is concerned with clauses 2.03, 3.03 and 4.03 of the recommendations. (ii) The first respondent is hereby directed to implement the recommendations of the streamlining committee regarding these three clauses.

No costs.

Consequently, WMP No. 18233 of 1998 is closed. 13-2-2002.

Index:Yes.

Internet: Yes

ra.

V.KANAKARAJ, J.

To

1.The Secretary to Government,

Co-operation, Food and

Consumer Protection Dept.,

Fort St. George,

Chennai.9.

2.The Registrar of Co-op.

Societies,

N.V. Natarajan Maligai,

Poonamallee High Road,

Chennai.10.

3.The Joint Registrar of Co-op.

Societies, Thanjavur Region,

Shivaji Nagar,

Thanjavur.9.

4. The Joint Registrar of Co-op.

Societies, Nagapattinam Region,

Nagapattinam.

5.The Joint Registrar of Co-op.

Societies,

Tiruvarur Region,

Tiruvarur.

WP No. 12659/2000.




Copyright

Reproduced in accordance with s52(q) of the Copyright Act 1957 (India) from judis.nic.in, indiacode.nic.in and other Indian High Court Websites

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