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GRAM VIKAS ADHIKARI SANGH AND OTHERS versus STATE OF U.P. AND OTHERS

High Court of Judicature at Allahabad

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Gram Vikas Adhikari Sangh And Others v. State Of U.P. And Others - WRIT - A No. 35741 of 1996 [2006] RD-AH 14364 (25 August 2006)

 

This is an UNCERTIFIED copy for information/reference. For authentic copy please refer to certified copy only. In case of any mistake, please bring it to the notice of Joint Registrar(Copying).

HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE OF ALLAHABAD

Judgment Reserved on 11.8.2006

Judgment Delivered on 25.8.2006

Civil Misc. Writ Petition No. 35741 of 1996

Gram Vikas Adhikari Sangh & Ors.

Vs.

State of Uttar Pradesh & Anr.

*********

Hon. Dilip Gupta, J.

This petition has been filed by the Gram Vikas Adhikari Sangh, Uttar Pradesh, its President and Secretary for quashing the order dated 18th June, 1996by which the representation filed for grant of the higher pay scale of Rs. 1350-2200/- has been rejected and for quashing the reports of the Pay Committee and the Samta Committee in so far as it pertains to the grant of pay scale to the Gram Vikas Adhikari.

The contention raised on behalf of the petitioners is that initially the Gram Vikas Adhikaris were getting the same pay scale as the Pharmacist, Seench Paryavekshak and Teachers in Junior High Schools but the Equivalence Committee which is popularly known as the Samta Committee made recommendations for the pay scale of Rs. 975-1660/- to be given to the Gram Vikas Adhikaris and a higher pay scale of Rs. 1350-2200/- for the pharmacists, teachers of Junior High Schools and Kanoongos (Land Recording Inspectors). It is for this reason that the petitioners have sought the quashing of the report of the Samta Committee in so far as it relates to the grant of pay scale to the Gram Vikas Adhikaris and a further direction has been sought to grant them the pay scale of Rs. 1350-2200/- along with other allowances w.e.f. 1st January, 1986 which is the date on which the report of the Samta Committee was implemented.

In support of the aforesaid contention, the petitioners have submitted that while the academic requirement is Intermediate for all the posts, the Gram Vikas Adhikaris have to undergo a training of two years but the other officials such as teachers of Junior High School, pharmacists and Land Recording Inspectors are required to undergo the training for a period of less than two years or no training at all. The further contention is that earlier the incumbents of all the aforesaid posts including the Gram Vikas Adhikaris were getting the same pay scale meaning thereby that the Gram Vikas Adhikaris were doing equal work, both quantitatively and qualitatively but not only the Pay Committee constituted by the State Government in the year 1987 recommended a lower pay scale for the Gram Vikas Adhikaris as compared to the pay scale in the other departments, but the Samta Committee also failed to remove the anomalies in the pay scale of the Gram Vikas Adhikaris. The submission in short, therefore, of the petitioners is that the same pay scale of Rs. 1350-2200/- should be provided to them as they perform equal work.

In order of appreciate the aforesaid contention advanced by the learned counsel for the petitioners, it may be appropriate to refer to some of the decisions of the Supreme Court relating to the concept of "equal pay for equal work".

In State of U.P. Vs. J.P. Chaurasia (1989) 1 SCC 121 the Supreme Court observed as under:-

"The first question regarding entitlement to the pay scale admissible to Section Officers should not detain us longer. The answer to the question depends upon several factors. It does not just depend upon either the nature of work or volume of work done by Bench Secretaries. Primarily it requires among others, evaluation of duties and responsibilities of the respective posts. More often functions of two posts may appear to be the same or similar, but there may be difference in degrees in the performance. The quantity of work may be the same, but quality may be different that cannot be determined by relying upon averments in affidavits of interested parties. The equation of posts or equation of pay must be left to the Executive Government. It must be determined by expert bodies like Pay Commission. They would be the best judge to evaluate the nature of duties and responsibilities of posts. If there is any such determination by a commission or committee, the court should normally accept it. The court should not try to tinker with such equivalence unless it is shown that it was made with extraneous consideration." (Emphasis supplied).  

The Supreme Court in State Bank of India & Anr. Vs. M.R. Ganesh Babu & Ors., (2002) 4 SCC 556 held as follows :-

"The principle of equal pay for equal work has been considered and applied in may reported decisions of this Court. The principle has been adequately explained and crystallised and sufficiently reiterated in a catena of decisions of this Court. It is well settled that equal pay must depend upon the nature of work done. It cannot be judged by the mere volume of work; there may be qualitative difference as regards reliability and responsibility. Functions may be the same but the responsibilities make a difference. One cannot deny that often the difference is a matter of degree and that there is an element of value judgment by those who are charged with the administration in fixing the scales of pay and other conditions of service. So long as such value judgment is made bona fide, reasonably on an intelligible criterion which has a rational nexus with the object of differentiation, such differentiation will not amount to discrimination. The principle is not always easy to apply as there are inherent difficulties in comparing and evaluating the work done by different persons in different organizations, or even in the same organization. Differentiation in pay scales of persons holding same posts and performing similar work on the basis of difference in the degree of responsibility, reliability and confidentiality would be a valid differentiation. The judgment of administrative authorities concerning the responsibilities which attach to the post, and the degree of reliability expected of an incumbent, would be a value judgment of the authorities concerned which, if arrived at bona fide, reasonably and rationally, was not open to interference by the court."  (Emphasis supplied).

In Sate of Haryana & Anr. Vs. Tilak Raj & Ors., (2003) 6 SCC 123 the Supreme Court observed :-

"Equal pay for equal work" is a concept which requires for its applicability complete and wholesale identity between a group of employees claiming identical pay scales and the other group of employees who have already earned such pay scales. The problem about equal pay cannot always be translated into a mathematical formula."

In Government of West Bengal Vs. Tarun K. Roy & Ors., JT 2003 (9) SC 130 the Supreme Court observed as follows:-

"Article 14 read with Article 39 (d) of the Constitution of India envisages the doctrine of equal pay for equal work. The said doctrine, however, does not contemplate that only because the nature of the work is same, irrespective of an educational qualification or irrespective of their source of recruitment or other relevant considerations the said doctrine would be automatically applied."

The aforesaid decisions clearly lay down that the functions of two posts may appear to be same or similar but still there may be difference in the degrees in performance and that the equation of posts or equation of pay can best be determined by expert bodies which can evaluate the nature of duties and responsibilities of posts. The functions may be the same but the responsibilities make a difference and, therefore, differentiation of pay scales of persons holding the same post and performing similar work on the basis of difference in the degree or responsibility, reliability and confidentiality would be a valid differentiation. The Courts in such matters, should not normally interfere with such a determination unless it is established that it was made with extraneous considerations.

In the present case the Samta Committee was an expert committee constituted by the State Government. It recommended a certain pay scale for the Gram Vikas Adhikaris and a different pay scales for pharmacists, teachers of Junior High Schools and Land Recording Inspectors. The Supreme Court has repeatedly held that the equation of pay must be left to the executive and must be determined by the expert bodies who are the best judge to evaluate the nature of difference and responsibilities of posts and if there is any such determination by a Commission or Committee the court should normally accept it and should not try to tinker with such equivalence unless it was made for extraneous considerations. It has also been held that the quantity of work may be the same but the quality may be different and that cannot be determined by relying upon the averments made in affidavits of interested parties as more often functions of two posts may appear to be the same or similar but there may be difference in degree of performance. The judgment of administrative authorities concerning the responsibilities, which attach to the post, and the degree of reliability expected by an incumbent, would be a value judgment of the authorities concerned, which arrived at bona fide, reasonably and rationally, was not open to interference by the court.

The Samta Committed, as stated above, had recommended the pay scale of Rs. 750-1660 for the Gram Vikas Adhikaris and Rs. 1350-2200 for others. The petitioners have sought the quashing of this report in so far as it relates to the Gram Vikas Adhikaris without even caring to place the said report before the Court. It was incumbent upon the petitioners to have placed the said report before the Court, in order to support their contention that it was made for extraneous consideration and had not been arrived at in a bona fide and rational manner. However, the relevant portion of the recommendations made by the Pay Committee have been placed on record and a perusal of the same indicates that after taking into account the various factors like the nature work, the duties, the level of responsibility and other like factors the pay scale was recommended. These are the factors required to be taken into consideration.

The petitioners have contended that as the Gram Vikas Adhikaris undergo training for a period of two years while others may or may not undergo that training, the pay scale of Gram Vikas Adhikaris should be the same as that of others. Such a contention cannot be accepted in view of the principles enunciated by the Supreme Court in the aforesaid decisions. The contention that since they were placed in same pay scale prior to the Pay Committee report and the Samta Committee report and, therefore, should be placed in the same pay scale by the said reports cannot also be accepted inasmuch as the question of grant of pay equivalence is a matter to be considered by an expert committee and nothing has been brought on record to show that the recommendations had been made for extraneous consideration.

The representation filed by the petitioners for grant of higher pay scale has been rejected by the State Government by means of the order dated 18th June, 1996. The said order has placed reliance upon the report of the Samta Committee and it has also been mentioned that merely because in some other States the Gram Vikas Adhikaris have granted higher pay scale cannot be made a ground to grant higher pay scale to the Gram Vikas Adhikaris. I am unable to find any infirmity in the aforesaid decision taken by the State Government.

Such being the position it is difficult to grant any relief to the petitioners. The Writ Petition is, accordingly, dismissed.

Date: 25.8.2006

GS


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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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