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Mehtab Singh & Ors v. State of Haryana - CWP-3190-2002  RD-P&H 2320 (6 April 2006)
C.W.P. No. 3190 of 2002
Date of Decision: 26.4.2006
Mehtab Singh and others
State of Haryana
CORAM: HON'BLE MR. JUSTICE M.M. KUMAR
HON'BLE MR. JUSTICE M.M.S. BEDI
PRESENT: Mr. J.S. Maanipur, Advocate,
for the petitioners.
Mr. Harish Rathee, Sr. DAG, Haryana,
for the respondent.
M.M. KUMAR, J. (Oral)
This petition filed under Article 226 of the Constitution prays for issuance of writ in the nature of certiorari for quashing order dated 11.1.2002, passed by the Financial Commissioner and Secretary to Government, Haryana, rejecting the claim of the petitioners for higher pay scale than the feeder cadre post. It is appropriate to mention that the petitioners are working on the post of Treasury Officer and they were promoted from the feeder post of Assistant Treasury Officer.
Brief facts of the case are that the petitioners were initially recruited as Assistant Treasury Officer on different dates and they were subsequently promoted as Treasury Officer according to the statutory rules known as `The Haryana Finance Department C.W.P. No. 3190 of 2002
Treasuries (Group-B) Service Rules, 1980 (for brevity, `the Rules').
According to Sub-rule (1) (a) of Rule 9 of the Rules, 75% of the posts of Treasury Officers are filled up by promotion from amongst the Assistant Treasury Officers. And 25% by direct recruitment. A comparative chart of the pay scales of both the posts, as depicted in the preliminary submission made by the respondent, reads as under:- "Pay Scale as on
Designation 1.4.79 1.5.90 1.1.96
Rs. 700-1250 (TS) + 50
SP and 750-1450 (SG) +
50 SP for 20% posts.
900-1700 (SG) for 20%
of Rs. 50 in Spl. Pay for
one post in accounts
The petitioners approached this Court by filing C.W.P.
No. 13898 of2001, titled as Mehtab Singh and others v. State of Haryana. On 11.9.2001, this Court directed the respondent to decide the legal notice sent by the petitioners. Accordingly, respondent No.
1 has considered the claim of the petitioners and rejected the same on 11.1.2002 (P-2). The operative part of the order, which is the subject matter of challenge in this petition, reads as under:- "......The representationists-petitioners have referred to various judgements on this issue and claimed a higher pay scales for the post of Treasury Officer viz-a-viz that of the Assistant Treasury Officer who constitute the feeder post for post of Treasury Officer. The sum and substance on these judgements is that identical pay scale should not be granted for the feeder post and promotional post and if that be the case, it would constitute an anomaly. Though the view of the State Government in this respect is different, the point raised C.W.P. No. 3190 of 2002
by representationists-petitioners in this case has no relevance. The pay scales prescribed for the posts of the Assistant Treasury Officers and Treasury Officers are reproduced below:-
PAY SCALE AS ON
1.4.79 1.1.86 1.5.90 1.1.96
A.T.O. 700-1250 (TS) +
50 SP and 750-
1450 (SG) + 50
+ 100 SP
T.O. 800-1600 (TS)
900-1700 (SG) for
20% of + Rs. 50
in Spl. Pay for one
post in accounts
+ 200 SP
+ 200 SP
6. A perusal of the above table clearly shows that the pay scales of promotional post of Treasury Officer has always been and continue to be higher than that of feeder post of Assistant Treasury Officer and there is no anomaly whatsoever in this case."
Mr. J.S. Mannipur, learned counsel for the petitioner has argued that the pay scale of the Treasury Officer cannot be equivalent to the feeder post of Assistant Treasury Officer. According to the learned counsel, the pay scale of Rs. 2000-3200 + Rs. 100/- Special Pay in respect of Assistant Treasury Officer and Rs. 2000-3500 + Rs.
200/- Special Pay in respect of Treasury Officer with effect from 1.5.1990 is equivalent and it hardly makes any difference if the ending scale of Treasury Officer is higher. The pay scale with effect from 1.1.1996 has been revised to Rs. 6500-9900 + Rs. 100/- Special Pay in respect of Assistant Treasury Officer whereas the pay scale of Rs. 6500-10500 + Rs. 200/- Special Pay has been granted to the Treasury Officer. Learned counsel has maintained that even in the C.W.P. No. 3190 of 2002
revision some anomaly has continued to creep in resulting in violation of Articles 14 and 16 of the Constitution.
According to the learned counsel, a Division Bench of this Court in the case of Har Krishan v. State of Punjab, 1987 (5) SLR 539, has taken the view that in such like cases the pay scale cannot be considered higher and, therefore, the order Annexure P-2 is liable to be set aside.
Mr. Harish Rathee, learned State counsel, has supported the order dated 11.1.2002 (P-2) and has argued that by no stretch of imagination the pay scale of Rs. 6500-10500 could be considered equivalent to the pay scale of Rs. 6500-9900. According to the learned counsel, the pay scale of Treasury Officer (Rs. 6500-10500) has to be considered higher and no grievance by the petitioners could be made on that score. Learned counsel has maintained that the order passed by the respondent does not suffer from any legal infirmity requiring interference of this Court because the conclusion drawn is that the pay scale of the petitioners is higher than the pay scale of Assistant Treasury Officers.
We have thoughtfully considered the submissions made by the learned counsel for the parties and are of the view that this petition is liable to be dismissed. The pay scale of Rs. 6500-9900 + Rs. 100/- Special Pay for the Assistant Treasury Officers cannot be considered equivalent to the pay scale of Rs. 6500-10500 + Rs. 200/- Special Pay. It is trite to observe that under Rule 4(b) of the Punjab Civil Service Rules, Volume-I, Part-I (as applicable to the State of Haryana), the pay scale of an officer who has put in a particular number of years of service is required to be protected as and when such an officer is promoted to the next higher post. If such an officer, while working in the feeder cadre, has reached to the highest of the scale i.e. Rs. 6500-9900 + Rs. 100/- Special Pay, then his pay scale on promotion would firstly be protected and he has to be fitted in the higher pay scale of Rs. 6500-10500 + Rs. 200/- Special Pay. We have not been able to understand as to how the argument of the C.W.P. No. 3190 of 2002
petitioners could be accepted when they submit that the aforementioned two pay scales are equivalent.
We repeatedly asked Mr. Maanipur that under Rule 4(b) of the Punjab Civil Service Rules, Volume I, Part-I (as applicable to the State of Haryana), the pay scale of an officer promoted to a higher post is liable to be protected and if an officer has reached the highest scale of pay in the feeder cadre then his pay is bound to be protected on promotion thereby such an officer would then get much higher pay in the scale prescribed for the higher post. Although the initial pay scale of both the posts is the same but their ending scale and Special Pay are different. In other words, our query was that if an Assistant Treasury Officer with Special Pay of Rs. 100/- reaches highest of the scale of Rs. 6500-9900 then on promotion his pay has to be protected and he has to be fitted in the pay scale of Rs. 6500-10500 with Rs.
200/- Special Pay. Learned counsel for the petitioner, however, has not been able to proffer any satisfactory answer to the aforementioned query because to our mind the ending pay scale in this case has to be considered higher pay scale even if the initial scale is equivalent.
Merely because the initial pay scale is identical, would not necessarily result into a conclusion that the pay scale in the case of the petitioners are not higher.
The judgment of this Court in Har Krishan's case (supra) on which reliance has been placed by the learned counsel for the petitioner would show that the pay scale of the post of feeder cadre of Patwaries was put at par with the pay scale of Assistant Revenue Clerks at Rs. 110-200, which were later revised to Rs. 400-600. It was in this situation that a Division Bench of this Court found that the pay scale of feeder cadre post, if are equivalent to the promotional post then it would be considered as arbitrary being irrational.
Accordingly, directions were issued to the State in the aforementioned case to rationalise the pay structure of Patwaries vis- à-vis the Assistant Revenue Clerks. However, in the present case the factual position is entirely different, inasmuch as, the pay scale of feeder post is Rs. 6500-9900 + Rs. 100 Special Pay and that of the C.W.P. No. 3190 of 2002
promotional post is Rs. 6500-10500 + Rs. 200 Special Pay.
Therefore, we do not find any relevance of the aforementioned Division Bench judgment with the case of the petitioners and have no hesitation to reject the submission based thereon.
For the reasons aforementioned, this petition fails and the same is dismissed.
April 26, 2006 JUDGE
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