Wednesday, September 28, 2011

OA NO.444/2010 of Mumbai bench



This the day of , 2011

Coram : Hon'ble Shri Justice V.K.Bali, Chairman,
Hon'ble Smt.Leena Mehandale, Member (A).

Arezhi Sreedharan,
Flat No.1,
Villa Bambina,
Mamgor Hill,
Goa – 403 802. ...Applicant.
(By Advocate Shri G.Vijaychandran)


1) Union of India through
The Secretary,
Ministry of Defence,
Room No.198,
South Block,
New delhi – 110 011.

2) Chief Personnel,
Directorate of Civil Personnel
Services, Integrated HQRS,
Ministry of Defence (Navy),
Sena Bhavan,
New Delhi – 110 011.

3) Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief,
Western Naval Command,
Shahid Bhagatsingh Road,
Mumbai – 400 001.

4) The Flag Officer Goa Area,
Headquarters, Goa Naval Area,
Goa – 403 802. ...Respondents.
(By Advocate Shri M.Amonkar)

: O R D E R
{Leena Mehandale, Member (A)}
This OA is filed on 24.6.2010 under Section 19 of the Administrative Tribunals Act, 1985.

2. The undisputed facts of the case are that, the applicant who joined his service in the Civilian Section of Indian Navy on 27.5.1969 was to superannuate on 30.6.2009 on attaining the age of 60 years. During the earlier part of his service, his date of increment was falling on 1st May. His last promotion received w.e.f. 26th May, 2008 to the post of Office Superintendent with respect to which his next due increment would have been on 1st May, 2009. However, in pursuance of the VIth Pay Commission recommendations, his pay in the rank of Assistant was fixed at Rs.12,090/- with Grade Pay of Rs.4,200/- in the Pay Band – 2 of Rs.9,300-34,800 w.e.f. 1.1.2006 and the next date of increment w.e.f. 1.7.2006 as opted by the applicant. Thus, even though the applicant was promoted as Office Superintendent on 26.5.2008 and his pay was fixed at Rs.13,090/- notionally with Grade Pay of Rs.4,200/- w.e.f. 25.5.2008. The date of next increment remained as 1st July. Accordingly his pay was refixed at Rs.14,150/- w.e.f. 1.7.2008. Both the parties are in agreement about this factual position.

3. It is, thus clear that, the applicant got his last increment on 1.7.2008 bringing his pay to Rs.14,150/- w.e.f. 1.7.2008 and he would have got his next increment on 1.7.2009. But, he retired just on the previous day viz. 30.6.2009 after having rendered one complete year's service with that pay.

4. It is the case of the applicant that he is entitled to an increment for the service rendered from 1.7.2008 to 30.6.2009. Had he continued in the service for just one day, he would have been able to claim his increment for the service rendered in future i.e. beyond 1.7.2009. However, the applicant would like to make a distinction between the entitlement for increment which is in respect of rendering future service and the right to pensionary benefit which is in respect of the service rendered in past. This is a peculiar case where the applicant has rendered one complete year of service in a particular grade, but his pensionary benefit would be counted only as if he had not completed the full one year service. The argument from the applicant's side is that since pensionary benefits are eligible for the reason of past service rendered, therefore the applicant should be held as entitled to the pensionary benefits as if he had been granted his increment which was due on 1.7.2009.

5. The argument of the Respondents was that the Rule for next increment is very clear and he has not been given increment on 1.7.2009 as he had already superannuated from the service on 30.6.2009. The increment accrues only from 1st day following that on which it is earned.

6. Thus, we find that a very fine distinction is sought to be made in this case. The applicant claims that the increment is earned by him at the end of 30.6.2009, whereas the Respondents claim that the increment accrues only on 1.7.2009. Thus, it is the question that while the benefits are earned by way of past one year's service on 30.6.2009. But the accrual of increment will happen only on 1.7.2009. The Rule is very clear that in case he continues in service further than 1.7.2009, then his salary will be drawn by giving the effect of the increment that accrued on 1.7.2009. But, this Rule does not specifically say anything about the pensionary benefits which are arising out of the service rendered and increment earned which has happened on 30.6.2009.

7. In view of this finer distinction made out by the applicant and also following the principles of natural justice, viz. that when the Rules are silent on the particular question then they may be interpreted in such a way as to give rightful benefit to the applicant. Here we find that the applicant has rendered service to the Government for more than 40 years and in view of the last one years's service he has defenitely rendered his service for one complete year in the scale of Rs.14,150/- given to him on 1.7.2008. Hence, we have no hesitation to allow the application. Ordered accordingly.


No comments:

Post a Comment