CENTRAL ADMINISTRATIVE TRIBUNAL
BANGALORE BENCH: BANGALORE
ORIGINAL APPLICATION NO.539/2009
DATED THIS THE EIGHTEENTH DAY OF AUGUST, 2011
HON'BLE SMT LEENA MEHENDALE, MEMBER (A)
HON'BLE SHRI V.AJAY KUMAR, MEMBER (J)
S/o Kate Venkatappa,
Aged 55 years, working as
Mail Motor service Driver,
O/o the Senior Superintendent of Post Offices,
Mysore Division, Yadavgiri,
Mysore - 570 020. .... Applicant
(By Shri A.R.Holla, Advocate)
1.Union of India,
Department of Posts,
New Delhi - 110 001.
2.Chief Post Master General,
Bangalore - 560 001
3.Director of Postal Services (HQ & MKtg),
Office of the Chief Post Master General,
Bangalore - 560 001.
4.Senior Superintendent of Post Offices,
Mysore - 570 020. .... Respondents
(By Shri V.N.Holla, Additional Central Government Standing Counsel)
O R D E R (ORAL)
SMT LEENA MEHENDALE, MEMBER (A):
This OA has been filed on 23.11.2009. The learned counsel has made submission giving the chronology as below:
2. The applicant who was working as Driver Grade - II was given an order dated 20.03.2002 (Annexure - A1) by which at Serial No.-17 he was shown as promoted to Grade - I cadre from 01.10.2000.
3. On the same day by another order as at Annexure - A2 it was communicated that the date of promotion to the grade of Driver Grade - I is preponed to 08.11.1996. Thereafter from this date onward, he continues to work as Driver Grade - I.
4. There after on 21.04.2006 the respondents have issued yet another order which purports to correct the date of promotion in the junior cadre of Grade - II. While existing date of promotion in Grade - II is shown in column - 3 as 08.11.1996, the revised date of promotion in Grade - II is preponed to 17.09.1994. We also observe that in the same order yet another colleague namely Shankarlingam has also been given the similar benefit of preponement of date of promotion in Grade - II. Consequent to this order the applicant derived some monetary benefit by way of revised pay fixation etc.
5. Nearly 3 years later on 14.07.2009 the respondents have issued a detailed letter to the applicant which states that the review DPC held on 23.02.2006 which had met for considering the suitability of the applicant to promotion to Grade - II w.e.f. prior date and the DPC found it fit to prepone this
date according to which the earlier order quoted as Annexure - A3 was issued. However now the respondents appointed a Committee to go through various records of several employees and this Committee suggested the revision of date of promotion of the applicant on the ground that his date of entry in cadre of Driver, was erroneously taken as 14.11.1979 instead of 13.09.1985 by the first DPC held in 1985.
6. Quoting this reason the respondent department have asked the applicant to submit his representation against the proposal to bring back the date of promotion as Driver Grade - II to 08.11.1996. Reply was furnished as at Annexure - A5 in which the applicant has mainly stated that the promotion was given after considering the recommendation given by the review DPC during 2006. Despite this the respondents have issued impugned order at Annexure - A6 which had retracted the earlier order dated 2006 by restoring the date of promotion in Grade - II back to 08.11.1996.
7. The learned counsel for the applicant has brought out the above mentioned facts and prayed that taking away the benefits after 3 years is not justified.
8. The learned counsel for the respondents has pointed out that as mentioned at para -2 of the Annexure - A4, a mistake was committed as early as 1985 and the decision of the review DPC dated 23.02.2006 took that as basis and hence it has recommended to prepone the promotion as done in the order dated 21.04. 2006. He also submits that there are other senior officials who now pray to draw the similar benefit of preponing the date of promotion to Grade - II and hence if at all the decision taken in this matter grants the benefit to applicant, the same should not be a precedence to decide those cases
9. We have considered the arguments of both the learned counsels. We find that by issuing Annexure - A4 and A-6 the department is trying to reverse their orders after nearly 3 years and that too because the department deem it necessary to correct an error committed by the respondents as early as in 1985. We do not agree with the learned counsel for the respondents when he submit that an error has been committed in 1985 and based on it second error also committed in 2006. It is not open to the respondent department in 2009 to carry out the correction as it is tried to be done by way of Annexure - A6. There is a settled principle of law that for no fault of the employee if certain benefits have been conferred on him, then the same can not be taken away at the later date.
10. Applying this principle, we find it necessary and fair to maintain that the respondents can not be allowed at this stage to carry out any recovery for the amount which the applicant may have received by way of the department's mistake committed by issuing the order dated 21.04.2006 at Annexure - A3. The respondents are however permitted to carry out the corrections proposed in Annexure - A6 in a notional manner, provided that they will not be making any recovery for the financial benefits granted to the applicant by preponing the date of promotion in Grade - II or by withholding any future benefit if at all, that might arise out of the order at Annexure - A3. To that extent the respondent department is allowed to carry out notional correction as proposed at Annexure - A6 in the service records of the applicant.
OA is allowed as above. No order as to cost.
(V.AJAY KUMAR) (LEENA MEHENDALE)
MEMBER (J) MEMBER (A)