OA 422- by Raghavan
O R D E R (ORAL)
Hon'ble Shri N.D. Raghavan, Vice-Chairman:
The applicants No.2 to 5 are Drivers in the GSI (Geological Survey of India). As this post did not have regular promotional channel thus creating a stagnation, the Govt. of India vide OM dated 30.11.1993 created promotional channel whereby Drivers could be promoted from Driver-Ordinary Grade (Rs.950-1500/-) to Driver- Gr.II (Rs.1200-1800/-) to Driver-Gr.I (Rs.1320-2040/-), thus creating three grades. Prior to this OM dated 30-11-1993, only one promotion grade existed, namely, Driver-Gr.I and the applicants No.2 to 5 who are at the top of the seniority list had been promoted to that grade with effect from 1-9-1993, i.e., before the above said O.M. Their junior Drivers who were not due for promotion earlier became due on account of the OM dated 30-11-1993 and were promoted to Gr.II by order dated 24-1-1995 and subsequently to Gr.I. The applicants 2 to 5 were also promoted to Gr.I in view of the OM. In between, the pay revision also took place. All these together created an anamolous situation. The junior Drivers in pursuance of the said OM dated 30.11.1993 got two pay fixations, one for notional promotion in Gr.II and the 2nd for the notional promotion in Gr.I whereas the applicants 2 to 5 received only one pay fixation for the Gr.I. The effect was that the senior Drivers, namely, the applicants 2 to 5 now in Gr.I became entitled to less pay than the pay of their junior Drivers, who, on notional promotion to Gr.I became entitled to a higher pay as a result of two pay fixations in their favour.
2. This being violative of natural justice, the Respondent No.3, viz., the Dy. Director General, AMSE Wing, Geological Survey of India, Bangalore, who is the immediate Head of the Department for the applicants, wrote to Respondent No.2, who in turn, wrote to Respondent No.1, drawing their attention to this anamoly and suggesting that the pay fixation for the applicants may be so revised as to bring them atleast at par with the junior Drivers if not at higher pay. The applicants have therefore, sought the remedy of a writ for proper pay fixation for applicants No.2 to 5 in the Driver-Gr.II so that after the effect of 2nd pay fixtion in Driver-Gr.I in the scale Rs.1320-2040/- their pay would not remain lower than the pay of their juniors.
3. Thus, even though an apparent anamoly was created and even though the concerned officers understood and appreciated that it has to be set right and even moved their seniors for permission to do so, the actual benefit did not flow to the applicants No.2 to 5. This is the genesis of the OA filed by the applicants No.2 to 5 as early as on 12.10.2007. During the intervening period, the official stand of the department remained that the applicants were not entitled to the relief that they sought. On 29.5.2008, the respondents pleaded that the anamoly has arisen because of the instructions in para 3 of the OM dated 30-11-1993 issued by the DoPT. Thus, with the leave of this Tribunal, the Department of Personnel & Training was also impleaded as Respondent No.4 on 29.5.2008. We are constraied to bring on record that the response from the DoPT was not forthcoming, so much so that the Bench had to record on 4.6.2010 as below:
"........learned counsel for Respondent No.4 submits that inspite of his best efforts no objection statement is coming forth from the Respondent No.4 and that matter may be decided without the reply of Respondent No.4".
The situation did not improve till 7.7.2010 on which date, this Tribunal even had to consider whether Respondent No.4 needs to be summoned in order to elicit any response in the matter. Even in respect of Respondents No.1 to 3, the Tribunal had to observe as under:
"3. Similarly so when we have been loudly contemplating to issue summons to the Respondent No.1 to 3 too for their personal appearance to know the step taken by the 2nd respondent or the first respondent in responding to the 3rd respondent's letter dated 31-07-2007/03-08-2007 at Annexure-A22 page-50, equally the learned counsel Shri V.N. Holla for Respondents – 1 to 3 submitted a copy of this order also be furnished to him to take such appropriate steps as are necessary in view of the fact that the Bench seems to be not convinced inspite of his reference to the reply filed by R-1 to 3, especially with regard to the specific points raised in para-5 of this OA".
4. On 11.08.2010, seeing no improvement, this Tribunal ordered that on the next date of hearing, a responsible officer each not below the rank of Deputy Secretary must be present to represent Respondent No.4 (DoPT) and Respondents No.1 and 2 (Department of Mines) to explain as to why there has been delay until this date by such nil-response to this matter, to proceed further. Under these circumstances as prayed for, 2 weeks' time us granted. List on 24.08.2010 as PHC. Still there was no response on 24.8.2010 and further on 27.09.2010, and the Tribunal was constraied to award a cost of Rs.2,500/- on the Respondent No.4. The Tribunal also directed Respondent No.4 to file an affidavit to explain as to why they could not attend to the Tribunal during all these two years. Finally, only on 30.11.2010, the say of
Respondent No.4 was filed and only on 3.12.2010, the Deputy Secretary, Shri Mukesh Chaturvedi from the DoPT attended this Tribunal in compliance with the earlier order.
5. We find this entire attitude of the DoPT to be careless and callous to say the least. It appears to us that within the department, there may not be amy system for monitoring the progress and pendency of Court matters. We are constrained to record that the prime department of the Govt. who has to set an example of good governance before other departments takes up its duty about following the rules of law so lightly. It also shows their insensitivity to the issue of redressal of genuine grievances of their staff. We hope that the Secretary of the Respondent No.4 department will take stock of the situation.
6. Finally, today the learned counsel for Respondents No.1 to 3 informed us that they have since received all the necessary clarifications from Respondent No.4 and have issued proper directions to Respondent No.3 guiding him how to settle the issue so as to give justice to the Applicants No.2 to 5. To this effect, he has produced a copy of the OM No.18/17/2010-Estt.(Pay I), dated 24th November, 2010, issued by the DoPT, addressed to the Ministry of Mines, New Delhi, along with a copy of the letter No.10(58)/2007-M.II, dated 25th November, 2010, from the Respondent No.1 addressed to Respondent No.2 with a copy to Respondent No.3.
7. Further, learned counsel for Respondents No.1 to 3 prays for two months time to be granted for giving actual relief to the applicants in this OA.
Learned counsel for Respondent No.4 also reiterates the aforesaid prayer of Respondents No.1 to 3. Learned counsel for the applicants has no objection thereto. Under these circumstances two months time from this date prayed as above is granted.
8. The cost of Rs.2,500/- (Rupees two thousand five hundred only) awarded by this Bench on 27.09.2010, which is stated to be not yet paid by the Respondent No.4 to the applicants is also directed to be disbursed at the earliest and at any rate not exceeding the time limit granted hereinabove.
9. In the result, the OA is disposed of accordingly and as agreed above.
(LEENA MEHENDALE) (N.D. RAGHAVAN)
MEMBER (A) VICE-CHAIRMAN