Friday, November 2, 2012

OA no 448 / 2009 on ???????-11-2011

HON'BLE SMT. LEENA MEHENDALE                ...                     MEMBER(A)
HON'BLE SHR V. AJAY KUMAR              ....                    MEMBER(J)

G.Kothanda Pani,S/o (late) N.Gopal,
Aged about 58 years,
Working as Private Secretary 'B',
O/o The Director Aeronautical Development
Establishment, Government of India,
Ministry of Defence, Defence Research &
Development Organisation, New Thippasandra,
Bangalore – 560 075. 
Resident of No.29, 4th Main, Chriscon Avenue,
Lakshamamma Layout, Dodda Banaswadi,
Bangalore – 560 043                                               ....                                Applicant
(By Advocate Shri B.Veerabhadra)
1.The Director,
Aeronautical Development
Establishment, Government of India,
Ministry of Defence, Defence Research &
Development Organisation, New Thippasandra,
Bangalore – 560 075. 

2.The Scientific Advisor to Raksha Manthri and
Director General R&D Organisation,
Ministry of Defence,
DRDO Bhavan, Rajaji Marg,
New Delhi – 110 105.

3.The Directorate of Human Resource Development
Represented by Director,
'B' Block, DRDO Bhavan, Rajaji Marg,
New Delhi – 110 105.

4.The Secretary,
Department  of Personnel & Training,
Ministry of Personnel, Personnel Grievances
and Pension, North Block,
New Delhi – 110 001.

5.The Union of India,
Rep. By its Secretary,
Ministry of Defence, South Block,
New Delhi – 110 011                                               ....                                Respondents.
(By Advocate Shri S.Prakash Shetty, ACGSC for R-1 to 4)

Hon'ble Smt. Leena Mehendale, Member (A) :

            This OA filed on 1.10.2009 is the case of one G. Kothandapani, Private Secretary 'B' in the Office of the Director, Aeronautical Development Establishment, under the Ministry of Defence at Bangalore.  He prays for the following reliefs:-
(i)            call for the relevant records with regard to the action taken on his representations dated 14.7.2008 (Annexure-A/8), 11.2.2009 (Annexure-A/9) and 8.6.2009 (Annexure-A/10) and on perusal,

(ii)           direct the respondents to grant the pay in the pay scale of Rs.8000-13500 with grade pay of Rs.5400/- w.e.f. 1.1.2006 in the post of Private Secretary 'B' (i.e.) the date on which he has completed 4 years in the pay scale of Rs.7500-12000 in terms of the clarification dated 29.9.2008 (Annexure-A/5) and consequently draw all benefits with interest as specified by this Tribunal and

(iii)         pass any other order or direction or any other relief as deemed fit by this Tribunal in the interest of justice, equity and fairplay in administration.

2          The OA is filed to claim two separate reliefs, one being, claim of a higher pay band and the other is regarding the date of taking over the charge.  The applicant narrates that:-
            (a)       He was appointed as LDC w.e.f. 10.1.1972, then he was promoted to the post of Private Secretary 'B' grade and later as Senior Private Secretary in the pre-revised pay scale of Rs.8000-13500 by order No.DOP/13/62164/SPS/08 dated 15.5.2008 (Annexure A1).  The order mentions that seniority of the above named officer will be fixed on the basis of merit as decided by DPC-I. The officer may exercise within one month from the date of assuming promotion his option for fixation of pay in higher post under FR 22(1)(a).
            (b)       The same promotion order also puts a condition which is as under:
"3.        If the officer does not assume charge of the higher post within one month of the above mentioned date, it will be assumed that the officer is not interested in the promotion and consequently order for his promotion will be cancelled.  He will also be debarred for promotion as per rules.  No representation/appeal against the cancellation will be entertained.

3.            In response to the above order, the applicant submitted his charge assumption report claiming to take over charge of the promotional post with efect from 1.6.2008 (document not produced).  He was, however, informed on 10.6.2008 (Annexure-R/2) that
"......The assumption of charge of the higher post would be from 02/06/2008 since 01/06/2008 was a government holiday.  The officer is, therefore, requested to modify the date accordingly."

Thereafter, he seems to have made an application to the Respondents on 11.06.2008 (copy not produced), to which, he received a reply dated 8.7.2008 (Annexure-A/7), whereby, he was once again advised as below:-
"'a promotee unable to assume charge of higher grade on the effective date shall reckon his notional seniority in the higher grade from the date of his selection to that grade for the purpose of counting of residency period for considering his promotion to the next higher grade.  It does not mean that he will start drawing the pay in the higher grade from the effect date of promotion without actually assuming the higher post.  A promotee shall draw pay in a higher post only after he has physically assumed the appointment of higher post'.

2.         In your case, the date of promotion as SPS for purposes of seniority and promotion will be 01/06/2008 as indicated in the R&D Hqrs., promotion order.  Whereas, your date of charge assumption would be 02/06/2008 as 01/06/2008 was a closed holiday (Sunday) to the Establishment.
3.         Your charge assumption may, therefore, be dated accordingly."

He has once again represented on 14.07.2008 (Annexure-A/8) in the light of Article 60 of CSR.  This was followed up by another representation dated 11.2.2009 (Annexure-A/9).  Here, he has tried to draw similarity of a person whose increment falls due on a particular day or pay fixation falls on a particular date which are holidays, then, provided that he has attended the office on the next working day, his increment or pay fixation is released from an earlier date even if it happens to be a holiday.  Claiming the same anology, he claims that his date of taking over charge should be reckoned from 1.6.2008, which was a holiday and not on 2.6.2008 as advised by the office.  Once again, on 8.6.2009 (Annexure-A/10), he has repeated the same request.  To this, the respondents have replied on 16.3.2010 (Annexure-R/5) where it has been explained as below:-
"2.        ..... It is inherent in the scheme of promotion under flexible complimenting that assumption of duties of higher post is not involved.  However, in the present case under reference, the promotion is vacancy based.  In this case, as per the guidelines, promotion can be effective from the date the official assumes the charge of higher post or from the date of meeting of DPC, whichever is later.  Charge of higher post can not be assumed on a closed holiday.

3.            In view of the above, the request of the individual for assumption of charge of SPS with effect from 01 Jun 08 which was a closed holiday is not tenable.  The officer may be informed accordingly."

4.            The OA also agitates a second issue not directly concerned with the above issue.  The applicant's claim is that he was posted as Private Secretary 'B' in the pre-revised scale of Rs.7500-12000/- with effect from 1.1.2002 and completed his 4 years in that grade on 31.12.2005.  Thereafter, the VI CPC recommendation became applicable with effect from 1.1.2006 which is also his date of promotion in the grade of Private Secretary 'B'.  The effect of VI CPC actually became available sometime in September, 2008 which would give benefit from 1.1.2006.  The VI CPC, for the first time, introduced the concept of different grade pays in the same pay band, and the effect of increased grade pay would, in a nut-shett, mean a higher take home package.

5.         Thus, claims the applicant that, sometime in September, 2008, the respondents are obliged to fix the pay of the applicant as on 1.1.2006 having due consideration to his regular incarement that was due on 1.1.2006 in the grade of Private Secretary 'B' as well as the effect of VI CPC.  The applicant has not produced any details as to how his pay with effect from 1.1.2006 was actually fixed in the year 2006, before the effect of VI CPC.  We observe that had there been no VI CPC revision, he would have been entitled to get his next increment in the scale of Rs.7500-12000/-.  The applicant submits that on 1.1.2006, he was entitled, in view of VI CPC pay scales, to a pay scale of Rs.8000-13500/- and in addition, to the grade pay of Rs.5400/- with effect from 1.1.2006.

6.            To this second claim, the respondents have clarified at Annexure-R/6, dated 16.10.2009, which is a letter issued by the Headquarters of the Ministry of Defence, to all the Labs and Establishments under them and we quote below the same:-
"2.        The upgradation of pay scales of categories listed under (a), (b) and (c) were taken up and examined in consultation with the appropriate authorities several times but not agreed to.

(a)        Upgradation of pay scale of Private Secretary 'B' from in PB-2 with Grade Pay of Rs.4800 on completion of 4 years regular service to PB-3 with Grade Pay of Rs.5400.

3.         In view of the above, in the absence of any Govt. letter authorizing higher grade pay to these posts, the pay of the employees in these posts is to be fixed as per the existing Pay Band and Grade Pay only."

7.            Thus, referring to the relief prayed in para 8(i), namely, the question of no reply by the respondents to his representations dated 14.7.2008, 11.2.2009 and 8.6.2009 (Annexures-A/8, A/9 and A/10), we find that on 16.2.2010, i.e., after the filing of this OA, the respondents have given a suitable reply which the applicant has not challenged even in the written arguments submitted on 18.2.2011.  Even on merit, we find no need to interfere with this reply given by the respondents.

8.            As far as prayer at 8(ii) is concerned, this has no relevance to the prayer at para 8(i).  The revision of pay which he claims on the basis of Annexure-A/5 which is merely a suggestive revision, has been answered by the respondents by way of their letter ated 16.10.2009 (Annexure-R/6), which clarifies that this revision has not been finally agreed to.  We also note that the pay revision recommended under Annexure-A/5 would affect many categories of employees, not just the applicant.  But, Annexure-R/6 settles the issue once and for all.  We do not find any justification to interfere with Annexure-R/6.

9.            In view of the foregoing, the OA is dismissed as being without merits.  No order as to costs.

(V. AJAY KUMAR)                            (LEENA MEHENDALE) 
   MEMBER (J)                                         MEMBER (A)


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