CENTRAL ADMINISTRATIVE TRIBUNAL
BANGALORE BENCH : BANGALORE
ORIGINAL APPLICATION No. 521 OF 2009
TODAY, THIS THE .........DAY OF ............, 2011
HON'BLE SHRI N.D. RAGHAVAN ... VICE-CHAIRMAN
HON'BLE SMT. LEENA MEHENDALE ... MEMBER (A)
1. Sri Chandra S.
Aged about 38 years,
R/at Muthsandra via Varthur,
Bangalore – 560 087.
2. Sri Janardhana Rao,
S/o Ganapathi Rao,
Aged about 37 years,
R/at D.No.66/B, 5th Cross,
2nd 'D' Main Road, Bapujinagar,
Mysore Road, Bangalore-560 026.
3. Sri M. Vasu,
S/o Mani. S.
Aged about 37 years,
R/at No. U 36, 4th Cross,
Muddappa Garden, Dayananda Nagar,
Srirampuram Post, Bangalore-560 021.
4. Sri Guru Prasad. H.
S/o Dhamodhar H.
Aged about 38 years,
R/at No.502, Krishna Building,
N.P. Road, M.S. Nagar,
Bangalore – 560 033.
5. Sri A. Rudraiah,
S/o Appaiah Raju,
Aged about 36 years,
R/at No.3, Devanasandra Main Road,
Bangalore – 560 036.
6. Sri Lingaraju,
Aged about 38 years,
R/at Venkateshwara Store
Opposite to Ashoka Clinic,
Meenakshi Nagar, Kamakshipalya,
Bangalore – 560 079.
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7. Sri V. Thyagarajan,
S/o V. Venkateshan,
Aged about 34 years,
R/at No.1235, 35th Cross,
Kumaraswamy Layout 1st Stage,
Bangalore – 560 078.
8. Sri M. Devarajappa,
Aged about 38 years,
R/at Type II, 229/D,
Wheel and Axle Plant Colony,
Yelahanka New Town,
Bangalore – 560 064.
9. Sri Ranjith Vijay V.K.
S/o V.S. Kannan,
Aged about 35 years,
R/at No.716, 15th 'A' Cross,
1st Phase, Gokul Main Road,
Mathikere, Bangalore – 560 054.
10. Sri Shivananda,
S/o K. Bhyroji Rao,
Aged about 33 years,
R/at No.231, 7th Block, 1st Main Road,
Bangalore – 560 095.
11. Sri Ramesh Babu G.
Aged about 30 years,
R/at No.191, 18th Cross,
7th Main, 4th Stage, 3rd Block,
Bangalore – 560 079. ..... Applicants
(All the applicants are working as Civilian Trade Instructors in Chief Instructor Workshops, MEG&Centre, Bangalore)
(By Advocate Shri S. Sugumaran & Ms. S. Padmini)
1. The Union of India,
Rep. by its Secretary,
Ministry of Defence,
South Block, DHQ Post Office,
New Delhi – 110 011.
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2. The Additional Director General, Engineer (Personnel),
Coordination & Personnel Directorate/E1A,
1 H.Q of MOD (Army)
DHQ Post Office,
New Delhi – 110 011.
3. The Commandant,
MEG & Centre,
Post Bag No.4200,
Shivanchetty Garden Road,
Bangalore – 42. .... Respondents
(By Advocate Shri V.N. Holla, Addl, Central Govt. Standing Counsel)
O R D E R
Hon'ble Smt. Leena Mehendale, Member (A) :
This application is filed on 16-11-2009 under Section 19 of the Administrative Tribunals Act, 1985. The claim of the applicant arises out of non-grant of higher pay scale to Civilian Trade Instructors at par with pay scales granted to other similarly placed employees.
2. The 11 applicants having the minimum qualification of matriculation along with higher certificates of NAC (National Apprenticeship Certificate) or NTC (National Trade Certificate) as detailed in the OA joined the respondent department as Civilian Trade Instructors through Technical Employment Exchange in the pay scale of Rs.950-1500/- (IV Pay commission). On the implementation of V Central Pay Commission, their pay was fixed in the scale of Rs.3050-4590/- whereas the similarly situated Vocational Instructors working under the Ministry of Labour were granted a higher pay scale of Rs.5000-8000/-. The applicants have approached this Tribunal under OA Nos.900/2001, 903/2002, 949-955/2002, 509/2004, 130/2006, 459/2007 and also CP No.1/2007 and CP No.26/2009.
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3. It is seen from one typical order of this Tribunal in OA No.130/2006, that the Tribunal directed the respondents to take decision on cadre review and also recruitment rules of SRO 249/71 being already pending with the respondents, within three months. In view of this, the department amended the Recruitment Rules through SRO 46 dated 25-08-2007. But, they only amended the essential qualification, ignoring to amend the pay scale to bring it at par with the Vocational Instructors of Labour department. The respondent department also formed a Board of Officers to conduct a cadre review on 09-07-2008. The Board finalised the review proposal and sent to the department on 02-08-2008, which has remained with the department without a decision. Hence, it was directed by this Tribunal in OA No.459/2007 on 29th August, 2008 as below:
"In the light of the subsequent developments and the matter being pending for consideration before R-2, for enhancement of Pay Scale, we feel that it is a fit case for issuing of appropriate directions to respondents to consider the proposals pending before them. Accordingly, directed to take decision and pass appropriate orders within a period of four months."
When no decision was taken, the applicants filed a Contempt Petition No.26/09. In view of that the respondent No.-2 issued the speaking order on 05.10.2009 rejecting the demand of the applicants as seen from Annexure- A/10 which is the impugned order. Hence the Contempt Proceedings were dropped.
4. Thus the applicants have impugned the notification SRO 46/2007, dated 13.08.2007 (Annexure-A/3) which are new Recruitment Rules giving educational qualification and pay scale etc. and the order dated 05.10.2009, rejecting the claim of the applicants on the ground that both the orders have
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been passed without considering the cadre review proposals which is still pending. The order at Annexure-A/10 appears to be issued only to circumvent the Contempt Proceedings and to protract the issue and deny the just demand of the applicants seeking parity of pay scale with similarly situated Vocational Instructors in the Ministry of Labour. Hence the prayer is:
"(i) to Quash the speaking order No.39384/JR/8/CC34/EIA, Dated :5.Oct.2009 issued by R.2 at Annexure A-10
(ii) to Quash the Part II order SRO.46, Dated:13.Aug.2007 in respect of Civilian Trade Instructors to the extent of Column No.(4) scale of pay Rs.3050-75-3950-80-4590, issued by Respondents at Annexure-A-3.
(iii) to direct the Respondents to upgrade the pay scale of the Applicants from Rs.3050-4590 to Rs.5000-150-8000 VCPC (revised-PB-2 Rs.9300-34,800/- with grade pay of Rs.4,200/-) w.e.f 13.Aug.2007 i.e. from the date of Amendment to Recruitment Rules in par with the pay scale of Vocational Instructors of Ministry of Labour with all the consequential benefits including arrears of pay and allowances.
(iv) to quash the noting dt.5.March 2010 issued by the Ministry of Defence D (works II) to the extent of Civilian Trade Instructors at Annexure - A12. .... par with the Vocational Instructors working in the Directorate General Employment and Training, which is necessitated as the sequel to amendment brought to the Recruitment Rules vide SRO 46/2007, should not have been declined in toto and thereby allowed to continue the disparity and discrimination.
(v) To any order, direction the Hon'ble Tribunal may deem fit in the facts and circumstances of the case in the interest of justice".
5. The learned counsel for the applicants has argued that:
5.1. The old Recruitment Rules of 1971 for the post of Civilian Trade Instructors prescribed the qualification of middle standard along with proficiency in trade such as NTC (National Trade Certificate) and NAC (National Apprenticeship Certificate). For getting the NTC or NAC, the
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trainees taken in these institutes need a qualification of matriculation or above. Hence no person with middle standard could acquire any training certificate.
5.2. The said Recruitment Rules should have been reviewed from time to time once in 5 years as stipulated in the DoP&T instructions dated 04.08.2003 such a revision would have given a benefit of higher pay scale at par with Vocational Instructors to the applicants.
Here, the applicant implies the rule was ab-initio wrong, but, we note that SRO 249/71 prescribes educational qualification as only that middle level but does not specify NAC or NTC.
5.3. Despite the fact that Cadre review Board of officers was formed three times namely in 2004, on 29.Dec.2008 and 01.Aug.2009, none of the recommendations have been acted upon by the department. The Cadre review Board of officers is an expert body and they have given their finding that all things between the Civilian Trade Instructors and Vocational Instructors are equal both qualitatively and quantitatively. Therefore the designation of Civilian Trade Instructors should have been modified as Vocational Instructor and so also the pay scales.
5.4 The impugned order dated 05.10.2009 has been issued without considering the Cadre review recommendations despite the promises made before the Tribunal in Contempt Proceedings.
5.5 Although the department has amended the earlier Recruitment Rules under SRO 249/71 and replaced by SRO.46 dated 25.Aug.2007, the said
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amendment has modified only the educational (Technical and Experience) qualification for direct recruitment and enhanced from Middle Standard to Matriculation along with NTC/NAC diploma without modifying the corresponding enhancement in the pay scale of drawing at par with Vocational Instructor. Thus the pay scale of the Civilian Trade Instructors remains at 3050 - 4590 while that of Vocational Instructor is 5000 – 8000/-. even when the Cadre Recruitment Board of Officers categorically mentions that the work done and the instructions imparted by both the categories are qualitatively and quantitatively equal.
5.6. The learned counsel further argued that after issuing SRO 46/2007, the CRB (Cadre Review Board) was formed on 9.7.2008 which recommended enhancement of pay scales of Civilian Trade Inspectors to Rs.5000-8000/- on finding that they are on equal footing in all respects ith those of Vocational Instructors. Thereafter, for the 3rd time, the HQ, MEG & Centre, was asked by letter dated 08.12.2008 (Annexure-A/7) for submission of recommendations for civilians which was sent to the Ministry for concurrence vide letter No.2007/Rect/Adm/70/EIC, dated 1-8-2009. Even after all these, the respondents passed the impugned order dated 5.10.2009 rejecting the claim of the applicants. Hence, this OA.
6.1. On the other hand, the respondents in their reply have relied on SRO 249/1971 (Annexure-R/1), in which the educational qualification has been stated as middle standard and should be proficient tradesman with skill and knowledge of imparting training in the trade. The higher qualification possessed by all the 11 applicants are personal to them and cannot be the
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basis to claim higher pay as long as the Recruitment Rules governing their cadre does not provide the same. The department has given them the pay scales as recommended by the IV and V Pay Commissions. The required educational qualifications under 1971 Rules simply says
"middle standard, should be proficient tradesman with skill and knowledge of imparting training in the trade".
6.2. Under new Rules of 2007, a higher educational qualification is prescribed, still this and the work discharged are not at par with those for Vocational Instructors. This is the crux of the case and on this ground alone, the claim of the applicants is not tenable.
7. We have heard the learned counsel on both sides and perused the records and annexures.
8. We find that para 5.1 of the OA wrongly uses the following words.
"5.1 As per the Recruitment Rule of 1971 the Qualification prescribed for direct recruitment to the post of Civilian Trade Instructors is that of Middle Standard with the proficiency in Trade like National Trade Certificate (NTC) and National Apprenticeship Certificate (NAC)."
The qualification prescribed under SRO 249/1971 is simply as in para 6.1 (supra). It cannot be said that even in 1971, the only way available for the authorities of the respondent department to judge the proficiency in trade was to ask for the NAC or the NTC certificates. The respondents would adopt some other methods such as interview or practical demonstration, etc. to judge the proficiency in the trade. To that extent respondents are right in claiming that in 1971, a lower qualification was adequate. To the fact that the applicants have produced their NAC/NTC certificates as Annexure-A/1 (series) and they range in the years 1995 to 2000, the respondents' reply is
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that it is only personal to them. Yet, we agree with the applicants that had there been cadre review from time to time once in 5 years, this anamoly would have been rectified long back. Surely, the training requirements undergo a change in 20 years and the departments find their own ways of meeting them, sometimes even without formalising these methods. Yet, timely review and formalisation avoids all hardships and the department has a duty towards it.
9. We find from the records that despite several OAs filed by the aggrieved applicants right from the year 2001 onwards and despite the respondents department getting directions from the Tribunal to complete the exercise of review, they have not yet done so till the year 2011. The impugned order passed at Annexure-A/10 is, in our opinion, an order in personem and not a Cadre Review order, though it mentions that recommendations of Cadre Review Board are not binding. Yet, that by itself is not a Cadre Review Order.
10. It also appears to be a fact that whatever may be the prescribed entry qualification in the year 1971, the fresh recruits coming in recent times are all coming with a minimum qualification of matriculation and with the trade certificates either NAC or NTC which became a formal requirement only in 2007. The recommendations of the V Pay Commission where the erstwhile distinction between Civilian Trade Instructors and the Vocational Instructors of the (labour) department was kept intact by prescribing different pay-scales is also done on the basis of entry qualification prescribed in SRO 249/71 which was definitely lower, but which pertains to an old era. Although the SRO
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46/2007 issued by the department prescribes the educational qualification on par with the educational qualifications of vocational instructors of the labour department, yet the difference in the pay-scale has been kept intact which is definitely an anamoly. The respondents have compared at Annexure-R/2 the educational qualification for the Civilian Trade Instructors and the Vocational Trade Instructors in the Ministry of Labour and we find there is virtually no difference between the two qualifications. Similarly, from the chart produced at Annexure-A/9, which is prepared by the Coordination and Personnel Directorate of respondents, we find no difference in the work allocation to both. Even then, the scale of pay continues to be different being Rs.3050-4590 and Rs.5000-8000/- respectively, which cannot be justified.
11. Therefore, we find merit in the relief sought for by the applicants at paras 8.1, 8.2 and 8.3. Though, we appreciate that the im;pugned order has taken cognizance of Supreme Court order in (1993 SCC) L&S 157, to say that determination of pay scale is a complex task to be performed by expert bodies, yet, we cannot appreciate the enormous time taken by the department to complete the task of Cadre Review. We therefore, allow the OA in part and direct the respondents to issue necessary orders within three months from the date of receipt of a copy of this order, granting upward revision of pay-scales of the applicants to bring them on par with the pay-scales of Vocational Instructors of the Ministry of Labour. However, the applicants will not be entitled to arrears of the new pay-scale fixation with
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effect from 13.8.2007, but, it will only be notional from that date and the actual pay will be available to them from 1.7.2011.
12. With the above directions, the OA is disposed of. No order as to costs.
(LEENA MEHENDALE) (N.D. RAGHAVAN)
MEMBER (A) VICE-CHAIRMAN