Saturday, November 3, 2012

TA no 176 / 2009 on ??????? -2011



TODAY, THIS THE ..............    DAY OF ................., 2011



1. Sri Swamy Gowda,
    S/o late Rajanna,
    Aged about 43 years,
    Occ: Technical Assistant.

2. Sri N.K. Murthy,
    S/o late M.N. Krishnappa,
    Aged about 41 years,
    Occ: Technical Assistant.   

3.  Sri R. Laxminarasimhaiah,
    S/o Sri H. Rama Rao,
    Aged about 41 years,
    Occ: Technical Assistant.

4.  Sri G.M. Ravikumar,
     S/o Sri Muddanna,
    Aged about 39 years,
    Occ: Technical Assistant.

5.  Sri D.S. Rohini
     W/o Sri Sathyanarayana,
    Aged about 36 years,
    Occ: Technical Assistant.

6.  Sri B.V. Raviprasad,
     S/o Sri Venkatnarayana Sharma,
     Aged about 39 years,
     Occ: Technical Assistant.

7.  Shri H.C. Narasimaiah,
     S/o Sri Chaluvegowda,
    Aged about 43 years,
    Occ: Technical Assistant.

8.  Sri H. Nagarajappa,
    S/o Sri R. Hanumanthappa,
    Aged about 43 years,
    Occ: Technical Assistant.

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9. Sri A.C. Bettarangaiah,
    S/o Sri Chikkarangaiah,
    Aged about 41 years,
    Occ: Technical Assistant.
10. Sri A.R. Manjunath,
      S/o late Ramaiah,
      Aged about 41 years,
      Occ: Technical Assistant.

11.Sri K.B. Chandrashekaragowda,
     S /o Sri M.K. Bachegowda
     Aged about 39 years,
     Occ: Technical Assistant.

12. Smt. P.N. Laxmidevi,
      W/o Sri P. Muddegowda,
      Aged about 33 years,
     Occ: Technical Assistant.

13. Sri A.S. Lingegowda,
      S/o Sri Siddegowda,
      Aged about 43 years,
      Occ: Technical Assistant.

14. Smt. K.R. Rathnamma,
      W/o Sri B.H. Ramesh,
      Aged about 34 years,
      Occ: Technical Assistant.

15. Sri C.V. Nagaraj,
     S/o Sri Vishakantaiah,
     Aged about 40 years,
     Occ: Technical Assistant.

16. Sri N. Raju,
     S/o late Narasimhaiah,
     Aged about 41 years,
    Occ: Technical Assistant.

17.Sri R. Krupashankar,
     S/o Sri Rajashekaraswamy,
     Aged about 36 years,
    Occ: Technical Assistant.

18.Sri N. Sreenivasamurthy,
     S/o Sri Munishamappa,
     Aged about 45 years,
     Occ: Technical Assistant.

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19.Smt. M.N. Nagashree,
     W/o Sri Nagendra Murthy,
     Aged about 38 years,
     Occ: Technical Assistant.

20.Smt. T.T. Geetha,
     W/o Sri T.S. Thimmaiah,
     Aged about 37 years,
     Occ: Technical Assistant.

21.Sri T.S. Chandrappa,
     S/o Sri Singegowda,
     Aged about 41 years,
     Occ: Technical Assistant.                           ....                                Applicants

(By Advocate Shri V.S. Naik)

1. Union of India,
    Ministry of Textiles,
    Udyog Bhavan,
    Maulana Azad Road,
    New Delhi – 110 001,
    By its Secretary,

2. The Member Secretary,
    Central Silk Board,
    C.S.B. Complex,
    B.T.M. Layout, II Stage,
    Madivala, Hosur Road,
    Bangalore – 560 068.                                  ...                                 Respondents

(By Advocate Shri N.S. Prasad)


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

            This application has been filed in the Hon'ble High Court of Karnataka on 2.11.2006 by Writ Petition No.15402 pf 2006, and thereafter transferred to this Bench on 23.3.2009 and numbered as T.A. No.176/2009.  It is taken up under Section 19 of the Administrative Tribunals Act, 1985. 

2.                  The applicants 1 to 21 are the employees of the Central Silk Board, Bangalore, under the Ministry of Textiles.  They were initially appointed as Field Assistants during
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the period 1986 to 1992 and were later promoted to Senior Field Assistants along with many other colleagues.  The Central Silk Board has the post of TA (Technical Assistant) in the scale of Rs.5000-8000/- which is the promotional channel for Senior Field Assistants.  The seniority list of Field Assistants as up-dated as on 31.10.1998 contains the names of all the 21 applicants as senior to the many more Field Assistants who were recruited during 1.1.1994 to 31.10.1998.

3.                  In the year 2000 the Central Silk Board created 33 new direct recruitment posts of TA for R&S, i.e., Technical Assistants for Reeling and Spinning in the pay scale of Rs.5,000-8000/- .  For these Technical Assistants, the promotional channel would be Senior Technical Assistant in the scale of Rs.5500-9000/- and further promotion would be to Senior Technical Assistant Selection Grade in the scale of Rs.6500-10500/-. These promotional avenues are same as those available for erstwhile TAs. 

4.                  It is the case of the applicants that rather than filling the post of TA for R&S from direct recruits, many of the junior Field Assistants were given the designation of TA for R&S in the pay scale of Rs.5000-8000/- well ahead of their seniors by a memorandum dated 18.1.2002.  One such order in favour of Shri R. Pugalendi is at Annexure-'C' as a sample.  Writ Petitions No.38776 to 38804 of 2002 were filed by the applicants before the Hon'ble High Court of Karnataka and the Hon'ble High Court vide their order dated 18.1.2005 disposed of the Writ Petitions directing the respondents to consider the case of the petitioners.  Accordingly, all the applicants were given an opportunity to appear for personal hearing individually before the CEO and Member Secretary of the Central Silk Board, who, after hearing them all, issued memorandum to designate them as Technical Assistants in the pay scale of Rs.5000-8000/-.  However, the memorandum stated that the petitioners were not eligible for any arrears consequent on the placement in the higher
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 pay scale and that there would be no consequential change in the inter-se seniority.  It further stated that the future promotions to the higher grade would be governed by the Rules.  These memoranda are at Annexures-E-1 to E-21.  The prayer of the applicants is therefore that the memoranda dated 1.6.2005 issued by Respondent No.2, i.e., Annexures-E-1 to E-21 should be quashed and  fresh improvised  memoranda should be issued; their seniority should be reckoned as it existed as on 18.1.2002, i.e., the date on which the 32 junior Field Assistants were posted as Technical Assistants for Reeling and Spinning and the memoranda Annexures-E-1 to E-21 should be modified to give the same seniority in the post of Technical Assistants as given to their juniors.

5.                  The learned counsel for the applicant has mentioned the following main grounds :
5.1       The regular promotional channel in the Central Silk Board for technical cadre is Field Assistants, Senior Field Assistants, Technical Assistants, Senior Technical Assistants and Senior Technical Assistants (Selection Grade).  The action of respondents in giving 32 promotions as Technical Assistants (Reeling and Spinning) only to a few selected Field Assistants was wrong and arbitrary.  Accordingly, when challenged in the High Court, the High Court directed the CEO of the Central Silk Board to give them due consideration.  Accordingly, the CEO has given them personal interview and has issued their promotional orders to the post of Technical Assistants, but, with prospective date and not with effect from 18.1.2002.  The order of the CEO which is also the impugned order is thus lacking in fairness as it would later on place the applicants who are seniors as juniors.  This will also have consequential effect on their promotion to the cadre of Assistant Director, etc.

6.                  The learned counsel for Respondents has tried to put forth a slightly different picture on the basis of which he has tried to justify the action of the Respondents.  It is
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mentioned in the reply statement that the Board had created the posts of TA (R&S) Technical Assistant for Reeling and Spinning to specifically undertake Reeling and Spinning activities.  The qualification of Diploma in Textile Technology/Handloom Technology were prescribed for these new posts.  Although, the reply statement mentions these posts as belonging to a newly created cadre, the respondents have not produced any notification to say that this will be a new cadre and will be specifically distinguished from the erstwhile cadre of TA (Technical Assistants).  The Annexure-R/1, produced by the respondents gives the details of the duties and responsibilities of the Senior Technical Assistant (Selection Grade) and also of the Technical Assistants, Senior Field Assistants and Field Assistants.  Annexure-R/2 gives the job chart for T A (Reeling and Spinning) without mentioning anything about their recruitment entry point or promotional channel.  Thus, it appears to be on par with TA (normal).  It is further stated that although these 32 posts of T A (Reeling and Spinning) were created, but, since there was a ban by the Govt. of India to fill up any post by new recruitments, the Board took a decision to find out,who, among the existing Field Assistans had the qualification of Diploma in Textiles and promoted them as Technical Assistants (Reeling & Spinning).  As the present applicants had no such Diploma, therefore, there was no question of promoting them to work as T A (Reeling &Spinning).  Thus, those 32 junior Field Assistants who could be given promotion as T A (Reeling & Spinning) in 2002 have by virtue of their earlier promotion become senior to the present applicants and will be entitled to further promotion also earlier to the present applicants and hence, there is no need to modify the impugned order at Annexures-E/1 to E/21 whereby the applicants have been given the designation of Technical Assistant with prospective effect from 2005.

7.                  We have heard both sides and are not convinced with the arguments of the learned counsel for the respondents.  All the justifications now given by him, viz., the
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applicants not fulfilling the qualification for the post of T A (Reeling & Spinning) in the year 2002 was available to the respondents even as the Hon'ble High Court was hearing the Writ Petition No.38776 to 38804/2002.  It is only after considering these that the Hon'ble High Court had directed the CEO of the Central Silk Board to consider their case.  The CEO, it appears, has found enough justification to designate them as Technical Assistants.  It then fails to convince us as to why the same designation could not be given to them with retrospective effect.

8.                   It is pertinent to note that the Silk industry deals with several technical aspects which are very different from each other like cocoon rearing, reeling, weaving, etc.  The Central Silk Board is mandated to promote these activities among the private enterprises and is also required to undertake these activities through its own staff.  The Board has to promote Research and manufacruring by creating modules for the new enterprises.  It is quite understandable that the Board undertook these activities one after another as per the need rather than undertaking all the technical activities together.  They had the posts of Field Assistants, Senior Field Assistants and Technical Assistants right from 1986 onwards to deal with the aspects of coccoon production, mulberry cultivation and seed production (the eggs of the silkworm).  The activities of Reeling and Spinning is technically a very different activity requiring different skills which are more akin to the skills needed in textile industry.  It would therefore, be understandable if the Central Silk Board had created a separate cadre for T A (Reeling & Spinning) and had indicated their promotional channels, especially the way in which they would be considered for promotion vis-a-vis the other Technical Assistants for promotion of Assistant Directors. But, the Central Silk Board has not done any of these things.  They have not even made fresh recruitment directly to the cadre of Technical Assistant (Reeling & Spinning) for the reason of ban by the Central Govt. or for whatever other reason.  They have
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selectively promoted some Technical Assistants directly to the pay scale of Technical Assistant in 2002.  This action is obviously not been confirmed by the Hon'ble High Court of Karnataka under whose directions the CEO in 2005 agreed to give the promotion and pay scale of Technical Assistants to the 21 applicants on the ground that they were seniors.  It is mentioned that this was done after giving them personal hearing but no record of the said interview has been kept by the office to suggest any compromise.

9.         In view of the above, we are of the opinion that the action of the respondents in not giving the applicants promotion to the post of Technical Assistant with effect from the date their juniors were promoted is not lawful.  The Board should therefore give notional promotion to applicants from the date their juniors were given the scale of Technical Assistants, and maintain their seniority.  Here we would like to add that the applicants are entitled to the reliefs of pay fixation and seniority.  However, the pay in the scale of TA will be fixed notionally and they will not be entitled to any arrears of pay as they have not officiated in the post during that period.  Their seniority as it existed on 1.1.2002 immediately before promoting some juniors as TA (R&S) will be protected. We therefore allow the OA, direct the Respondent No.2 to issue modification to the orders at Annexures-E/1 to E/21 within a period of two months.  No order as to costs.

            (LEENA MEHENDALE)                                          (N.D. RAGHAVAN)
                     MEMBER (A)                                                   VICE-CHAIRMAN


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