Kuldip Kaur vs Punjab State Electricity Board … on 2 December, 2009

Punjab-Haryana High Court
Kuldip Kaur vs Punjab State Electricity Board … on 2 December, 2009
C.W.P. No. 14980 of 2008
                                                                       -1-

    IN THE HIGH COURT OF PUNJAB AND HARYANA AT
                   CHANDIGARH


                                       C.W.P. No. 14980 of 2008
                                       Date of decision: 02.12.2009

Kuldip Kaur
                                                             ....Petitioner
                     Versus

Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) Patiala and others
                                                           ....Respondents

CORAM: HON'BLE MR. JUSTICE VINOD K. SHARMA

Present: - Mr. Veneet Sharma, Advocate,
           for the petitioner.

         Mr. Rajesh Sharma, Advocate,
         for the respondents.

                     *****

VINOD K. SHARMA, J (ORAL)

This order shall dispose of Civil Writ Petitions No. 14980 of

2008 and Civil Writ Petition No. 7251 of 2006 both titled Kuldip Kaur

Vs. Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) Patiala and others, as the

common questions of law and facts are involved.

For brevity sake facts are being taken from Civil Writ Petition

No. 14980 of 2008.

The petitioner was appointed as Steno with the Punjab State

Electricity Board on 30.4.1982. On 30.4.1998, petitioner was released

second promotional time bound scale and her salary was fixed

accordingly. On 7.5.1998, the petitioner was offered promotion to the

post of UDC. However, she declined to accept the promotion and her

request was accepted vide order dated 27.8.1998 vide which she was

allowed to forgo her promotion for a period of three years. On 2.5.2006,
C.W.P. No. 14980 of 2008
-2-

the respondents ordered the recovery of amount from the petitioner on

the plea that the second promotional time bound scale granted to the

petitioner on 30.4.1998 was not due to her, as she had refused promotion

to the post of Upper Division Clerk.

The petitioner filed civil writ petition No. 7251 of 2006 to

challenge the recovery being made from her on the plea that the benefit

granted to the petitioner either rightly or wrongly could not be

withdrawn, as the petitioner had no role to play in grant of second

promotional time bound scale nor any fraud or mis-representation was

alleged against her.

This Court admitted the writ petition and stayed the recovery

of the amount said to have been paid in excess.

According to the respondents, under a mistake they continued

paying the salary to the petitioner on account of second promotional time

bound scale. On realising the mistake, an order was passed on 27.5.2008

refixing the salary of the petitioner by denying her second promotional

time bound scale till 1.1.2006 and ordered recovery of the amount paid

in excess on account of wrong fixation of salary.

The petitioner has challenged the order dated 27.5.2008.

The learned counsel appearing on behalf of the petitioner

contends, that the impugned order of withdrawal of second promotional

time bound scale cannot be sustained in law, as the same was granted to

the petitioner on 30.4.1998, whereas she had refused the offer of

promotion only on 7.5.1998, therefore, on the date of grant of

promotional scale, she was entitled thereto.

It is also the contention of the learned counsel for the
C.W.P. No. 14980 of 2008
-3-

petitioner that the petitioner was entitled to second promotional time

bound scale despite refusal to accept the promotion. In support of this

contention, the learned counsel for the petitioner placed reliance on the

Division Bench judgment of this Court in civil writ petition No. 6135 of

2003 titled Varinder Pal Vs. The State of Punjab and others decided on

5.7.2005, wherein the Hon’ble Division Bench has been pleased to lay

down as under: –

“Having heard the learned counsel for the parties, we
are of the view that the controversy raised in the instant
petition is covered by the Division Bench judgment of
this Court rendered in CWP No. 6049 of 1997 “Tipan
Chand Sharma and another Vs. State of Punjab and
others decided on 6.5.1998. This judgment has also
been followed by another Division Bench of this Court in
Shashi Kiran and others Vs. State of Punjab and others
2003(1) SCT 340. The view taken by this Court is that
merely because an employee has foregone his promotion
would not be sufficient to deny him the benefit of
proficiency step up after completion of 24/32 years of
service. The facts of present case are also similar as in
the impugned order the same reason for declining the
benefit of proficiency step up on completion of 24/32
years of service has been stated. Therefore, in our view
the matter is squarely covered by the ratio of the
judgments cited above. It is also pertinent to notice that
the learned State Counsel has not been able to
successfully dispute the aforementioned conclusion
drawn by us.

In view of the above, the writ petition is allowed. The
order Annexure P-7 dated 7.11.2002 is quashed and the
directions are issued to the respondents to release the
increments of proficiency step up after completion of
C.W.P. No. 14980 of 2008
-4-

24/32 years of service to the petitioner under the
Assured Career Progression Scheme with all
consequential benefits and also to refund recovered
amount of Rs.21,110/-.”

Learned counsel for the respondents, however, contends that

object of giving second promotional time bound scale to an employee is

only to remove the hardship and stagnation for want of promotional

avenues and once the promotional avenue was available to the petitioner,

and she voluntarily did not accept it, she was not entitled to the second

promotional time bound scale, therefore, the order passed by the

respondents is in consonance with the object for which the rules

regarding promotional time bound scale were framed.

On consideration, I find that the relief claimed by the

petitioner is covered by the decision of the Hon’ble Division Bench in

Varinder Pal Vs. The State of Punjab and others (supra). Once the

petitioner has refused to accept the promotion and her request has been

accepted, the promotional time bound scale could not be denied to her,

as it is not mere offer but the actual promotion which could debar a

person to get the time bound scale as per rules.

For the reasons, both the writ petitions are allowed, the

impugned orders are set aside. The petitioner shall be entitled to the

consequential benefits. The arrears be released within three months of

receipt of certified copy of order.

No costs.

(Vinod K. Sharma)
Judge
December 02, 2009
R.S.

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