IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT MADRAS DATED: 18.09.2009 CORAM THE HONOURABLE MR.JUSTICE D.HARIPARANTHAMAN W.P.No.9326 of 2007 The Tamil Nadu Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Administrative Department Officials' Association Represented by its President N.L.Sridhar ... Petitioner Versus State of Tamil Nadu Represented by its Social Secretary Finance Department Fort St. George, Chennai 600 009. ... Respondent PRAYER : This Writ Petition came to be numbered under Article 226 of the Constitution of India by way of transfer of O.A.No.847 of 2002 from the file of Tamil Nadu Administrative Tribunal with a prayer to call for the records relating to the G.O.Ms.No.538 Finance (C.M.P.C.) Department dated 27.11.2000 and the amendment G.O.Ms.No.15, Finance (C.M.P.C.) Department, dated 12.01.2001 on the file of the respondent and the clarification letter No.90514/CMPC/93-18 dated 12.01.2001 from the respondent to All Heads of Departments, quash the said orders passed therein and direct the respondent to fix the next higher scale of pay to that of Rs.1640-2900, with effect from 01.06.1988, from among the scales of pay recommended by the V Pay Commission and accepted by the respondent, to the scale of pay of Rs.905-1545 under the prerevised scale and corresponding scale with effect from 01.01.1996 with appropriate Selection and Special Grade attached to it by the Pay Commissions, without inventing or introducing any new scale of pay keeping in view the order dated 18.07.2000 in Civil Appeal No.14148 of 1996 of the Supreme Court of India and without withdrawing any of the benefits hitherto availed of and enjoyed by the Superintendents and in particular the personal pay of 5% given to them under G.O.Ms.No.664 dated 24.08.1992 and G.O.Ms.No.497 dated 15.09.1998 passed by the Finance (Pay Cell) Department. For Petitioner : Mr.M.Ramadoss For Respondent : Mr.P.Muthukumar Governnment Advocate O R D E R
The Original Application in O.A.No.847 of 2002 before the Tamil Nadu Administrative Tribunal is the present writ petition.
2.The Tamil Nadu Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Administrative Department Officials’ Association is the petitioner herein. The petitioner Association claims virtually the scale of Rs.1820-3200 for the Superintendents of the Department with effect from 01.06.1988 and corresponding revision with effect from 01.01.1996 and for a further direction not to withdraw the benefit of personal pay, which they are enjoying.
3.Prior to 01.06.1988, the scale of pay of Superintendents in Tamil Nadu Ministerial Service was Rs.905-45-1445-50-1545 and the scale of Assistant Section Officers in Secretariat was Rs.780-35-1025-40-1385.
4.The Government of Tamil Nadu, conceding the demands of several service Associations of employees, introduced specific terms of reference to the V Tamil Nadu Pay Commission, so as to consider the demand for extension of central scales of pay. The V Tamil Nadu Pay Commission granted the revised scale of pay of Rs.1600-2660 to Superintendents as available in Central Government offices and granted the scale of pay of Rs.1400-2600 to Assistant Section Officers of Secretariat, which is on par with the similar category of Assistant in the Central Secretariat. However, the pay of Assistant Section Officers in the Tamil Nadu Secretariat Service was revised to Rs.1640-2900 on par with Assistants in Central Secretariat, with effect from 01.06.1988. Therefore, the Superintendents were aggrieved, as the Assistant Section Officers were fixed at higher scale of pay with effect from 01.06.1988. Hence, the Tamil Nadu Office Superintendents Association has filed an Original Application in O.A.No.5928 of 1993 for revision of scale of pay for Superintendent as Rs.1820-3200, with effect from 01.06.1988, with all consequential benefits. The Tribunal allowed the Original Application on 17.04.1996 and directed the Government of Tamil Nadu to pay the scale of Rs.1820-3200 to Superintendents with effect from 01.06.1988, with all consequential benefits, within four weeks from the date of receipt of the copy of the said order.
5.The Government of Tamil Nadu filed Special Leave Petition before the Honourable Supreme Court against the said order and obtained an order of interim stay. Ultimately, the Honourable Supreme Court on 18.07.2000, quashed the orders of the Tribunal, granting the scale of pay of Rs.1820-3200. However, the Honourable Supreme Court directed the Government of Tamil Nadu to fix appropriate scale of pay for Superintendent.
6.Pursuant to the aforesaid direction of the Honourable Supreme Court, the Government of Tamil Nadu issued G.O.Ms.No.538, Finance (C.M.P.C) Department, dated 27.11.2000, fixing the pay at Rs.1700-60-2480-75-3005 with effect from 01.06.1988 and the corresponding new scale of pay of Rs.5700-175-9200, with effect from 01.01.1996.
7.While fixing the aforesaid scale of Rs.1700-3005 above the scale of Rs.1640-2900, which is the scale of the Assistant Section Officers, the Government of Tamil Nadu opined that the duties and responsibilities of Assistant Section Officers may be considered equal to those of the Superintendents in Tamil Nadu Ministerial service and further, that the minimum educational qualification for Assistant Section Officer was a degree, while the minimum educational qualification for Superintendents was a pass in S.S.L.C. However, in view of the direction of the Honourable Supreme Court, the Government thought of granting higher scale of pay to the Superintendents. In this regard, paras 6 and 7 of the aforesaid G.O.Ms.No.538 are extracted here-under:
“6.As for the duties and responsibilities of Assistant Section Officer in Secretariat, they are responsible for noting and drafting and also assisting to Section Officer in charge of the Section. The Assistant Section Officer is second level in Secretariat (above Assistant) and the minimum qualification for Assistant is a degree. Superintendent in Tamil Nadu ministerial service is the head of the section in the Heads of Department and it is a third level post above Junior Assistant and Assistant and the minimum qualification is pass in S.S.L.C. Since the Assistant Section Officers in Secretariat attends to important issues on policy decisions, the job responsibilities of Assistant Section Officers may be considered equal to those of the Superintendents in Ministerial Service.
7.However taking note of the observation made by the Supreme Court of India and opinion given by Additional Advocate General, the Government have examined the possibilities of providing a higher pay scale for Superintendent above that of Rs.1640-2900. The Government after careful consideration have decided to provide new scale of pay of Rs.1700-60-2480-75-3005 for the post of Superintendent. They accordingly direct that the pay scale of Superintendent in Tamil Nadu Ministerial service be revised as Rs.1700-60-2480-75-3005 with effect from 01.06.1988 and corresponding new pay scale of Rs.5700-175-9200 with effect from 01.01.1996.”
8.Therefore, the claim of the petitioner to fix them at Rs.1820-3200 is re-agitating the whole matter, when the same reached finality, as stated above. Though the prayer states that the Superintendents should be fixed in the next higher scale of pay to that of Rs.1640-2900, the real purport of the prayer is seeking only Rs.1820-3200, if the ground No.10 of the application is taken note of. Hence, it is obvious that such a prayer could not be countenanced. Furthermore, this Court cannot decide as to what should be the scale of pay for Superintendents, particularly, when the same was agitated and reached finality, as stated above.
9.While passing the G.O.Ms.No.538 granting higher scale to the Superintendents than the Assistant Section Officers at Rs.1700-3005 with effect from 01.06.1988 and Rs.5700-9200 with effect from 01.01.1996, the Government directed that the Superintendents are not eligible for 5% of basic pay given from 01.08.1992 and 01.09.1998 and the personal pay given shall be adjusted in arrears that could be payable pursuant to the higher fixation in the scale of pay. In this regard, para 8 of the aforesaid G.O.Ms.No.538 is extracted here-under:
“8.The Government also direct that consequent on grant of higher revision of pay scale given to Superintendent with effect from 01.06.1988 and 01.01.1996 the Superintendents are not eligible for 5% of basic pay granted as personal pay given from 01.08.1992 and 01.09.1998 and the personal pay shall be adjusted in arrears while fixing the pay in the revised scales as ordered in para 7 above.”
10.The petitioner seeks to question this portion of the G.O.Ms.No.538 to the effect that the personal pay which they are enjoying should not be withdrawn. Here again, their contentions are deserves to be rejected. The Government of Tamil Nadu granted 5% of the basic pay as personal pay from 01.08.1992 by way of G.O.Ms.No.664, Finance (PC) Department, dated 24.08.1992 to the Government employees, who were in receipt of the scale from Rs.775-1030 to Rs.1600-2660. When the employees were not satisfied with the revision made in the recommendations of the V Pay Commission, citing that certain categories were not given sufficient revision, the Government of Tamil Nadu passed the aforesaid G.O., granting the benefit of personal pay. Since the Superintendents were given Rs.1,600-2,660 scale, they were given the personal pay. When the Tribunal fixed at Rs.1820-3200 or when the Government fixed Rs.1700-3005 above Rs.1600-2660 scale, automatically the Superintendents are not entitled to get personal pay. They could not say that once the benefit was given, the same could not be withdrawn. The benefit was specifically conferred to the employees who are in receipt of scales of pay from Rs.775-1030 to Rs.1600-2660. Likewise, after the recommendations of the VI Pay Commission, the Government passed G.O.Ms.No.497, Finance (Pay Cell) Department, dated 15.09.1998, continuing the personal pay up to the revised scale of Rs.5500-9000.
11.Admittedly, the Superintendents are given the higher scale of Rs.5700-9200 with effect from 01.01.1996. In view of G.O.Ms.No.497, the benefit of personal pay is applicable only up to the revised scale of Rs.5700-9200 with effect from 01.01.1996. Hence, the Superintendents are not entitled to personal pay.
12.For the aforesaid reasons, the writ petition deserves to be dismissed. Accordingly, the writ petition is dismissed. No costs.
The Social Secretary
Government of Tamil Nadu
Fort St. George,
Chennai 600 009