When a benefit for the first time is extended to a category of employees, the State can always fix a rational cut-off date and it was not obligatory for the State to extend the benefit of analogy


CASE BRIEF: STATE OF UTTAR PRADESH & ORS. V/s VIJAY SHANKAR DUBEY


CASE NAME: STATE OF UTTAR PRADESH & ORS. V/s VIJAY SHANKAR DUBEY
CITATION: CIVIL APPEAL NO.1757 of2020
COURT: THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
BENCH: MOHAN M.SHANTANAGOUDAR, J.
ASHOK BHUSHAN, J.
DECIDED ON: March 19, 2020.
RELEVENT STATUTES: Constitution of India (Article 32)


BRIEF FACTS & PROCEDURAL HISTORY:
1. The respondent was initially appointed as Assistant Public Officer on 11.02.1963. On 12.06.1964 the respondent was promoted as Joint Director, Prosecution, Class I post. The respondent attained the age of superannuation on 31.01.1997. At the time of retirement he was in the pay scale of Rs.3700-5000 as per Fourth Pay Commission Report.
2. On the recommendations of the Fifth Pay Commission Report the pay scale for the post of Joint Director, Prosecution was revised upward to Rs.12000-16500 in place of Rs.3700-5000. Accordingly, pay scale of respondent was revised and he was given revised pension also.
3. To consider various representations and objections regarding the pay scale consequent to Fifth Pay Commission Report, accepted by the Government on 02.02.1997, a Committee under the Chairmanship of Chief Secretary was constituted.. The Committee recommended that the pay scale of various categories of Prosecution cadre should be upgraded as per the analogy of the post existing in the CBI Organisation of the Center with effect from 01.04.2001. For the post of Joint Director, Prosecution the pay scale was recommended to be revised into Rs.14300-18500 with
effect from 01.04.2001.
4. The recommendation of the said Committee was accepted by the Government and an order dated 02.02.2007 was issued accepting recommendation for amending the pay scale of Joint Director,
Prosecution as Rs.14330-18500 with effect from 01.04.2001. The amendments in the pay scales with regard to other categories, were also amended from the same date i.e. 01.04.2001.
5. The respondent who had retired on 31.01.1997, after the Government order dated 02.02.2007 submitted a representation on 21.07.2011 praying that he be given the benefit of the Government order dated 02.02.2007 and his pension be revised with effect from 01.01.1996. On 30.11.2012,
the Director, Pension, Uttar Pradesh informed the respondent that he is not entitled for any revised pension since he has already retired from the services on 31.01.1997 and the amendment in the pay scale was enforced from 01.04.2001.
6. The High Court held that the respondent’s case being fully covered by the judgment of the High Court in State of U.P. and others vs. Anand Kumar Mishra and others, the respondent is entitled to the benefit of amended pay scale with effect from 01.01.1996. The aggrieved with the
judgment of the High Court this appeal has been filed by the State of U.P. and others.


ISSUES:
1. Is the judgment of Division Bench of the Allahabad High Court, Lucknow Bench dated 01.11.2017 by which writ petition filed by the respondent seeking the benefit of higher pay scale with effect from 01.01.1996 has been allowed is valid?


RATIO OF THE COURT:
1. Shri V. Shekhar, learned senior counsel for the appellants contended the following:
a. The date 01.04.2001 was fixed for amending the pay scales following the analogy in the Centre with regard to CBI organisation. Hence, date for implementation of said benefit was fixed as 01.04.2001
b. The Government order dated 02.02.2007 does not indicate that there was any error in the pay scale which was granted to the respondent on the basis of Fifth Pay Commission Report.
c. There was a rational basis in fixing the date 01.04.2001 which cannot be validly challenged by the respondent. The High Court relied on the earlier two judgments of the High Court in the case of State of U.P. and others vs. Anand Kumar Mishra and others Special Appeal (D) No.870 of 2009 which was a case of the employees of U.P. Police Radio Department.
2. Shri P.N. Misra, learned senior counsel appearing for the respondent contended that when the Fifth Pay Commission recommendations were implemented from 01.01.1996, the pay scale of respondent was not properly fixed and that is why the Committee for anomalies came into
existence which recommended the revision and amendment of pay scale into Rs.14300 to 18500 which ought to have been implemented with effect from 01.01.1996.
3. A perusal of various enclosures by the present court indicates that pay scales of all the officers of Prosecution Department were not amended, amendments were made only for the Senior Prosecution Officer (Senior Scale)/Deputy Director Prosecution and Joint Director (Law)/Joint Director (Prosecution) with effect from 01.04.2001.The High Court had not opined as to how the cut-off date was fixed as 01.04.2001 is unsustainable.
4. In Purshottam Lal and others vs. Union of India and another, (1973) 1 SCC 651 as reliance placed by the respondent,: ‘The petitioners were employed with the Forest Research Institute and Colleges, Dehra Dun which was a department of the Government of India, Ministry of Food and
Agriculture. The Second Pay Commission submitted its report and made recommendations with regard to Scientific Staff. The revision of the pay scale of the Scientific Staff in the Forest Research Institute was with effect from 21.06.1962 whereas recommendation of Second Pay Commission
was accepted by the Government with effect from July 1, 1959 with regard to similar sister Institutions. The said Scientific Staff of Forest Research Institute protested and submitted representation and thereafter filed the writ petition under Article 32 in this Court.’
5. The above case has no bearing on the facts of the present case. The sequences and events in the present as noted above are based on different set of facts and the above judgment does not help the respondent in the present case.
6. As opined by the hon’ble court, the cut off date, 01.04.2001 for amendment of pay scale of the post of Joint Director, Prosecution on the basis of the recommendation of the Committee of the Chief Secretary was a conscious decision, the amendment in the pay scale was made following the analogy in the CBI organisation of the Center. When a benefit for the first time is extended to a category of employees, the State can always fix a rational cut off date and it was not obligatory for the State to extend the benefit of analogy of the CBI organisation of the Center
with effect from 01.01.1996 which was the date of the recommendations of the Fifth Pay Commission. The respondent being not covered by the Government order dated 02.02.2007 was rightly informed that he was not entitled for the benefit of amendment in the pay scale he having already retired on 31.01.1997.


DECISION HELD:
The court held that the judgment of the High Court is unsustainable and is hereby set aside. The appeal is allowed.

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