Decided on February 19,2007

UNION OF INDIA Respondents


BADAR DURREZ AHMED, J. - (1.) The petitioner is the All India C.P.W.D Engineers Association through its General Secretary, Sh. S. S. Jaiswal. This petition is directed against the letter dated 02.02.2007 issued by the Ministry of Urban Development, Government of India to the petitioner on the subject of re-verification of membership of the Association. In the impugned letter, it is noted that the petitioner association was recognized for an initial period of two years up to 26.04.2003. It is stated that at the end of the said period the Association was rendered "unrecognized". It is further indicated in the letter that the Association, from that date onwards, did not cooperate in a willing and effective way to provide the necessary credentials to secure recognition under the Central Civil Services (Recognition of Service Association ) Rules, 1993. It was, therefore, notified by the said letter that the petitioner Association remains an independent body and the Government had no further responsibility to transact with the said body.
(2.) The learned counsel appearing on behalf of the petitioner submitted that the question of recognition of service associations is governed by the Central Civil Services (Recognition of Service Association ) Rules, 1993 (hereinafter referred to as the RSA Rules). It was pointed out that as per Rule 5, the conditions for recognition of service association are prescribed. The relevant provision is Rule 5(d)(i), which reads as under:- "5. Conditions for recognition of Service Associations. " A Service Association which fulfills the following conditions may be recognized by the Government, namely:- (d)(i) The Association represents minimum 35 per cent of total number of a category of employees provided that where there is only one Association which commands more than 35 per cent membership, another Association with second highest membership, although less than 35 per cent may be recognized if it commands at least 15 per cent membership; The learned counsel also referred to Rule 6, which deals with conditions subject to which recognition is continued. Rule 7 provides for verification of membership. The said Rule is relevant and, therefore, the same is reproduced herein below:- "7. Verification of Membership. " (1) The Verification of membership for the purpose of recognition of a Service Association shall be done by the Check-Off- System in payrolls at such intervals and in such manner as the Government may by order prescribe. (2) The Government may, at any time, order a special verification of membership if it is of the opinion, after an enquiry, that the Service Association does not have the membership required under sub-clause (i) of Clause (d) of Rule 5." Recognition can be withdrawn in terms of the provisions of Rule 8, which reads as under: "8. Withdrawal of Recognition. " If, in the opinion of the Government, a Service Association recognized under these rules has failed to comply with any of the conditions set out in Rule 5 or Rule 6 or Rule 7, the Government may after giving an opportunity to the Service Association to present its case, withdraw the recognition accorded to such Association."
(3.) It was contended by the learned counsel for the petitioner that as per the rules and the instructions issued under the RSA Rules, the question of verification of membership has to be done by the Ministry/Department concerned on the basis of information submitted by the concerned Drawing and Disbursement Officer (DDO). For this purpose, he referred to the instructions dated 02.12.1993, which were issued in terms of the provisions of Rule 7 (1) of the RSA Rules. Instruction No.2 provides that the details of the consent letter given by the employees, to be associated with a particular association, are to be noted in a register maintained by the DDO in the format indicated in Annexure-I thereto. Instruction No.7 requires the DDO to report to the concerned authority at such intervals, as may be prescribed by the Ministry/Department, details with regard to the total number of persons belonging to each of the service associations. The proforma in which the statement is to be sent is Annexure-II to the said instructions. The proforma contains the following columns:- Serial No., Category, Total Number of Employees in that Category, Name of the Association, Membership as per check-off system and Remarks. The check-off-system of verification is indicated in the Office Memorandum dated 10.03.1995. Paragraph 3.3 of the said Memorandum indicates that Rule 7(i) of the RSA Rules require that verification of membership for the purpose of recognition of a service association through the check-off system shall be done at such intervals and in such manner as the Government may by order prescribe. In this connection, it is clarified in paragraph 3.3 of the said Office Memorandum that the recognition to be granted under the rules through the check- off system would remain initially valid for two years from the date of grant of such recognition.;

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