Decided on August 23,2007

UNION OF INDIA Respondents


- (1.) The petitioners are OT Technicians working in Lady Hardinge Medical College. Before the implementation of 5th Central Pay Commission recommendations, they were placed in the pay scale of Rs.1200-2040. The Laboratory Technicians working in the hospitals were getting pay scale of Rs.1320-2040. These OT Technicians therefore represented before 5th Pay Commission for grant of same pay scale as given to Laboratory Technicians on the ground that they were discharging similar duties. 5th Pay Commission went into this aspect and in its report recommended same pay scale as given to Laboratory Technicians, namely, Rs.5000-8000 (revised scale of Rs.1600-2660 which scale was given to the Laboratory Technicians prior to its revision). The operative portion of the said recommendation contained in para 52.78 reads as under :- "The Administrative Ministry have observed that, there is similarity in the training, qualification and recruitment rules among the laboratory technical staff and the O.T. Technical Staff. In view of comparable qualifications and duties, we recommend parity of O.T. Technicians and Lab Technicians at the initial levels also. Accordingly, the following grades are proposed for O.T.staff in future. i) OT Attendant Rs.750-940 with 2 ACP levels of Rs.775-1025 and Rs.800-1150 with minimum 8th Standard qualification, at entry; ii) OT Assistant Rs.950-1500 with 2 ACP levels of Rs.1200-2040 and Rs. 1400- 2300 with minimum qualification of matric (with Science) plus certificate or 10+2 with Science for direct recruitment; and iii) OT Technician- Rs.1600-2660 with 2 ACP levels of Rs.1640-2900 and Rs.2000- 3500 with minimum B.Sc. plus Diploma/Certificate in the relevant subjects. The existing incumbents in each organization in operation theaters as well as sterlisation services will be placed in appropriate matching pay scales."
(2.) This recommendation was accepted by the Government. The pay scale of petitioners and other similarly situated persons was fixed in the revised scale of Rs.5000-8000 vide orders dated 22nd December, 1998 and the petitioners were enjoying the scale for quite some time. However, sometime in the year 2005, the respondents took the view that the petitioners herein were not entitle to the revised pay scale of Rs.5000-8000, inasmuch as, as per the recommendations of 5th Central Pay Commission that pay scale was to be granted only to those OT Technicians who were having a minimum qualification of BSc. plus diploma/certificate in the relevant subjects. Show-cause notices were issued to the petitioners and thereafter, petitioners were placed in the pay scale of Rs.4000-6000. Challenging the said order of the respondents, petitioners preferred the application under Section 19 of the Administrative Tribunal Act which has been dismissed by the Tribunal vide orders dated 3rd August, 2006 and impugning these orders, present writ petition is filed.
(3.) Perusal of the order of the Tribunal would show that Tribunal was of the opinion that the higher pay scales were recommended by the Central Pay Commission only with the condition that it would be admissible to those who were having the higher qualification of BSc. plus diploma/certificate in the relevant subjects. This conclusion is contained in para 15 of the impugned judgment which is to the following effect :- "We have heard the rival contentions of both the parties and have considered all aspects of the case in view of the directions of the Hon'ble Supreme Court. It is not in dispute that there are number of posts and categories of posts for which higher pay scales are recommended by the Central Pay Commission but with certain conditions like higher qualification etc. It is also not in dispute that once the recommendations of the Central Pay Commission are accepted by the Government, sometime even with modification, only then the pay scales would become admissible to the concerned employees. In the instant case, there is no doubt that higher pay scale of Rs.5000-8000 could have been granted only to those OT Technicians who possessed the prescribed qualification. Since the revised pay scale of Rs.5000-8000 was erroneously granted to the employees of one institution, namely Lady Hardinge Medical College, withdrawal of the pay scale by way of rectification cannot be said to be unjustified nor can an erroneously granted pay scale become the basis for grant of the same scale to the employees of other institution, namely the Safdarjung Hospital.";

Click here to view full judgement.
Copyright © Regent Computronics Pvt.Ltd.