GUJARAT MUNICIPAL AND PANCHAYAT KAMDAR ASSOCIATION Vs. AHMEDABAD MUNICIPAL CORPORATION
LAWS(GJH)-2020-6-414
HIGH COURT OF GUJARAT
Decided on June 09,2020

Gujarat Municipal And Panchayat Kamdar Association Appellant
VERSUS
AHMEDABAD MUNICIPAL CORPORATION Respondents

JUDGEMENT

SANGEETA K.VISHEN,J. - (1.) This petition is filed under Article 226 of the Constitution of India seeking direction to the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation - Respondent No.1 (hereinafter referred to as the 'Respondent Corporation') to extend the benefits of revised pay-scales of Head Clerk of Rs.5000 - 8000 as per the Fifth Pay Commission, with effect from 1st January 1996 and Rs.9300 - 34800 (Grade Pay Rs.4200) as per the Sixth Pay Commission, with effect from 1st January 2006, working with the Respondent Corporation or who were working with the Respondent Corporation. Further direction has been sought for, for the payment of arrears of salaries and retirement benefits in case of the retired / expired Head Clerk, together with 12% simple interest.
(2.) Tersely stated are the facts: - 2.1. According to the petitioner, upon introduction of the Fourth Pay Commission, the State Government in its Finance Department, framed the Gujarat Civil Services (Revision of Pay) Rules, 1987 followed by framing of the Rules called Gujarat Civil Services (Revision of Pay) (Amendment) Rules, 1991 on 20th March 1991, revising the pay-scales of the employees working with the State Government. By virtue of the said Rules of 1991, the cadre of Senior Assistant/Assistant Accountant/Senior Store Keeper/Head Clerk were merged and re-designated as Head Clerk. The cadre of the Head Clerk was then placed in the pay-scale of Rs.1400 - 2600. 2.2 The Respondent Corporation through its Chief Accountant Department, vide circular number 84, dated 20th December, 1996, while considering the Resolutions dated 20th March, 1991 and 9th October, 1992 issued by the State Government, revised the pay-scales of the categories which were in the existence in the Respondent Corporation. By virtue of the said circular number 84 dated 20th December, 1996, the pay-scales of the Cadres (i) Stenographer-II, (ii) X-ray Technician, (iii) Sister In-charge, Home Sister etc. (iv) Staff Nurse, Operation Theater Nurse, (v) Nurse-Midwife, (vi) Compounder, Compounder-cum-Clerk, Junior Pharmacist, (vii) Assistant Engineer, (viii) Additional Assistant Engineer, (ix) Inspector and (x) Sub- Inspector were revised with effect from 1st January 1996 and were placed in the pay-scales at par with the pay-scales admissible to the aforesaid categories working with the State Government. In other words, the benefit of the pay-scales applicable to the employees working with the State Government was made applicable to the aforesaid ten cadres of the Respondent Corporation, except the Head Clerk. 2.3 The State Government implemented Fifth Pay Commission with effect from 1st January, 1996 by framing the Gujarat Civil Services (Revision of Pay) Rules, 1996. As a result whereof, the Respondent Corporation issued a circular number 29 dated 15th October, 1998, whereby, while adopting the revision of the pay-scale effected by the State Government, revised the pay-scales with respect to ten categories; however, the post of Head Clerk was not appearing in the said circular. It is the case of the petitioner that the Respondent Corporation has been adopting the pay-scales provided by the State Government to its employees. It is not disputed that all the employees and officers at all levels have been extended the pay-scales and other benefits at par with the officers and employees working with the State Government. By virtue of the said circular number 29 dated 15th October, 1998, the new revised pay-scale was extended to all the officers on scale to scale basis with effect from 1st January 1996. It is the further case of the petitioner that serial number 11, provided the pay-scale of 1400-40-1800-L.A.-50-2300 and at serial number 12 the pay-scale was of Rs.1400-40-1600-50-2300-L.A.AA.60-2600. 2.4 The Central Government introduced Sixth Pay Commission, which was accepted and implemented by the State Government for its officers and employees with effect from 1st January, 2006, by framing the Gujarat Civil Services (Revision of Pay) Rules, 2006. Consequently, the Respondent Corporation in its Finance Department, vide circular number 36, extended the benefits of Sixth Pay Commission with effect from 1st January, 2006 to all its officers and employees in line with the State Government. 2.5 The existing Head Clerks through the petitioner Union, submitted a representation dated 25th June, 2012 to the Chairman, Standing Committee of Respondent Corporation, inter alia, requesting that the pay-scale of the Head Clerk working with the Respondent Corporation is at a lower side compared to the pay-scales of the Head Clerks working with the State Government, Surat Municipal Corporation and Vadodara Municipal Corporation, and thus, requested that the said issue be considered and the Head Clerks working with the Respondent Corporation may be placed in the pay- scale of Rs.9300 - 34800, Grade Pay of Rs.4200. It was also stated in the representation that nature of duties and responsibilities of the Head Clerks working with the Respondent Corporation are identical to the nature of duties and responsibilities being performed by the Head Clerks working with the Vadodara and Surat Municipal Corporation. 2.6 The Chief Accountant, Finance Department of the Respondent Corporation, submitted a proposal dated 23rd July, 2012 to the Deputy Municipal Commissioner (Finance), inter alia, pointing out the pay-scales existing in the Respondent Corporation visa -vis the pay- scales of the Head Clerks working with the State Government. The Standing Committee of the Respondent Corporation, in its meeting dated 8th May, 2013, vide resolution number 275 resolved that owing to the anomaly prevailing in the pay-scales of the Head Clerks working with the Respondent Corporation and the Head Clerks working with the State Government; the Head Clerks in the administrative cadre working with the Respondent Corporation shall be extended the pay- scale of Rs.9300 - 34800, Grade Pay Rs.4200, as per the pay-scale fixed by the State Government for the Head Clerks working with it. 2.7 The Chief Accountant, Finance Department of the Respondent Corporation, accordingly, issued a circular number 10, dated 10th May, 2013, inter alia, stating that as resolved by the Standing Committee vide its resolution number 275 dated 8th May, 2013, Head Clerks of the administrative cadre be placed in the pay-scale of Rs.9300 - 34800, grade pay Rs.4200 instead of pay-scale of Rs.5200 - 20200, grade pay Rs.2800 with effect from 1st April, 2013. 2.8 The General Board of the Respondent Corporation in its meeting, vide resolution number 363, dated 28th June, 2013 approved the resolution number 275 dated 8th May, 2013 passed by the Standing Committee with a minor modification that the effect of implementation be given not from 1st April, 2013, but from 1st January, 2013. The Chief Accountant, Finance Department, vide its circular number 37 dated 13th August, 2013 resolved that the difference for the three months i.e. from 1st January, 2013 to 31st March, 2013, be released in favour of the Head Clerks working with the Respondent Corporation. 2.9 Since the benefits were extended only qua the existing Head Clerks working with the Respondent Corporation, the retired Head Clerks, through Ahmedabad Municipal Pensioners' Association (hereinafter referred to as "the Association"), in the interregnum submitted a representation dated 2nd August, 2013 to the Municipal Commissioner, Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation, inter alia, requesting to remove the anomaly and revise their pay-scales as well; in line with the revision extended to the existing Head Clerks by placing them in the pay-scale of Rs.9300 - 34800, Grade Pay Rs.4200 instead of the pay-scale of Rs.5200 - 20200 plus Grade pay Rs.2800 and give the pensionary benefits accordingly. 2.10 The Standing Committee of the Respondent Corporation in its meeting, dated 28th February, 2014 vide resolution number 2137 resolved that the Head Clerks working with the administrative cadre of the Respondent Corporation and who have retired or who have passed away on or after 1st January, 2006 be placed in the pay-scale of Rs.9300 - 34800, Grade Pay Rs.4200 at par with the employees working with the State Government. The Finance Department of the Respondent Corporation, while indicating the financial burden, sought the sanction to the effect that the benefits of the pay-scales be extended only for the purpose of pension and not for other retirement dues to the employees who have retired. It also provided that necessary permission be granted to extend the benefits to the Head Clerks working on the administrative side and have retired during the period from 1st January, 2006 to 31st December, 2012 with effect from 1st March, 2014. 2.11 The General Board of the Respondent Corporation, in its meeting dated 27th June, 2014 resolved vide its resolution number 54 that the Head Clerks working on the administrative side and who have retired after 1st January, 2006 or have expired, be extended the pay- scale of Rs.9300 - 34800, grade pay Rs.4200 with effect from 1st January, 2013. The Finance Department of the Respondent Corporation, vide circular number 31, dated 4th August, 2014 passed consequential orders releasing benefit of differential amount. 2.12 During the year 2015, the Gujarat Municipal and Panchayat Kamdar Association made another representation to the Respondent Corporation, inter alia, informing that the anomaly in the pay-scales of the Head Clerks working in the administrative wing of the Respondent Corporation, which has been rectified was prevailing since inception i.e. from the year 1st January, 1996 and not from 1st January 2006. The Association requested that the Head Clerks of the administrative wing be extended Fifth Pay Commission and Sixth Pay Commission with effect from 1st January, 1996 and 1st January, 2006 respectively, as per the revised scales; after removing the anomaly.
(3.) The Respondent Corporation while removing the anomaly in the pay-scales, placed the Head Clerks in the pay-scale of Rs.9300-34800, Grade Pay Rs.4200, giving effect of rectification from 1st January, 2013 instead of 1st January, 2006 and thus, the present petition with the aforementioned prayers.;


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