Decided on September 23,1983

STATE Respondents


S.A.SHAH - (1.) This is a petition filed by Government servants of the Public Works Department claiming minimum of time-scale of the cadre of Deputy Engineer when they were promoted to the cadre of Deputy Engineer. The grievance appears to be that instead of giving them minimum of the time-scale which was at that time Rs. 220.00 they were given Rs. 200.00 per month which was the salary fixed for the probationers who were directly recruited to the post of Deputy Engineer P.W.D. Petitioner No. 1 is the recognised association of Deputy Engineers in Gujarat Service of Engineers Class II in the Public Works Department and rest of the petitioners are the persons who are claiming higher initial salary of Rs. 220.00 or revised initial salary of Rs. 300.00 as the case may be. This petition is filed on behalf of the Deputy Engineers who are similarly situated and who are claiming initial pay of Rs. 220.00 instead of Rs. 200.00 granted to them by the Government when they were promoted from the lower cadre of Junior Engineer Supervisor or Overseer as the case may be. The bone of contention is that the time-scale of the Deputy Engineers of the Public Works Department as fixed by various pay-rules was Rs. 220- 15 400 which was thereafter revised to Rs. 300 -25 The contention of the petitioners is that Rs. 220.00 or 300/- as the case may be being the minimum of the time-scale in the cadre of Deputy Engineer must be given to the Deputy Engineers who are promoted to the cadre of Deputy Engineer from substantive posts of Junior Engineer Supervisor or Overseers as the case may be unless he is entitled to a still higher initial time scale as provided in rule 41 of the Bombay Civil Services Rules (hereinafter referred to as BCSR). The contention of the petitioners that instead of granting minimum of time-scale at Rs. 220.00 or Rs. 300 as the case may be the State Government has granted Rs 200 which is designated for. the probationers who are recruited by direct selection. According to the petitioners the action of the State Government in granting the time-scale or the payment for probationers and denying the benefits of atleast minimum of the time-scale is in breach of Rule 41 of BCSR which are admittedly statutory rules made under Article 309 of the Constitution of India.
(2.) Mr. Jadeja learned advocate appearing on behalf of the State Government has raised two contentions against the prayer of the petitioners namely (1) that the petitioners are asking for relief from 1/05/1960 the cause of action for the claims of the petitioners having arisen on that date 30 years have passed petition cannot be entertained by this Court and the demand being stale must be rejected; and (2) that the Government has denied the minimum of time-scale of Rs. 220 on the ground that under the provisions of note 7 to rule 41 of BCSR the initial salary available to the Deputy Engineers (promotees) is that of the probationer and what has been fixed at that time by the Government was in accordance with the rules as they were in existence.
(3.) Now let me examine the contentions of the petitioners subject to the aforesaid two objections raised by the State Government. First of all I will deal with the relevant facts so that the aforesaid two objections can be properly answered. The petition was admitted by this Court in the year 1977. The petition was filed in 1977 because according to the petitioners the State Government which was considering the grievances of the petitioners since beginning had decided the question of initial time-scale only by Government Resolution dated 3/05/1976 which is produced at annexure-H to the petition. However according to the petitioners this resolution satisfies the claim of the petitioners partly. Though the Government has agreed that the offending Government Resolution dated 27/11/1964 should not be made applicable to the promoted Deputy Engineers and as a result of the said decision the pay of the promoted Deputy Engineers should be refixed notionally from 27/11/1964 or the subsequent date of promotion the Government did not agree to make payment of arrears of pay and allowance payable to the petitioners on account of the said revision. In other words the Government accepted that the resolution of 27/11/1964 produced at Annexure-B is. not applicable to the Deputy Engineers i.e. the petitioners and on that basis agreed to refix the salary notionally from 27-11-1964 but the Government refused to pay the arrears without assigning any reasons. According to the petitioners their age-old demand for minimum of time-scale having been kept pending all these years and when the same has been ultimately decided by the Government giving only partial relief the cause of action to approach this Court has arisen only when the Government refused to grant full reliefs to the petitioners by resolution dated 3/05/1976 The petitioners therefore submitted that no question of any delay much less inordinate delay has arisen in this case. The petitioners further submitted that though they were making representations and their case had been properly presented by their association they were kept under the impression that the Government will take final decision especially when a binding judgment of this Court in the case of Revenue Department was pressed into service by the petitioners before the Government. They were assured that the Government will decide their case strictly in accordance with the rules as they were in force from time to time.;

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