Decided on March 21,2016

Gujarat State Extension Educator Mahamandal Appellant


ANANT S.DAVE, J. - (1.) This appeal under Clause 15 of the Letters Patent arise out of oral judgment dated April 18/21, 1994 delivered in Special Civil Application No.3388 of 1981 by learned Single Judge whereby prayer of the petitioners to issue writ of mandamus or any other appropriate writ order or direction to the respondents to continue to give the petitioners the pay scale of Rs.550­ 900 and to desist respondents from recovering any amount from the petitioners on the ground that giving of pay scale of Rs.550­900 is not justifiable in view of Pay Rules, 1975, came to be rejected.
(2.) Learned Single Judge, after adverting to the prayer, as above in the context of the subject writ petition framed a question for determination in the writ petition in exercise of powers under Article 226 of the Constitution of India that 'whether the fixation of lower pay scale for the employees belonging to the cadre of Social Worker and others not holding Master's degree in Social Welfare or equivalent qualification, is violative of Articles 14 and 16 of the Constitution of India, when a higher grade is fixed for employees belonging to the same cadre but holding Post Graduate degree. 2.1 The learned Single Judge after tracing out the history of framing of recruitment rules, viz. The Gujarat Panchayats Service [Classification and Recruitment] Rules, 1967 and amended from time to time, which were preceded by the Government Resolution of Health and Family Welfare, State of Gujarat dated July 6, 1964 implementing the family planning scheme and qualification prescribed for recruitment to the said post viz. Social Worker having Master Degree in Social Welfare [MSW] or Master of Arts with Sociology or Bachelor of Arts with Social Science or other graduation and appointment of petitioners as Social Workers in the pay scale of Rs.195­10­245 purely on temporary basis under the Director of Medical Health Services vide order dated January 9, 1965, ultimately held that grant of higher pay scale to the Social Workers holding degree of MSW cannot be said to be arbitrary in any manner and nothing was brought on record of the case to indicate that the recommendations are made by the Pay Commission were based on extraneous considerations and finally prayer of the petitioners to continue pay scale of Rs.550­ 900 came to be rejected as admittedly none of the petitioners was holding degree of MSW or equivalent. 2.2 Inter alia, learned Single Judge permitted the State Government to recover differential amount of the salary in excess paid to the petitioners, who were not entitled to claim and receive pay scale of Rs.550­900.
(3.) Shri D.N.Pandya, learned counsel appearing of the appellant, would contend that petitioners were appointed by the respondents after following due procedure of selection and granted pay scale of 195­10­245 as they were fulfilling the eligibility criteria for appointment to the post of Social Worker / Extension Educator. That all the petitioners were graduates and performing their duties after the appointment without any complaints or grievances from the higher authority. It is further submitted that differentiation in pay scales of Rs.195­245 and 145­185 respectively to be given to the holder of the degree of MSW or equivalent viz. Post Graduation qualification and ordinary graduation, was arbitrary, discriminatory and unreasonable and, therefore, violative of Articles 14 and 16 of the constitution of India. It is further contended that Sarela Pay Commission while revising pay scale of Social Worker holding Post Graduate degree as well as other graduate degrees placed them in one group for the purpose of pay fixation, while, subsequently the pay scales were revised by State Government for the employees viz. Social Workers holding post graduate degree and appointed prior to June, 1967 in the grade of Rs.195­10­245, the grade of Rs.200­430 was recommended whereas for the Social Workers holding graduate degrees who were appointed before June 1, 1967 in the grade of Rs.145­8­185, the grade of Rs.200­310 was recommended. 3.1 According to Mr. Pandya, learned counsel for the appellants, difference was made in the pay scale of graduates and post graduates by the Sarela pay commission, but no mention was made with regard to those appointees appointed before June, 1967 and were given pay scale of Rs.195­ 245. 3.2 It is further submitted that in the year 1972 when Second Pay Commission known as 'Desai Pay Commission' recommended higher pay scale for the post graduates viz. Rs.550­900 and for others recommendations were made for pay scale of Rs.425­700. This difference was clearly based on educational qualifications held by respective appointees holding post graduation and graduation qualifications. Though appellants were holding graduate degrees, they were continued to be paid revised pay scale of Rs.550­900 on par with pay scale fixed for post graduates and, therefore, discontinuing their pay scale after so many years by the respondent authorities amounts reversion without hearing them and was illegal and, therefore, not accepting the prayer of the petion3ers, learned Single Judge has committed error. It is further submitted that when pay scale was given to the petitioners on par with post graduate Social Workers from 1965­81 effect of recovery of excess payment of salary was bad in law as pay scale was not given due to any misleading act or misrepresentation on the part of the petitioner employees. It is submitted that when higher amount of pay scale is given either due to mistake or misinterpretation of relevant rules or Government Resolution by the employer, no recovery could be effected. It is, therefore, submitted that the impugned judgment deserves to be quashed and set aside. Learned counsel for the appellants has relied on order dated 11.03.2005 passed by Division Bench of this Court in the case of State of Gujarat vs. S.V.Shah in Letters Patent Appeal No.562 of 1996. ;

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