D RAMANATH Vs. STATE
LAWS(APH)-1971-2-10
HIGH COURT OF ANDHRA PRADESH
Decided on February 25,1971

D.RAMANATH Appellant
VERSUS
STATE Respondents

JUDGEMENT

- (1.) The petitioners are members of the Andhra Pradesh Medical Service, who under Rule 13 of the said Service, are not allowed to engage themselves in private practice. In the Medical Service it seems there have been two categories of Medical Officers -One who could engage themselves in private practice and the other who could not do so. Prior to G O.Ms. No. 2070 dt. 19-10-1968 officers who were not allowed to engage in private practice were paid a compensatory allowance which ranged from Rs. 80/- to Rs. 100/- per month, In some cases this allowance was paid as Compensatory Allowance while in some cases a separnte pay scale was prescribed for those who are not allowed to engage in private practice. It may be stated at this stage that by G.O.Ms. No. 1772, Health, dt. 21-11-1955 the Government granted non-practising allowance of Rs. 200/- to Professors in Forensic Medicine and to Chemical Examiners in addition to Rs. 100/- paid as part of the pay in excess of trie pay of the clinical professors. As the Government did not grant the said amount of Rs. 200/- to the other non clinical professors, they were peritted to engage themselves in consultation practice like the clinical teaching staff. While the matters stood thus, the Government considered the question of putting of ban on all the Medical Officers from their engaging themselves in private practice. With this end in view they issued G.O.Ms. No. 2070 Health, dt. 19-1-1968. By this G.O. Rule 13 of the A. P. Medical Service Rules was amended to read that all the members of the Medical and Health Services are totally debarred from engaging themselves in private practice including 'consultation practice'. To compensate the persons affected by this ban from engaging themselves in private practice, the Government jn paragraph 3 of the G.O. granted a special allowance at the following rates :- Amount of Special allowance. Maximum limit. (1) All Class I Officers including Director of Medical &Health Services, Addl. Director of Medical & Health Services Dy, Pirector of M & H Services, Civil Surgeons and Clinical Professors. 50% of their basic pay. Rs. 500/- p.m (2) Asst. Surgeons, Health Officers and other officers working in similar and equivalent posts 331/3% of their basic pay subject to revision after further consideration". Rs. 250/-p.m.
(2.) A further reading of this paragraph shows that in cases where already a higher scale of pay was prescribed to certain categories as the Officers in those categories were not allowed private practice, a methdd was also evolved at which the allowance has to be calculated; In this G.O. while fixing the special allowance to the Assistant Surgeons, Health Officers etc., it was stated that it was subject to revision after further consideration. Later on the Government revised the special allowance payable to this category and increased it to 50% of their basic pay and fixed the maximum limit at Rs; 300/ p. m. By virtue of this G.O the Medical Officers who were already in the category of those persons who were not allowed to engage them selves in private practice also get the special allowance fixed by this G.O. in accordance with the category in which they came under the G.O. The Government by G.O.Ms. No. 1028 dt. 28-4-1970 after a review of the working on the ban on consultation practice, decided to lift the ban with effect from 1-5-1970 and to restore the status quo ante, i. e. the position obtaining as on 31-10-1968 in regard to consultation practice. They therefore ordered that the position obtaining on 31-10-1968 in regard to consultation practice shall stand restored with effect on and from 1-5-1970. In paragraph 4 the following provision was made. "The medical Officers in the Andhra Pradesh Medical and Health Services who were drawing the non-practising allowance as on 31-10-1968 shall draw the said allowance at the same rates as on that day with effect from 1-5-1970". It is this paragraph 4 of the aforesaid G. 0. that is being questioned in this writ petition; The case of the petitioners is that by virtue of G. 0. Ms. No 2070 dt. 19-10-1968 a special allowance was fixed to compensate persons who would not be allowed to engage themselves in private practice. In other words the Government by that G. 0. determined that persons who would not be allowed to engage themselves in private practice should be paid a compensatory allowance of Rs. 500/ or Rs. 300/- as the case may be as provided for in that G.O. After G.O.Ms. No. 2070 was issued, the classification existing between the Medical Officers viz., those who were prohibited from engaging in private practice was done away with and all of them were put in one class by prohibiting all of them from engaging in private practice. When the status quo ante was restored by virtue of G.O.Ms No. 1028 dt. 28-4-1970 two classes were restored one class of persons were allowed to engage in private practice and the other class of persons were not allowed to do so. The compensatory allowance that is paid to persons who are not allowed to engage in private practice is to equalise the benefits with which the persons who are allowed to engage in private practice have. That being the purpose in granting the compensatory allowance when the status quo ante was restored on 28-4-1970, the Government should have fixed the compensatory allowance at the scale mentioned in G. O. Ps. No 2070 Dt. 19-10-68 as that was the compensation which a Medical Officer not allowed to engage himself in private practice is entitled to get. In other words, according to the Government, by virtue of the aforesaid G.O. persons who are not allowed to engage in private practice suffer a loss to the tune of the amounts mentioned in that G. O. If the intention of payment of compensatory allowance being to equalise their emoluments and benefits of Officers who were allowed to engage in private practice and those who are not allowed to do so; there is no criteria on the basis of which the Government could have reached the conclusion in the year 1970 that those who are not allowed to engage in private practice would suffer a lesser loss than those who were allowed in 1968.
(3.) The learned counsel for the Government justifies the reversion to the earlier scale on the ground that the medical officers like the petitioners at the time when G. 0. Ms. No. 2070 dt. 19-10-1958 was pased were already in the category of Medical Officers who are allowed to engage in private practice. The compensatory allowance that was fixed in G. O. Ps. No. 2070 was fixed after taking into consideration the loss that may be suffered by the Medical Officers who till then had been allowed to engage in private practice. That special allowance was not at all fixed after takiny into consideration persons like the petitioners. Therefore, if by virtue of G. O. Ms. No 1028 persons like the petitioners are relegated to the position before 1-11-1968 they cannot have any complaint and it cannot be said that they have suffered any loss.;


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