Decided on April 19,1972



Obul Reddy, J. - (1.) This writ petition came up before one of us (Obul Reddi,J.) sitting single and as it was felt that questions of importance have been raised. the papers were directed to be placed before the Honourable the Chief Justice for orders as to posting before a Bench of two judges. That is how this petition is before us. The questions raised in the writ petition relate to the powers of the Chief Justice under Article 229 of the Constitution and the effect to be given to Rule 19 of the Andhra Pradesh High Court Service Rules, 1959 framed by the Chief Justice with the approval of the Governor of the State.
(2.) The petitioners who are 161 in number, are members of the High Court service belonging to the categories of Bench Clerks Special Clerks Translators, Upper Division Clerks, Lower Division Clerks Typists and certain other categories. They seek a writ of mandamus against the respondents directing them to implement the recommendations of the Honourable the Chief Justice of the High Court of Andhra Pradesh, made to the Government from time to time, the latest of such recommendation being in the month of July, 1969 to fix the pay scales of the various categories to which the petitioners belong in accordance with the scales of pay as revised by the State Government to the corresponding categories detailed in Annexure-III of the Andhra Pradesh Secretariat Service with effect from the date on which those scales were brought into force.
(3.) The case of the petitioners is this : The Government of Andhra Pradesh appointed a One-man Pay Commission in April 1965 for the purpose of making recommendations to the Government with regard to the revision of pay scales of all employees in the various services. The Commission, pursuant to the terms of reference mad,e to it submitted its recommendations in an elaborate report in 1967. The Pay Commission examined the position of the Chief Justice under the Constitution and also evaluated the responsibilities and the work of the posts in the various categories in the High Court service in comparison with similar posts in the Secretariat. The Pay Commission made recommendations stating that the duties and responsibilities of the Bench Clerks and those that belong to that category are similar to the responsibilities and duties of Section Officers in Secretariat and suggested the members belonging to the Bench Clerk category should be given the same revised scale of payas Section Officers, i.e.,Rs.250-15-400-20-500. The Commission also recommended that the Upper Division Clerks of the High Court service should be put in the revised scale of pay of Rs. 140-9-230-EB-10-280 as in the case of Assistants (Upper Division Clerks) in the Secretariat. The Commission, so far as the other categories like Lower Division Clerks, Typists, steno-Typists, Readers, Copyists are concerned recommended the scales of pay, not as obtaining in the Secretariat but in the other Government Offices or Departmental Heads. The Government did not choore to accept the recommendations made by the Pay Commission in so far as its suggestion relating to the payment of Secretariat scales to some of the categories in the High Court service is concerned., and revised the pay scales of the High Court service personnel so as to bring them on par with the scales of pay of the Government servants workirg in offices other than the Secretariat. It is therefore, contended inter alia by the petitioners that whatever might have been the position of the members of the High Court service in the pre-Constitution days, the position has since changed and the Government has no option under Article 229 of the Constitution but to accept the pay scales recommended by the Chief Justice as it is the Chief Justice that is empowered under Article 229 of the Constitution to make rules regarding members of the High Court service in so far as they relate to salaries, allowances, leave or pension subject only to the formal approval of the Governor of the State. It is also urged by them that the G.O. Ms. No. 173 Finance (P.C.) Department dated 13th June, 1969, which fixed the scales of the members of the High Court service on the basis of the report of the One-man Pay Commission, was not issued with the concurrence of the Chief Justice and therefore the Government in view of the provisions of Article 229 is bound to give effect to the. recommendations made by the Chief Justice.;

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