SUDIP GOSWAMI Vs. STATE OF TRIPURA
HIGH COURT TRIPURA
STATE OF TRIPURA
Click here to view full judgement.
AKIL KURESHI,CJ. -
(1.)Leave to amend the petition by producing impugned order dated 30.09.2019 rejecting the representation of the petitioner. Petitioner to carry out the amendment in the prayer clause as well as annex it.
(2.)The petitioner is the employee of Government of Tripura. He had entered his service under the Health and Family Welfare Department as Senior Technician. Over the period of time the petitioner was granted promotions. By an order dated 11.05.2017 the petitioner has been promoted to the post of Superintendent of Central Workshop (GroupB Gezetted). The said post carries the pay scale in the Pay Band3 of Rs.10,230 34,800 with Grade Pay of Rs.4,800. The case of the petitioner is that similar post of Maintenance Superintendent under the Department of Home (Fire Service) carries the pay scale in the Pay Band4 of Rs.15,60039,100 with Grade Pay of Rs.6,600. The petitioner therefore contends that the post of Superintendent of Central Workshop should also be granted the said higher pay scale which is prescribed for the post of Maintenance Superintendent under the Department of Home (Fire Service). According to the petitioner, both the posts are to be filled by way of promotion from the respective feeder cadres which carry identical pay scales. The educational qualifications required for both posts are similar. The duties and responsibilities of the both posts are also identical. On these grounds the petitioner requests pay parity.
(3.)Previously on the same grounds the petitioner had approached the Court by filing writ petition No.220 of 2018. This petition was dismissed by the learned Single Judge by a judgment dated 09082018. In the said decision in a detailed consideration the learned Judge compared the recruitment Rules for the respective posts as also the grounds of discrimination raised by the petitioner. The learned Judge was of the opinion that the principle of equal pay for equal work flowing from Article 14 and 39(d) of the Constitution of India is not attracted in the present case. It was observed that the posts are different with different conditions of service and responsibilities. The posts are also part of the different departments of the Government. The following observations of the said decision can be noted.
"7. I have heard counsel for the parties and with their assistance perused the materials available on record. The facts are not in dispute that the post held by the petitioner of Superintendant for Central Workshop is in (GroupB Gazetted) and regulated by the separate set of Rules which has been framed by the State Government in exercise of powers conferred under proviso to Art.309 of the Constitution of India vide notification dt.16th October, 2014 which lays down the duties assigned to the post of Superintendant for Central Workshop.
8. At the same time, the post of Maintenance Superintendant with which a parity has been claimed by the petitioner is in the department of Fire Services and service conditions are separately regulated by the Rules framed by the State Government under proviso to Art.309 of the Constitution of India vide its notification dt.22nd April, 1987 read with later amendment dt.3rd June, 1988. The only common feature between the two respective posts appears to be that both are in (GroupB Gazetted).
9. The "onus of proof " of parity in the duties and responsibilities of the subject post with the reference post, under the principle of "equal pay for equal work ", lies on the person who claims it and who approaches the Court has to establish, that the subject post occupied by him, requires him to discharge equal work of equal value, as that of the reference post. It has been settled that the principle of "equal pay for equal work " applies to cases of unequal scales of pay, based on no classification or irrational classification. For equal pay, the employees with whom equation is sought should be performing work, which besides being functionally equal, should be of the same quality and sensitivity. At the very situation, where a person holding the post of his common nomenclature, but working in different departments having dissimilar powers, duties and responsibilities, indisputably can be placed in different pay scales and one cannot claim the benefit of principle of "equal pay for equal work ".
10. The paramount consideration is the equality of functions and responsibilities under the principle of "equal pay for equal work " and the duties of the two posts should be of equal sensitivity and also qualitatively and the valid classification, pay differentiation would be legitimate and permissible. In the instant case, the onus of proof on the shoulder of the petitioner which he was unable to discharge.
11. The question emerges as to whether in the present set of facts which has been noticed by this Court the principle of "equal pay for equal work " as prayed for by the petitioner has any application. It is indeed a settled principle that Art.14 would apply only when invidious discrimination is meted out of equal and similarly circumstanced without any rational basis or relationship in that behalf analyzing the matter, this Court is of the opinion that no parity could be claimed and the principle of equal pay for equal work as prayed for by the petitioner has no application in the facts of the instant case.
12. The judgment on which the petitioner has placed reliance in Randhir Singh (supra) is a case where the employees were working as a driver constable discharging similar duties but working in different departments and the question emerged for consideration was that when all were working as driver constables with similar duties there could not be any disparity in their pay scale. In the later judgment cited by the petitioner in State of Punjab and Others (supra), the issue which arose for consideration was as to whether the temporarily engaged employees in various capacities are entitled to minimum of the regular pay scale on account of their performing the same duties which are discharged by those engaged on regular basis, against sanctioned posts, which is not the facts situation in the instant case. Either of the judgment placed reliance by the petitioner is of no assistance. "
Copyright © Regent Computronics Pvt.Ltd.