GENERAL MANAGER Vs. SURENDRA JAL
LAWS(ORI)-2020-8-10
HIGH COURT OF ORISSA
Decided on August 19,2020

GENERAL MANAGER Appellant
VERSUS
Surendra Jal Respondents

JUDGEMENT

MOHAMMAD RAFIQ, B. R. SARANGI,JJ. - (1.) The petitioners, who are the authorities of railway administration, have filed this writ petition to quash the order dated 27.08.2019 passed by the Central Administrative Tribunal, Cuttack Bench, Cuttack in O.A. No. 260/16/2018, by which the tribunal has directed to consider the case of the opposite parties no 1 to 8 for promotion to the post of Goods Guard with effect from a date prior to 28.07.2016 but after the date of completion of their training i.e., 15.07.2016, so as to avoid disparity in their pay fixation under the Railway Services (Revised Pay) Rules, 2016.
(2.) The factual matrix of the case, in hand, is that the petitioners were the respondents and opposite parties no. 1 to 8 were the applicants before the Central Administrative Tribunal. The opposite parties no.1 to 8, who were working as Token Porters under the petitioners, had participated in the Departmental Examination for promotion to the post of Goods Guards in PB-1 Rs.5200-20200/- with GP 2800/- against 60% departmental promotion quota and they were included in the provisional panel for such promotion vide panel dated 15.01.2016. The opposite parties no. 1 to 8, along with other selected candidates, were released for training, vide order dated 04.03.2016, as such training was required for promotion to the post of Goods Guard and after successful completion of the training, the opposite parties no.1 to 8 were posted as Goods Guard, vide order dated 11.08.2016, and they joined as such under the Sambalpur Division. 2.1 The railway authorities revised the salary structure of their employees on the basis of the recommendation of the 7th CPC by notifying the Railway Services (Revised Pay) Rules, 2016 (hereinafter referred to as "Rules, 2016"), vide notification dated 28.07.2016, giving effect from 01.01.2016. The opposite parties no. 1 to 8 are aggrieved by the manner in which the petitioners fixed their revised pay as per the Rules, 2016 w.e.f. 01.01.2016 when they were continuing as Token Porter, i.e., in the lower posts because of which their pay on promotion to the cadre of Goods Guard was fixed at a lower level. The opposite parties no. 1 to 8 exercised their option under Rule-5 of the Rules, 2016 to continue to draw pre-revised pay scale till the date of their promotion, i.e. 11.08.2016, but exercise of such option was rejected by the petitioners, vide order dated 02.08.2017. 2.2 Being aggrieved, the opposite parties no. 1 to 8 approached the Central Administrative Tribunal, Cuttack Bench, Cuttack to quash the order dated 02.08.2017 and sought direction to revise their scale of pay on the basis of option exercised by them in terms of Rules-5 and 6 of the Rules, 2016, i.e., from the date they got promotion to the post of Goods Guard and extend all consequential service benefits as due and admissible to them within a reasonable time. After due adjudication, the Central Administrative Tribunal, Cuttack Bench, Cuttack directed the railway authorities to consider the case of the opposite parties no 1 to 8 for promotion to the post of Goods Guard with effect from a date prior to 28.07.2016 but after the date of completion of their training i.e., 15.07.2016, so as to avoid the disparity in their pay fixation under the Rules, 2016, as other employees, who had been selected for promotion on the basis of same examination along with opposite parties no. 1 to 8, but promoted on 09.05.2016 due to earlier completion of their training. Essentially, the opposite parties no. 1 to 8 seek the benefit of revised scale of pay antedating the date of promotion from 11.08.2016 to any date prior to 28.07.2016 as per the provisions of law. Instead of considering their case on the basis of direction issued by the Central Administrative Tribunal for antedating the date of promotion of the opposite parties no. 1 to 8 prior to 28.07.2016, the petitioners have approached this Court by filing this application.
(3.) Mr. S. Mishra, learned counsel appearing for the petitioners contended that the tribunal has committed grave error of fact and law, inasmuch as although it has observed in paragraph-9 of the order impugned that the point of consideration was whether under the first proviso to Rule-5 the opposite parties no. 1 to 8 are entitled to exercise their option to continue in the existing pre-revised scale till the date of their promotion, i.e. 11.08.2016, as claimed by them, but in paragraph-10, the tribunal has held that the petitioners have rightly applied the second proviso to Rule-5 while refusing the benefit of exercising the option under Rule-5, since the date of promotion of opposite parties no.1 to 8 was after the date of issuance of the notification of Rules, 2016 on 28.07.2016. Therefore, the tribunal, while agreeing with facts and law pleaded by the petitioners, rejected the plea of the opposite parties no. 1 to 8 to quash the order dated 02.08.2017, but directed the petitioners to revise the scale of pay of opposite parties no. 1 to 8 on the basis of the option exercised by them in terms of Rules 5 and 6 of the Rules, 2016 i.e., from the date the opposite parties no. 1 to 8 completed training on 15.07.2016 and entitled to get promotion to the post of Goods Guard and extend all consequential service benefits as due and admissible to them. It is further contended that opposite parties no. 1 to 8 were promoted on 11.08.2016 after 28.07.2016, therefore, they are not eligible to switch over to the revised pay structure, thereby, their option was not considered as per Rules, 2016. It is further contended that the opposite parties no. 1 to 8, along with other employees who had taken part in the selection process and also appeared and passed the same examination, but they had to undergo training as per rules and at the first chance orders of promotion were issued on 09.05.2016 and 15.06.2016 in respect of those who had cleared up the training at first instance and allowed to enjoy the benefit under Rule-5 of the Rules, 2016, but the opposite parties no.1 to 8 were declared fail in the training in the first chance and directed to go for repeat training and were declared pass, except Prafulla Nayak, on 15.07.2016, which order was received on 21.07.2016. Thereafter, the department processed the posting of seven opposite parties, which was approved on 11.08.2016, but Prafulla Nayak was sent for repeat training again and he could pass as per letter dated 08.09.2016, which was received on 22.09.2016, and accordingly he was posted in promotional post. Therefore, it is contended that the tribunal has committed grave error, apparent on the face of record, by issuing such direction to consider the case of the opposite parties no. 1 to 8 for promotion to the post of Goods Guard with effect from the date prior to 28.07.2016, but after completion of their training i.e. 15.07.2016 so as to avoid disparity of pay fixation of the opposite parties no. 1 to 8 under Rules, 2016. ;


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