HIGH COURT OF MANIPUR
UNION OF INDIA
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KH.NOBIN SINGH, J. -
(1.) Heard Shri Amarjit Naorem, learned counsel appearing for the petitioners and Shri S. Samarjeet, learned CGC for the respondents.
(2.) By this writ petition, the petitioners have prayed for issuing a writ of certiorari to set aside various orders including the order dated 7.10.2009, 19.10.2009, 26.5.2010, 21.3.2016 etc. with respect to first financial up-gradation under ACP in respect of the petitioners and also to issue a writ of mandamus to direct the respondents to grant first financial up-gradation on completion of 12 years of service from the date of remusteration as Havildar/Cipher under the ACP scheme.
(3.) 1. According to the petitioners, after passing their Matriculation (with Science), they were initially enrolled as Riflemen under the Operator Radio Line in Assam Rifles and after they having been selected, they were remustered as Havaldar (Cipher) and underwent necessary training for six months.
3.2. In the year 1996, the Government of India implemented the recommendation of the 5th Pay Commission by which a new benefit known as Assured Career Progression (ACP) was introduced and up-gradation with monetary benefits were given to all the Central Government employees. The recommendation in respect of the ACP was that if any employee or a Government servant had completed 12 years of service in the same grade with no further chance of promotion, a monetary benefit with up-gradation was allowed to such employee.
3.3. The petitioners were entitled to the benefit of 1st ACP on completion of 12 years of service in the same grade of Hav/Cipher as the same benefit had already been granted to other staff of Assam Rifles and accordingly, the petitioner No. 1 submitted a representation dated 20th September, 2016 to the respondent No. 3 stating that "S" cadre qualification was not a condition for grant of ACP and that the 1st ACP was to be granted from the date remustreration as Hav/ Cipher. The petitioners were granted 1st ACP on much delayed date i.e., from the date of "S" Cadre qualification.
3.4. One Hav/Cipher Abdul Bari who is similarly situated with the petitioners, filed a writ petition being W.P. (C) No. (SH) 256 of 2012 in the Meghalaya High Court at Shillong for grant of 1st ACP on completion of 12 years and 2nd MACP (Modified Assured Career Progression) on completion of 20 years from the date of remusteration as Hav/ Cipher. The learned Single Judge of the High Court, relying upon the decision rendered by the High Court of Kerala that the changing of trade in Cipher category through re-musteration is not a promotion and also not a financial up-gradation and therefore, counting of continuous service for financial up-gradation under the ACP scheme should be from the date of remusteration to the lowest rank of Cipher category, allowed the writ petition. Being aggrieved by it, the respondents preferred appeal being WA No.30 of 2013 which was dismissed on 18.11.2014. The Respondent-Union of India preferred Special Leave Appeal being SLP No.13534-13535 of 2015 before the Hon'ble Supreme Court wherein the Hon'ble Supreme Court had upheld the judgment and order passed by the Hon?ble Meghalaya High Court.
3.5. The Director General of Assam Rifles issued an order dated 08.01.2016 conveying approval of competent authority for grant of 1st financial up-gradation under ACP scheme on completion of 12 years of service as Havaldar/Cipher and 2nd financial up-gradation on completion of 20 years of service to implement the judgment and order passed by the Hon'ble High Court of Meghalaya, Shillong. In view of the provisions of Article 141 of the Constitution, the petitioners ought to have been considered for grant of such benefit because the petitioners were similarly situated with him. Accordingly, the petitioner No.1 submitted a representation dated 20.09.2016 praying for review of his pay fixation. Being aggrieved by the inaction on the part of the respondents, the present writ petition has been filed by the petitioners. ;
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