Decided on July 20,1999

Mohammad Sultan Khan Appellant


Syed Bashir-Ud-Din, J. - (1.) Petitioner was appointed as Chowkidar in the grade of 65.2.95 on work charge basis in Power Development Department vide Chief Engineer's Order No. 282/CEE dated 17-3-1970. Subsequently, the Executive Engineering Plant-cum-Inspectorate Division Srinagar, asked the petitioner to perform duties as Wireman on 23-1-1972, which action was confirmed by Superintending Engineering Electric and Maintenance Circle on 25-11-1972. The services of the petitioner were brought on regular temporary cadre on 4-8-1980 with protection of pay under orders of Chief Engineer (Annexure P1) Photostat extract of service book entries of petitioner). Petitioner alleges that despite the post of Wireman being brought on regular temporary cadre, petitioner is not paid as Wireman, but as lineman. Lineman carries lesser grade than the Wireman. The two are different posts borne on the service cadre of Power Development Department. The petitioner despite being designated as Wireman way back in the year 1972, has not been paid as Wireman at any point of time hereto, in the grade attached to the post. Instead to date he has been paid only the pay and scale of Lineman. He has made representation before the authorities. There has been no response by the latter. Withholding the pay of the post of Wireman as per SRO 381 of 1981 is unfair and illegal. The J. and K. PDD Subordinate Service Recruitment Rules of 1981 (hereinafter rules of 1981), have been violated in so far as the grade and pay scale attached to the post of Wireman has been denied to the petitioner alone, when other Wireman have been paid in Wireman's grade. Petitioner having, same status, nature and condition of work and to perform same duties as other Wireman, cannot be deprived of the pay and emoluments attached to the post of Wireman in terms of the above rules.
(2.) Petitioner prays for mandamus for release of pay and emoluments in the pay sale of 950- 1500 (pre-revised) attached to the post of Wireman from the date of his appointment with other consequential promotional benefits.
(3.) The respondents in reply have not refuted petitioner's appointment initially as Chowkidar and subsequently being directed to perform duties as Wireman later on confirmed by the Superintending Engineer. It is not also denied that the petitioner's services were converted into regular temporary cadre by the then Chief Engineer. However, the respondents' case is that when the petitioner's services were converted from work charge establishment to regular establishment, petitioner was not given the grade of Wireman, since he did not possess the prescribed academic and technical qualification viz. Middle pass and ITI certificates. Petitioner is illiterate, Petitioner has been regularised as Lineman and not as Wireman. Petitioner never held the post of Wireman, therefore, he is not entitled to the grade and pay scale attached to the post of Wireman. Since August 1973, petitioner on transfer from Plant-cum-Inspectorate Division Srinagar to Electric Maintenance Division Baramulla, has always worked as Lineman till date. Since 1973 till 1994 petitioner has not challenged his appointment, working and getting the pay and emoluments as Lineman of PDD. Claiming the grade at such distant point of time is hit by doctrine of delay and laches. The petitioner is not even otherwise entitled to the pay scale of Wiremen as he is not having the prescribed qualification and eligibility as Wireman.;

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