S.C.AGRAWAL, J. -
(1.)THESE specials one directed against the judgement of the learned Single Judge dated July 19, 1983. By the judgement aforesaid, the learned Single Judge has disposed of four writ petitions, namely, S.B. Civil Writ Petition No. 925 of 1981 R.P. Chhabra v. State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur, S.B. Civil Writ Petition No. 982 of 1981 Nand Lal Sharma v. State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur, S.B. Civil Writ Petition No. 1021 of 1981 SBBJ Officers' Organisation v. State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur and SB Civil Writ Petition No. 509 of 1983 Prahlad Rai Khemka v. State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur.
(2.)IN these writ petitions, the petitioners had challenged the validity of the Regulations 6 and 7 of the State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur (Officers) Service Regulations, 1979 (hereinafter referred to as 'the Regulations) as well as the circulars dated 14th August, 1980 and 19th May, 1981 issued by the State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur (hereinafter referred to as 'the Bank'). The learned Single Judge has upheld the validity of the impugned Regulations but has quashed the circulars dated 14th August, 1980 and 19th May, 1981 on the ground that they are violative of the provisions of Articles 14 and 16(1) of the Constitution. Being aggrieved by the aforesaid judgment, the Bank has filed Special Appeals Nos. 276 to 279 of 1983 in the four writ petitions and three of the petitioners in the writ petitions have filed Special Appeals Nos. 320 of 1983, 331 of 1983, 336 of 1983.
The Bank is a subsidiary bank of the State Bank of India and is governed by the provisions of the State Bank of India (Subsidiary Bank) Act, 1959 (hereinafter referred to as 'the Act'). Since 1st January, 1970 the Bank was having the following grades for its Officers: Post Pay ScaleGeneral Manager 1800 -2200Assistant General Manager 1725 -2100Officers 'A' Grade 1200 -1950Officers Grade I 500 -1350Officers Grade II 500 -10303
Promotion from Officers Grade II to Officers Grade I was made on the basis of a written test and interview. In the year 1973 the Government of India appointed a Committee, with Prof. V.R. Pillai, as the Chairman, known as the Pillai Committee, to enquire into and make recommendations, inter alia, on the principles that should govern the structure & pay scales of the Officers of the then 14 nationalised banks and to suggest such changes in the then existing structure as may be necessary to bring about standardisation of organisational structures and pay scales etc. The Pillai Committee found that there was a large diversity in the organisation of 14 nationalised banks and that the grade structure and pay scales showed considerable variance from bank to bank and there were large differences in categorisation of jobs of similar responsibilities. The Pillai Committee, therefore, involved a standardised grade structure passed on the identification of broad levels of responsibilities in the Officer cadres and recommended the following grades and scales for the officers:
Grades ScalesTop Executive VII 3000 -125 -3500VI 2750 -125 -3250Senior Management V 2500 -100 -2700IV 2000 -100 -2400Middle Management III 1800 -75 -2250II 1200 -70 -1550 -75 -2000Junior Management I 700 -40 900 -50 -1100 EB1200 -60 -1800
Although the aforesaid recommendations of the Pillai Committee were not applicable to the Bank and other Subsidiary Banks of State Bank of India, but all the subsidiary banks of State Bank of India including the Bank, adopted the said recommendations of the Pillai Committee and in the light of the recommendations of the Pillai Committee, the Central Board of Directors of the State Bank of India, in consultation with the Board of Directors of the Bank, and with the previous approval of the Reserve Bank of India, made the Regulations in exercise of the power conferred by Section 63 of the Act. The Regulations came into force on 1st October, 1979 and they are applicable to all the Officers of the Bank and such other employees of the Bank to whom they may be made applicable by the Board of Directors of the Bank or the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors of the Bank or the competent authority as defined in Regulation 3(e) to the extent and subject to such conditions as it may decide. Regulation 4 provides for following four grades for officers with the scales of pay specified against each of the grades:
(A) Top Executive Grade Scale VII Rs. 3000 -125 -3500 Scale VI Rs. 2750 155 -3250 (B) Senior Management Grade Scale V Rs. 2500 -100 -2700 Scale IV Rs. 2200 -100 -2400 (C) Middle Management Grade Scale III Rs. 1800 -75 2250 Scale II Rs. 1200 -70 -1550 75 -2000 (D) Junior Management Grade Scale I Rs. 701 -40 -900 -50. 1100 EB 1200 -60 -1800
Regulation 6 makes provision for categorisation of every post of an Officer in the Bank in any one of the grades or scales mentioned in Regulation 4 and further provides that for the purpose of categorisation every branch or office of the Bank shall be classified as small, medium, large, very large or exceptionally large category. Regulation 7 provides for the placement of the existing officers on the appointed date i. e. on October 1, 1979 in the corresponding grades and scales and prescribes that subject to the provisions of Regulation 6 existing officers serving in the grades and scales of pay mentioned in column 1 of the table given in Schedule I to the Regulations shall be placed as on the appointed date in the grade and scale specified there against in column 2 of the said schedule. Regulation 8 makes provision for fitment of every existing officer placed in any of the new grades and scales of pay in accordance with Regulation 7 at such stage in the new scale of pay corresponding to the existing grade and scale as specified in Schedule II to the Regulations. Regulation 12 gives an option to the existing officers to either continue, even after the appointed date, in the scale of pay applicable to him immediately before the appointed date by communicating to the Bank within 30 days of the receipt of the intimation regarding his fitment in the new scale of pay. Regulation 13 makes provision for an appeal by an officer against fitment accorded to him in the new scales of pay. Regulation 17 provides for promotion to all grades of officers in the Bank in accordance with the policy laid down by the Board or the Executive Committee from time to time having regard to the State Bank's guidelines. Schedule I to the Regulations provides for placement of existing officers in the New Grades and Scales in the following manner:
'SCHEDULE I (See: Regulation 7) Placement of Existing Officers in the New Grades and Scales in the State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur Grade and Scale immediately Grade and scale in before the appointed date which placed (1) General Managers Top Executive Grade Scale -Rs. 1800 -75 -2100 -2200 Scale VI Rs. 2750125 -3250 (2) Assistant General Managers Senior Management Scale -Rs. 1725 -75 -2100 Grade Scale V Rs. 2500 -100 -2700 (3) Officers 'A' Grade promoted as Senior Management such on or before 31st December, Grade Scale IV 1975 Scale -Rs. 1200 -60 -1500 -75 -1950 Rs. 2000 -100 -2400 (4) Other Officers 'A' Grade Middle Management Grade Scale III Scale -Rs. 1200 -60 -1500 -75 -1950 Rs. 1800 -75 -2250 (5) Officers Grade I promoted as such Middle Management from Officers Grade II on or be - Grade Scale II fore 31st December, 1972 and other Officers Grade I confirmed as such on or before 31st December, 1972 Scale -Rs. 500 -40 620.45 -755 -95 - Rs. 1200 -70 -1550 -75 - 850 -50 -1550 -EB -100 -50 - 2000 1150 -60 -1330 (6) Other Officers Grade I and Junior Management Officers Grade II Scale Grade Scale I Officers Grade I -Rs. 500 -40 -620 - Rs. 700 -40 -900 -50 - 45 -755 -95 -850 - 1100 -EB -1200 -60 -1800 50 -1050 -E -B1100 - 1150 -60 -1330 Officers Grade II Rs. 500 -40 -62045 - 980 -50 1030
Explanation: Officers appointed to Special grade as specialists or technical persons, if they are in a scale exactly corresponding to the existing scale covered by the provisions above, will be placed in the corresponding new grade and scale. Other such officers, who are not in a grade or scale of pay exactly corresponding to an existing scale of pay covered above, shall be placed in the new scale of pay in such manner as may be decided by the Executive Committee.
The petitioners in the writ petitions Nos. 509/1983, 925/1981 and 982/1981, namely, Prahlad Rai Khemka, R.P. Chhabra and Nandlal Sharma, were working as officers Grade I on the date of coming into force of the Regulations. R.P. Chhabra and Nand Lal Sharma, petitioners in writ petitions Nos. 925 of 1981 and 982 of 1981 respectively, were promoted as officers grade I on 1st November 1977 (sic) and Prahlad Rai Khemka, petitioner in writ No. 509 of 1983 was promoted as officer grade I on 1st March, 1977. They were all placed in Junior Management Grade Scale I on the appointed date i.e. 1st October, 1979 in accordance with Regulation 7 read with Schedule I to the Regulations.
(3.)AFTER the Regulations had been issued, the Bank issued, a circular dated 1st August 14, 1980 whereby it was notified that the Executive Committee, at its meeting held on 16th July, 1980, had decided that all officers Grade I who are promoted/confirmed as such on or before 1st October, 1975 be deemed to have been in the middle management Grade Scale II as from the 1st January, 1980. By another circular dated May 19, 1981 the Bank notified that it was proposed to consider 125 promotions to the Middle Management Grade Scale II on ad hoc basis and that officers in the erstwhile Grade Scale I, as on 31st December, 1978, would be considered for such promotions subject to their being found suitable for the purpose and the eligible officers were called for interview Feeling aggrieved by Regulations 6 and 7 read with Schedule I the Regulations and the circulars dated 14th August, 1980 and 19th May, 1981, the three petitioners referred to above filed the above mentioned writ petitions in this Court. Another writ petition, S.B. Civil Writ Petition No. 1021 of 1981 was filed by the State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur Officers Organisation representing officers of the Bank working in the Junior Management Grade. In the said writ petition also validity of the aforesaid Regulations as well as Circulars was challenged.