(1.)THE petitioners in the eight writ petitions, listed above, are officers of the Rajasthan High Court, holding the posts of 'Private Secretaries attached to the Chief Justice and Judges' appointed as such by the Chief Justice of the Court in accordance with the provisions of Article 229 of the Constitution of India and the rules framed thereunder by the Chief Justice. The irony of this litigation is that officers attached as private secretaries to the Chief Justice and Judges of the High Court should find themselves in a situation which led them to file these petitions under Article 226 of the Constitution, seeking justice from the High Court, against the Chief Justice of the Court and the State Government of Rajasthan who, according to the petitioners, have not redressed their legitimate grievance inspite of repeated representations over the years. Their grievance, in short is that inspite of the fact that their duties and responsibilities as private secretaries and judgment writers in the High Court are far more arduous and onerous in nature as compared to the private secretaries to Commissioners and Secretaries to the Government of Rajasthan, the authorities concerned acted in 1973 and thereafter in such a manner as to deprive them of the parity in pay scales, which existed between the two categories of private secretaries from 1950 to 1973. They are, in effect, seeking a writ of mandamus from this Court directing the Chief Justice of the Court and the State Government of Rajasthan to equate them with private secretaries to the Commissioners and Secretaries to the Government of Rajasthan for the purpose of pay scales.
(2.)ARTICLE 229(1) of the Constitution vests the Chief Justice of a High Court and his delegate with exclusive power to appoint officers and servants of the High Court. Under Article 229(2), the Chief Justice and his delegate may make rules regulating the conditions of service of such appointees. This power to make rules is however, subject to certain limitations. One of the limitations imposed by the proviso to Article 229(2) is that the rules, to the extent they relate to salaries, allowances, leave or pensions, require the approval of the Governor of the State.
The Rajasthan High Court (Conditions of Service of Staff) Rules, 1953 (here in after called the High Court Staff Rules) were made by the Chief Justice with the approval of the Governor to the extent such approval was necessary. Rule 5 of the High Court Staff Rules as it stood in 1953 reads as under:
5. Rates of pay. -Subject to the provisions of the Rajasthan Civil Services Unification of fay Scales Rules, 1951 relating to fixation of the rates of monthly pay admissible to person appointed to the staff attached to the High Court, whether in substantive or officiating capacity on as a temporary measures, shall be as shown in the schedule to these rules. A purusal of the schedule to which reference is made in Rule 5 reproduced above would show that the stenographers attached to the Chief Justice and Judges of the High Court were known from the very beginning under the name and style of 'Personal Assistant and Judgment Writers'. Since the pay -scales of these 'Personal Assistants and Judgment Writers' were subject to the Rajasthan Civil Services (Unification of Pay Scales) Rules, 1950, they were naturally enjoying the same pay scales of 200 -10 -3 0, 100 -10 -20 and 120 -10 -220 which were respectively admissible to their counter -parts, i.e. Stenographers Grade 1, Stenographers Grade II and Stenographers Grade (II, in the Government Secretariat under the Rajasthan Civil Services (Unification of Pay Scales) Rules, 1950
(3.)THE parity continued under the Rajasthan Civil Services (Rationalisation of Pay Scales) Rules, 1956, even though the pay scales of Stenographers Grade I Stenographers Grade II and Stenographer Grade III were thereby revised upwards at 200 -350, 150 -300 and 120 -250, respectively. The parity was maintained thereafter under the Rajasthan Civil Services (Revised Pay) Rules, 1961 (here in after called the 196 Rules) which increased the pay scales of these three grades of Stenographers to 200 -435, 170 -385 and 140 -90 respectively. The 1961 Rules were amended by the State Government vide notification, dated May 4, 1965, which was ordered to take effect from March 1, 1965. As per the said amendment, Stenographers Grade I and Stenographers Grade II in the Government Secretariat were merged into a single category of posts carrying the name of 'Senior Stenographers' with a uniform pay scale of 155 -485 with a minimum pay of Rs. 175/ - per month. By the selfsame amendment, the post of Stenographer Grade III in the Government Secretariat was redesignated simply as 'Stenographer'. The net result was that under the 1961 Rules, as amended in 1965, there were only two categories of stenographers in the Government Secretariat, namely the 'Senior Stenographers' and the 'Stenographers' carrying the pay scales of 155 -485 and 140 330, respectively.