MARUTI TUKARAM BAGAWE Vs. STATE OF MAHARASHTRA
LAWS(SC)-2020-2-83
SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
Decided on February 27,2020

Maruti Tukaram Bagawe Appellant
VERSUS
STATE OF MAHARASHTRA Respondents

JUDGEMENT

ASHOK BHUSHAN,J. - (1.)This appeal has been filed against the judgment of High Court of Bombay dated 18.06.2018 by which writ petition filed by the appellant challenging the order dated 04.12.2014 of Maharashtra Administrative Tribunal has been partly allowed.
(2.)Brief facts of the case to be noticed for deciding this appeal are: -
2.1. The Government of Maharashtra, Finance Department by resolution dated 01.02.1965 decided to constitute Maharashtra Finance and Accounts Service under the administrative control of the Finance Department. The service included different categories of posts including Class-3 posts. In the District Treasury, there were posts of Senior Clerk as well as Junior Clerk. By resolution dated 28.12.1970 Procedure for recruitment to the post of Senior Clerk was provided for, which also contained one of the modes of appointment on the post of Senior Clerk by promotion of clerks, borne on the establishment of District Treasury.

2.2. By Government resolution dated 08.06.1995, it was provided that employees holding posts in group C and D (previously Class-III and Class-IV) shall be given the pay scale of next promotional post in the promotional hierarchy after completing 12 years of continuous service.

2.3. By Government resolution dated 20.07.2001, the State Government decided to implement under Service Career Development Scheme to State Government Employees. By a subsequent resolution dated 26.10.2004 issued by the Government of Maharashtra, Sanction was accorded to grant the pay scale of Deputy Accountant instead of Senior Clerk to the Treasury/Sub-Treasury Clerks under the control of Directorate of Accounts and Treasuries, who had passed Maharashtra Account Clerk examination and completed 12 years of continuous service.

2.4. In pursuance of the aforesaid resolution, the respondents herein were granted the pay scale of Deputy Accountant from different date beginning from 01.10.1994. All the respondents herein were working as a Junior Clerk in District Treasury at District level who received benefits under Government resolution dated 26.10.2004.

2.5. An Original Application No. 936 of 2005 was filed in the Maharashtra State Administrative Tribunal, Shri Vijay A. Dangat and Others Versus The State of Maharashtra and others. The applicants were working as Senior Clerks/Deputy Accountant, who were directly appointed on the post of Senior Clerk through Staff Selection Board and on passing the prescribed Departmental Accountant examination, they were confirmed as Senior Clerk. The case of Senior Clerk was that the scale of pay now granted to Junior Clerk for the post of Deputy Accountant is not the promotional post for Junior Clerk but is the promotional post for the Senior Clerk as per Rule. They claimed that they should also be granted the higher pay so that the anomaly be set right.

2.6. The Tribunal vide its judgment and order dated 17.11.2006 struck down the Government resolution dated 26.10.2004. Against the judgment of the Tribunal dated 17.11.2006, the writ petition No.946 of 2007 was filed in the High Court. The High Court passed an interim order for staying the order of Tribunal. During the pendency of writ petition, the Government of Maharashtra vide its resolution dated 11.09.2008 withdrew the resolution dated 26.10.2004. The Government thereafter issued a letter dated 06.10.2009 in continuation of resolution dated 11.09.2008 stating that there is no objection to give benefit in connection with service to all related employees and retired employees which benefit shall be given subject to final judgment of the High Court by taking undertaking from the employees that in event the High Court approved the resolution dated 11.09.2008, the employees shall have no objection in recovery of financial benefits payable to the employees from his retirement salary. After the aforesaid order dated 06.10.2009, an undertaking was taken from the respondent and they were continued the benefit which was received by them under Government resolution dated 06.10.2014.

2.7. The respondents herein thereafter filed Original Application in Maharashtra Administrative Tribunal questioning the Government Resolution dated 11.09.2008. W.P. No. 946 of 2007 came for consideration on 05.12.2009. The High Court disposed of the writ petition directing that if any benefits are already given to the petitioners (respondents herein), pursuant to the decision contained in letter dated 06.10.2009, they shall not be withdrawn till the Original Application filed by the petitioners (respondents herein) is decided by the Maharashtra Administrative Tribunal.

2.8. The Original Application No.161 of 2009 and other connected Original Applications questioning the subsequent Government resolution dated 11.09.2008 came to be dismissed by Maharashtra Administrative Tribunal by order dated 04.12.2014. Aggrieved by the order dated 04.12.2014, writ petition No.1765 of 2015 was filed by respondent in the High Court. The writ petition came to be decided by the judgment dated 18.06.2018. The writ petition was partly allowed by the High Court in following manner: -

"16. For all the aforesaid reasons, we partly allow this petition and dispose it of with the following order:

(A) The impugned judgment and order to the extent it upholds the GR dated 11th September 2008 is upheld:

(B) However, the direction in the impugned judgment and order for recovery of the excess payments is modified. The Respondents shall accordingly be at liberty to recover excess payments made to the petitioners after 11th September 2008, by way of monthly instalments but the respondents are restrained from effecting recovery or benefits secured by the petitioners prior to 11 th September 2008;

(C) Rule is made partly absolute in the aforesaid terms.

(D) There shall be no order as to costs.

(E) All concerned to act on basis of authenticated copy 666666666 of this order."

2.9. This appeal has been filed challenging the judgment of the High Court.

(3.)Shri Sudhanshu S. Choudhari, learned counsel for the appellant submits that the appellants were correctly granted the benefits of pay scale of Deputy Accountant under Resolution dated 24.10.2004 which ought not to have been withdrawn by subsequent Government Resolution dated 11.09.2008. Referring to the Government Resolution dated 01.02.1965 and 08.06.1995, learned counsel contends that the appellants were entitled for scale of Deputy Accountant after completion of 12 years of continuous service. He submits that even if Resolution dated 24.10.2004 is withdrawn by the State Government, their right to receive the salary of Deputy Accountant after completion of 12 years of service cannot be affected which flows from Resolution dated 08.06.1995.
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