RAJASTHAN STATE ELECTRICITY BOARD Vs. LAXMAN LAL
SUPREME COURT OF INDIA (FROM: RAJASTHAN)
RAJASTHAN STATE ELECTRICITY BOARD
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(1.)All these civil appeals by special leave are directed against the judgments of the Rajasthan High court dated 11/05/1984, May 2 21/05/1984 and the reasons whereof pronounced on 2/07/1984. Controversy raised in all these cases is whether the respondents are entitled to pay scale No. 2 or pay scale No. 3.
(2.)The government of India vide its Resolution dated 20/05/1966 constituted a General Wage Board for electricity undertakings for evolving wage structure, specialisation of nomenclature and job description. The recommendations of the said Wage Board were accepted by the government of India in July 1970. The Prantiya Vidyut Mandal Mazdoor Federation (in short 'the Federation') recognised trade union of the employees of the Rajasthan State Electricity Board presented their demands before the Labour Department of the government of Rajasthan for implementation of the recommendations of the Wage Board. While the said industrial dispute between the management of the Board and its employees was pending before the Conciliation Officer, asettlement was arrived at on 22/02/1972. By this agreement the parties agreed that the existing scale of pay of various categories of posts would be revised w. e. f. 1/04/1969. The schedule of the said agreement set out various categories of posts under different pay scales. At si. No. 21 Meter Reader/meter Checker was mentioned under scale No. 3 i. e. Rs. 126-8-150-10-250. In pursuance to the above settlement the Board issued a notification dated 22/03/1972 revising the pay scales of its employees w. e. f. 1/04/1969. Subsequent to this agreement the Board entered into another agreement with the Federation on 2/12/1972 (hereinafter referred to as 'the second settlement'). In the second settlement, it was mentioned that this was done in view of some anomalies and difficulties which had cropped up in the course of implementation of previous agreements dated 26/01/19 7/04/1971; and 28/07/1972. It was also mentioned in the said settlement that it was considered desirable to remove the anomalies and clarify certain points by mutual negotiations. The settlement was made effective w. e. f. 1/04/1968. In the second settlement it was agreed to have two categories for Meter Readers i. e. Meter Reader I/meter Checker I and Meter Reader II/meter Checker II. The relevant clause in this regard reads as under:
"Ii.under pay scale No. 3 technical read 21" Meter Reader I/meter Checker I and under pay scale No. 2 technical, insert "7 Meter Reader ll/meter Checker II" and insert the following Note below pay scale No. 2:
Meter Reader ll/meter Checker II appointed/fixed, promoted/adjusted on or before 31/03/1968 will be fixed in pay scale No. 3 instead of pay scale No. 2. "
(3.)The Board in accordance with the second settlement issued another Notification dated 6/12/1972 whereby the previous Notification dated 22/03/1972 was amended. Some of the employees, namely, Jagdish Prasad, Brij Mohan, Madho Singh, Prakash Chander, S. Samuel, Brij Lal and Chander Bhan filed writ petitions in the High court of Judicature for Rajasthan at Jodhpur and challenged the Notification dated 6/12/1972. It may be noted that all these employees were appointees before 6/12/1972. Learned Single Judge of the High court by judgment dated 21/03/1979 allowed the writ petitions and quashed the Notification dated 6/12/1972 mainly on the ground that the second settlement could not have been made as no conciliation proceedings were pending before such settlement and that the date 1/04/1968 mentioned in the notification for making the settlement effective was arbitrary and without basis. The Board filed an appeal before the division bench which by their judgmentdated 19/12/1979 dismissed the same and upheld the judgment of the learned Single Judge. The Board implemented the judgment of the High court in respect of Jagdish Prasad and others and issued orders to provide scale No. 3 to all Meter Readers appointed up to 6/12/1972.
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