GOVERNMENT OF ANDHRA PRADESH Vs. P HARI HARA PRASAD
SUPREME COURT OF INDIA (FROM: ANDHRA PRADESH)
GOVERNMENT OF ANDHRA PRADESH
P.HAH HARA PRASAD
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Y. K. Sabharwal, J. -
(1.)The respondents are the writ petitioners who have succeeded before the High Court in their claim of parity of pay. The writ petitions were filed by the employees of the High Court of Judicature, Andhra Pradesh, Hyderabad and also by employees of various subordinate Courts in the said State claiming that their scales of pay would be on par with the Assistants, Typists and Steno-typists of the Andhra Pradesh Secretariat Service. Their claim was based on G.M.Ms. No. 316 dated 13th September, 1971 and G.O.Ms. No. 80 dated 28th March, 1973. These Government Orders have been issued by Finance (Pay-Commission), Department of Government of Andhra Pradesh. The 1971 order was issued to comply with judgment of the High Court of Andhra Pradesh in Writ Petition No. 3713 of 1969 filed by certain L.D.Cs., Typists and Steno-typists working in the Departments of Secretariat. By that order the Government directed that the revised pay scale of Rs. 110-225 be given to all graduate Typists and Graduate Steno-typists. The 1973 Government Order was issued extending the same benefit of non-graduates on acceptance of their representations. The writ petitioners submitted before the High Court that the benefit of these two Government Orders was not extended to them viz. employees of the High Court and subordinate Courts and they were kept in dark till filing of the writ petitions.
(2.)In opposition to the writ petition, it was submitted that the Government Order dated 13th September, 1971 was not applicable to the employees of the High Court and the subordinate Courts and that it was applicable only to the employees of the Secretariat. Reliance was also placed by the Government upon a judgment of a learned single Judge of the High Court in Writ Petition No. 4357 of 1982 dated 2nd September, 1987 wherein dealing with the applicability of Government Order dated 13th September, 1971, it was held that the claim of the members of the Andhra Pradesh Judicial Ministerial Service for payment of the salaries and allowances on par with the LDCs and Steno-typists in the Secretariat is unfounded and cannot be granted. It was further pleaded by the Government that the claim of the writ petitioners was barred by laches. On another learned Judge expressing the view that the aforesaid judgment requires reconsideration, the writ petitions of the respondents were heard by a Division Bench of the High Court. Allowing the writ petitions by the impugned judgment dated 31st March, 1992, the High Court has held that the posts of LDCs and Typists in the High Court Service or in the Judicial Ministerial Service and in the Secretariat Service are not only identical but also involve the performance of same nature of duties and, therefore, it will be unreasonable and unjust to discriminate between the two in the matter of pay. It was held that the writ petitioners are also entitled for the same scale of pay as was being drawn by the Secretariat employees in the same or equivalent posts from time to time from 1969. Their pay was directed to be fixed from 1969. It was directed that the pay be revised on par with that of the employees working in the Secretariat. The High Court, however, directed that the writ petitioners were not entitled for the arrears of salary till 3rd September, 1987, when the decision was rendered in Writ Petition No. 4357 of 1982 holding that the claim of parity is unfounded and the petitioners having slept over the matter for a long time thereafter. It has been further noticed in the impugned judgment that majority of the employees filed writ petitions in the year 1992. It was, therefore, directed that they are entitled to half of the arrears of salary from 1987 to 1992 and full pay after re-fixation from 1st April, 1992. The further direction that has been issued is that the order would be applicable not only to the petitioners but all employees of the High Court and the subordinate Courts who are similarly situated. In Civil Appeal Nos. 247-251 of 1993, the Government has challenged the correctness of the impugned judgment.
(3.)There are two sets of the respondents before us : (1) employees of various subordinate Courts and (2) the employees of the High Court.
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