D. P. Mohapatra, J. -
(1.)This appeal filed by the State of Haryana, represented by the Chief Secretary and the Secretary to Government of Haryana, Department of Finance, is directed against the judgment of the Punjab and Haryana High Court dated 13-8-1996 in CWP No. 4206/95 filed by the Haryana Civil Secretariat Personal Staff Association through its General Secretary Shri Ram Mehar Sharma. In the writ petition the petitioner prayed for a writ in the nature of mandamus directing the respondents to grant the Personal Assistants (for short 'P.As.') the pay scale of Rs. 2,000-3500 plus Rs. 150/- as special pay which have been given to the P.A.s working in the Central Secretariat for the reason that the State of Haryana had accepted the recommendations made by the Fourth Central Pay Commission with regard to revision of pay scales with effect from 1-1-1986 with all consequential benefits like fixation of pay, arrears and other benefits.
(2.)The case of the writ petitioner sans unnecessary details was that prior to 1986 the P.A.s in the Civil Secretariat, Haryana were enjoying higher scale of pay than the P.A.s of the Central Secretariat. On receipt of the Fourth Central Pay Commisson Report the Central Government revised the pay scale of P.A.s to Rs. 2000-3500 with effect from 1-1-1986. Though the Government of Haryana accepted the recommendations of the Fourth Central Pay Commission and implemented the same in respect of certain categories of employees but in respect of P.A.s in the Civil Secretariat the revised scale of pay was fixed at Rs. 1640-2900 + Rs. 150/- as special pay, instead of Rs. 2000-3500. The further case of the petitioner was that in respect of certain categories of employees of different departments of State of Haryana like Education, Police, Transport, Health and Engineering and Technical staff, the State Government revised the scale of pay exactly according to the recommendation of the Fourth Central Pay Commission and granted them the scale of Rs. 2000-3500 but in case of the P.A.s the State Government fixed the lower revised scale of pay denying them parity of pay scale with their counterparts in the Central Government. The petitioner alleged that the post of P.A. in Civil Sevetariat of the State of Haryana is comparable with the post of P.A. in Central Secretariat; they discharge similar duties and responsibilities as those of their counterparts in the Central Secretariat. The petitioner contended that employees like Police Inspectors and some others who were borne on the same scale of pay as P.A.s prior to implementation of the Fourth Central Pay Commission Report i.e. Rs. 700-1250, were granted the pay scale of Rs. 2000-3200 whereas the P.A.s were placed in the scale of Rs. 1640-2900 only. Such action on the part of the State Government, the petitioner contended, was arbitrary, discriminatory and irrational. The further case of the petitioner was that on receipt of several representations from the petitioner-association and its members, the State Government referred the matter to the Pay Anomalies Commission headed by the Chief Secretary, which did not accept the claim of the petitioner but only recommended the Selection Grade of Rs. 2000-3200 to the 20% of the posts of P.A.s with the condition of 12 years of service. It was asserted by the petitioner that the P.A.s working in the Civil Secretariat were entitled to get the pay scale of Rs. 2000-3500 with effect from 1-1-1986 and the decision taken by the State Government granting the Selection Grade of Rs. 2000-3200 and that too only to those P.A.s who have completed 12 years of services and maximum up to 20% of the posts in cadre is wholly illegal and unjust.
(3.)Refuting the allegations made in the writ petition the respondents in their counter-affidavit questioned the very basis of the claim laid by the petitioner which was based on the assumption that P.A.s in the State Civil Secretariat were entitled to the same scale of pay granted by the Central Government to P.A.s working in the Central Secretariat. Such comparison for the purpose of claim of parity of pay, the respondents contended, was misconceived and was of no avail to the petitioner in the case. According to the respondents, though the State Government on principle accepted the report of the Fourth Central Pay Commission it did not entitle the members of the petitioner to claim post to post and scale to scale parity of pay. The respondents asserted that considering various relevant aspects which were required to be taken into account for fixation of pay scale the State Government decided to fix the revised scale of Rs. 1640-2900 for P.A.s working in the Civil Secretariat and subsequently on recommendation of Pay Anomalies Commission the State Government decided to grant the Selection Grade pay of Rs. 2000-3200 plus Rs. 150/- special pay to P.A.s with 12 years of service and up to 20% of the posts in the cadre. Such administrative decision, the respondents contended, was within the power of the State Government; therefore the decision cannot be said to be arbitrary or irrational.