A P CO OPERATIVE CENTRAL AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT BANK LTD Vs. A P CO OPERATIVE AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT BANK EMPLOYEES ASSOCIATION
HIGH COURT OF ANDHRA PRADESH
ANDHRA PRADESH CO-OPERATIVE CENTRAL AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT BANK LTD.
ANDHRA PRADESH CO-OPERATIVE AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT BANK EMPLOYEES ASSOCIATION
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D.J. Jagannadha Raju, J. -
(1.)This is an appeal filed by the respondent in Writ Petition No. 5816 of 1984.
The writ petition has been filed by the employees working in the Agricultural
Development Banks in the State of Andhra Pradesh. The petitioners claim two
reliefs. The first relief is to issue a writ of mandamus to direct the respondent-
bank, namely, Andhra Pradesh Co-operative Central Agricultural Development
Bank (hereinafter called 'the Central Bank' for brevity sake) to continue to pay
bonus to all the centralised cadre employees at the same rate at which their
employees in the Head Office and Regional Offices were paid during the years
1981-82,1982-83 and for all subsequent years. The second relief prayed for is for
a declaration that Annexure 'A' i.e., circular letter No.2/FA/ACC.I/84-85
dated 4th January, 1985 of the respondent-bank is illegal, arbitrary and violative
of Articles 14 and 16 of the Constitution of India. The learned single judge, by
judgment dated 6th September, 1988, allowed the writ petition and directed the
respondent to make payment of bonus at 20% from 1981-82 to May 22, 1985 and
also quashed the Annexure 'A' dated 4th January, 1985, as illegal.
(2.)The facts pertinent for decision of the writ appeal are as follows; The
appellant Central bank is the A.P. Co-operative Central Agricultural
Development Bank which is a co-operative society registered under the A.P.
Co-operative Societies Act, 1964. It was originally constituted under A.P. Cooperative
Central Land Mortgage Bank (Formation) Act, 1961, which is a
registered co-operative society. The Co-operative Agricultural Development
Banks in the State of Andhra Pradesh are registered co-operative societies
under A.P. Co-operative Societies Act, 1964. They were admitted as members
of the appellant-bank. For the sake of brevity, the Co-operative Agricultural
Development Banks will be called P.A.D. Banks" in this judgment. Originally
the P.A.D. Banks had the power of appointment and disciplinary control over
their employees. Subsequently centralised cadres werecreated. Under Section
114-A of the Co-operative Societies Act, the Board of Directors of the Central
Agricultural Development Bank was given the power to constitute a centralised
service in P.A.D. Banks for certain posts, namely, Managers or Secretaries,
Engineering Supervisors, Assistant Managers or Assistant Secretaries and
Executive Officers and the Board had the power of appointment, transfer and
disciplinary action in respect of the centralised cadre. Subsequently a centralised
cadre was created for all other categories of employees also. This was done by
virtue of a settlement under Section 18(1) of the Industrial Disputes Act. The
centralised cadres came into existence on 1-7-1981. By virtue of this, all former
employees of the primary banks came under the centralised cadre and the
Board of the Central Bank had administrative and disciplinary control.
Subsequently the centralised cadre was abolished except for the employees
mentioned in Section 114-A of the Co-operative Societies Act. This was done
under Section 114-B of the Co-operative Societies Act. During the relevant
period 1981-82 onwards upto 1985, the employees, who are the petitioners,
belonged to the centralised cadre. It is also an admitted fact that for the years
1979-80,1980-81, the appellant-Central Bank paid bonus at the rate of 20% to all
the centralised employees of the P.A.D. Banks. When it came to the question of
paying the bonus for the years 1981 -82,1982-83 and 1983-84, the appellant-Bank
issued Circular letter now indicated as Annexure-A on 4-1-1985 advising the
P. A.D. banks to pay bonus to all the employees working in the P. A.D. Banks as,
per the Payment of Bonus Act. On the very same day i.e., 4-1-1985, the
appellant-bank issued Annexure-B stating that the employees in the Head-
Office and Regional Offices of the Central Bank are entitled to bonus at 20%,
Feeling aggrieved by Annexure-A and the failure of the Central Bank to pay the
bonus, the present writ petition is filed.
(3.)The main contentionof the writ petitioners is that in view of the centralised
cadres created, the employees are employees of the Central Bank and therefore
they are entitled to be paid bonus by the Central Bank. They claim that the
Central Bank is the employer and they are the employees of the Central Bank
and that they are rendering service in P.A.D. Banks on behalf of the Central
Bank. It is their claim that for their services in the P.A.D. Banks, the Central Bank
is reimbursed by the P.A.D. Banks.
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