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Basha Vs. Khairunnessa Bivi [1994] INSC 414 (5 August 1994)

Ramaswamy, K. Ramaswamy, K. Agrawal, S.C. (J)

CITATION: 1995 AIR 411 1994 SCC (6) 155 JT 1994 (5) 375 1994 SCALE (3)851

ACT:

HEAD NOTE:

ORDER

1. Leave granted.

2. The controversy in this appeal lies in a very narrow compass. The appellant who had joined the Railways as a Trains Clerk w.e.f. 18-12-1955 was promoted as Guard, Grade- C w.e.f. 18-12-1970 by an order dated 27-10-1970. The basic pay of the appellant was fixed at Rs 190 p.m. w.e.f. 18-1,2- 1970 in a running pay scale. By an order dated 25-7-1991, the pay scale of the appellant was sought to be refixed and during the refixation his basic pay was reduced to Rs 181 p.m. from Rs 190 p.m. w.e.f. 18-12-1970. The appellant questioned the order reducing his basic pay with retrospective effect from 18-12-1970 before the Central Administrative Tribunal, Patna Bench. The justification furnished by the respondents for reducing the basic pay was that the same had been 'wrongly'fixed initially and that the position had continued due to 'administrative lapses' for about twenty years, when it was decided to rectify the mistake. The petition filed by the appellant was dismissed by the Tribunal on 17-9-1993.

+ From the Judgment and Order dated 17-9-1993 of the Central Administrative Tribunal, Patna in O.A. No. 6 of 1992 155 3.We have heard learned counsel for the parties. That the petitioner's basic pay had been fixed since 1970 at Rs 190 p.m. is not disputed. There is also no dispute that the basic pay of the appellant was reduced to Rs 181 p.m. from Rs 190 p.m. in 1991 retrospectively w.e.f. 18-12-1970. The appellant has obviously been visited with civil consequences but he had been granted no opportunity to show cause against the reduction of his basic pay. He was not even put on notice before his pay was reduced by the department and the order came to be made behind his back without following any procedure known to law. There has, thus, been a flagrant violation of the principles of natural justice and the appellant has been made to suffer huge financial loss without being heard. Fair play in action warrants that no such order which has the effect of an employee suffering civil consequences should be passed without putting the (sic employee) concerned to notice and giving him a hearing in the matter. Since, that was not done, the order (memorandum) dated 25-7-1991, which was impugned before the Tribunal could not certainly be sustained and the Central Administrative Tribunal fell in error in dismissing the petition of the appellant. The order of the Tribunal deserves to be set aside. We, accordingly, accept this appeal and set aside the order of the Central Administrative Tribunal dated 17-9-1993 as well as the order (memorandum) impugned before the Tribunal dated 25-7-1991 reducing the basic pay of the appellant from Rs 190 to Rs 181 w.e.f. 18- 12-1970.

4. No costs.

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