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Union of India Vs. G. Chakrapani [1994] INSC 90 (7 February 1994)

Agrawal, S.C. (J) Agrawal, S.C. (J) Mukherjee M.K. (J)

CITATION: 1994 SCC Supl. (2) 665

ACT:

HEAD NOTE:

ORDER

1. This appeal is directed against the judgment of the Allahabad High Court dated September 16, 19 (sic) allowing the writ petition filed by the respondents.

2.In the railways there is a department known Research, Designs and Standards Organisation (for short "Organisation"). Appointment on the Class I posts Assistant Directors/Deputy Directors in the Organisation is made by transfer of employees from other departments well as by promotion within the Organisation. Persons who are appointed by way of transfer are given special pay of Rs 200 per month for the post of Deputy Director and Rs 150 per month for the post of Assistant Director. Those who are appointed as Deputy Director/Assistant Director by promotion are denied the said special pay. The respondents were appointed as Assistant Directors/Deputy Directors in the Organisation by promotion. They moved the High Court under Article 226 of the Constitution and submitted that the denial of special pay to them was violative of the right to equality guaranteed under Articles 14 and 16 of the Constitution. The said writ petition has been allowed by the High Court by the judgment under appeal. The High Court has held that the respondents should be treated on a par with the transferee officers holding similar posts in the matter of scales of pay including special pay.

3.A similar question involving entitlement to special pay has been considered by this Court in Telecommunication Research Centre Scientific Officers' (Class I) Assn. v. Union of India1. That case related to Class I posts in the Telecommunication Research Centre of the Posts & Telegraphs Department. Appointments to those posts were being made partly by direct recruitment through Union Public Service Commission and partly through transfer of Group 'A' and Group 'B' Field Officers. The officers brought into the Centre on 1 (1987) 1 SCC 582: (1987) 2 ATC 932: (1987) 1 SCR 1007 666 transfer were being paid special pay in addition to their pay but the direct recruits were denied this privilege.

This Court held that the denial of special pay to Class I direct recruits amounted to violation of Articles 14 and 16 of the Constitution and that they were entitled to special pay at the same rates at which it is paid to the transferred officers working in the Centre.

4.The learned counsel for the appellants has sought to distinguish this case on the ground that in that case this Court found that the special pay was not being paid to the transferred officials for compensating their displacements or for their qualifications but was being paid for the arduous and special nature of the functions to be discharged in the Telecommunication Research Centre. It has been urged that in the present case special pay was being paid to the officials appointed by way of transfer to enable them to encounter the problems due to the disturbance involved. The said explanation that has been put forward for grant of special pay to transferee officers cannot, however, be accepted. In Rule 1307 [FR 9 (25)] of the Indian Railway Establishment Code, Volume II, the expression "special pay" has been defined as under :

"Special pay.- Means an addition, of the nature of pay, to the emoluments of a post or of a railway servant, granted in consideration of- (a) the specially arduous nature of duties;

or (b) a specific addition to the work or responsibility and includes non-practising allowance granted to doctors in lieu of private practice." Moreover, the High Court has found that the averment in the writ petition with regard to the posts having arduous nature of duties was not controverted in the affidavit that was filed on behalf of the appellants in the writ petition in the High Court. In these circumstances, we find no basis for distinguishing the instant case from the case of Telecommunication Research Centre Scientific Officers' (Class I) Assn. 1 5.We, therefore, find no merit in this appeal and it is accordingly dismissed. No order as to costs.

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