Ms. O.Z. Hussain Vs. Union of India & Ors  INSC 343
(15 November 1989)
Rangnath Misra Rangnath Sawant, P.B. Ramaswamy, K.
1990 AIR 311 1989 SCR Supl. (2) 177 1990 SCC Supl. 688 JT 1989 (4) 407 1989
Services: Service Law--Directorate General of Health Service--Non-medical
Wing--'A' Group scientists--Whether entitled to same pay scales and allowances
as admissible to their counter-parts in Medical Wing.
a normal incidence of service-Necessity to provide promotional avenue--Pointed
petitioner, group 'A' scientist belonging to the non-medical wing of the
Directorate General of Health Services, filed a wit petition in this Court
seeking parity in pay scales and allowances with his counter-part in the
medical wing. It was contended that group 'A' scientists are treated
discriminately vis-a-vis their counter-parts in other Ministries, because the
former are not given any promotional benefits while the latter are provided
with avenues for promotion.
the writ petition, this Court,
1. Provision for promotion increases efficiency of the public service while
stagnation reduces efficiency and makes the service ineffective. Promotion is
thus a normal incidence of service. There is no justification why while
similarly placed officers in other Ministries would have the benefit of
promotion, the non-medical 'A' group scientists in the establishment of
Directorate General of Health Services would be deprived of such advantage.
a welfare State, it is necessary that there should be an efficient public
service and, therefore, it should have been the obligation of the Ministry of
Health to provide promotional avenue for this category of officers, [181 C]
the model of rules framed by the Ministry of Science and Technology,
appropriate rules should be framed providing promotional avenue for the 'A'
category scientists in the non-medical wing of the Directorate. [181D] 178
Group scientists shall be entitled to book allowance, higher degree allowance,
risk allowance and conveyance allowance at the same rate as is admissible to
doctors in the Medical wing in the Directorate. [18IF]
Government shall examine the tenability of the claim of Group 'A' scientists
for equal pay scales with their counterparts in medical wing. [181G]
ORIGINAL JURISDICTION: Writ Petition (Civil) No. 10 18 of 1989.
Article 32 of the Constitution of India) Ranjit Kumar for the Petitioner.
Singh, (N.P.) R.B. Misra, and Ms. A Subhashini, (N.P.) for the Respondents.
Order of the Court was delivered by MISRA, J. This is an application under
Article 32 of the Constitution and the President of the National Council of
Bio-Medical Scientists is the petitioner. The reliefs asked for are on the
allegation that the Group 'A' scientists of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare
who are the members of the Council, are being discriminatingly treated;
have not been given any promotional benefits and, therefore, there is a
large-scale stagnation in the service.
been alleged that the Group 'A' scientists are recruited through the Union
Public Service Commission. These scientists possess a Master Degree in the
relevant disciplines and 3 years' experience to entitle them to be recruited.
It has been indicated in a chart filed along with the Writ Petition that the
total posts in this category are 243 including post of Drug Controller of
India. The promotional posts available are filled up by direct recruitment and
open competition and there is no promotional channel provided. Similar
scientists in other Ministries, such as Ministry of Science and Technology,
Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Environment and Ministry of Oceanography are
recruited in terms of rules made under the proviso to Article 309 of the
Constitution and for their Group 'A' scientific and technical officers,
promotional avenues are available. The petition further alleges that on their
representations from time to 179 time, meetings have been held but decisions
taken in such meetings have not been given effect to and, therefore, all the
representations have gone unheeded. Particular reference has been made to the
Minutes of a meeting held on 15.5. 1989, where Shri Basudeven, Joint Secretary
in the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare presided; several officers from
different wings of the Ministry attended and representatives of the
petitioner's Council participated. It has been alleged that though several
demands were pressed by the representatives of the Council, only a few were
considered and yet there was no follow-up action for their implementation.
was issued to the Union of India in the Ministries of Health, Human Resources,
Science and Technology and Bio-Technology and the notice indicated that the
matter would be taken up for final disposal. Though no return has been filed to
the Rule Nisi, counsel appeared for the respondents and upon appropriate
instructions, participated in the hearing of the matter.
P-1 indicates the institutions located in different parts of the country where
the posts of 'A' Group scientists who are members of the Council work. Their
total number is 243 and this is not disputed. The petitioner has placed on
record the rules framed in exercise of powers under proviso to Article 309 of
the Constitution in the Ministry of Science and Technology, covering Group 'A'
scientists. Rule 13 thereof provides avenues for promotion.
also is not disputed. Annexure P-3 is a tabuler statement prepared by the
petitioner, showing the disparities in the service conditions between the Bio Medical
scientists and other similar scientists and the discrimination that Group 'A'
specialists/scientists under the establishment of Director General of Health
Services suffer. The pay-scale for different categories of Group 'A' scientists
in the non medical posts and of doctors in the medical posts have been
separately shown. It has been pointed out therein that while there is a
difference in the pay-scale in the establishment of Director General of Health
Services, there is no disparity in respect of similar posts in the Indian
Council of Medical Research (ICMR) or in the All-India Institute of Medical
Sciences, Delhi or the Post--Graduate Institute at Chandigarh. It has been further pointed out in
the said chart that various kinds of allowances are admissible to the doctors
in the medical wing, such as book allowance, higher degree allowance, risk
allowance and conveyance allowance in the establishment of Director General of Health
Services while the non-medical category manned by the 'A' Group scientists is
denied all these allowances. It has also been alleged that while the medical
category doctors get nonpractising allowance the benefit of 180 such allowance
is not extended to the non-medical category.
discrimination, according to the petitioner, is not noticed in the I.C.M.R. or
in the two Institute at Delhi and Chandigarh respectively.
4th Pay Commission in Chapter 29, paragraph 29.8 recommended:
question of granting incentive to officers and staff who acquire higher
qualification has also engaged our attention. Railways have suggested a scheme
for giving such incentives in the context of the need for updating the skills
of the employees for the more efficient discharge of their duties in these days
when modernisation and adoption of advanced technology is being undertaken in
different fields of railway working. Suggestions have also been made for grant
of post graduate allowance to veterinary surgeons and special allowances to EDP
personnel. Some such schemes are in existence in the defence services. We
suggest that some incentive should be given to employees who acquire
qualifications which are useful for their work and contribute to their
efficiency." On 15th of December, 1986, the Office Memorandum in the
Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pension indicated that this
recommendation of the Pay Commission has been accepted by the Government.
in regard to the three other allowances, namely, book allowance, risk allowance
and conveyance allowance, there is no scope for discrimination between Group
'A' scientists in non-medical and medical wings. In fact, at the hearing of the
writ petition, respondent's counsel found it difficult to support the
prevailing position. We are of the opinion that these four kinds of allowances,
which are admissible to the medical doctors are also admissible to the Group
'A' scientists under the non-medical category employed in the establishment of
Director General of Health Services.
claim for non practising allowance stands on a somewhat different footing and
we do not think on the present state of the record of this proceeding, we can
come to a definite conclusion that the Group 'A' scientists in the non-medical
category would be also entitled to such allowance. We, however, leave the
question open and Government at their level in the appropriate Ministry would
examine tenability of this claim as and when raised. It has been canvassed by
petitioner's counsel at the hearing that there is no justification for the
disparity in the scale of pay between the two categories of officers.
Government counsel has taken 181 the stand that the qualifications of officers
in the two wings are different and the difference in the pay scales has always
existed. It is difficult for us on the material available to take any final
view of the matter but the respondent should examine tenability of the claim to
equal scales of pay.
has on more than one occasion, pointed out that provision for promotion
increases efficiency of the public service while stagnation reduces efficiency
and makes the service ineffective. Promotion is thus a normal incidence of
service. There too is no justification why while similarly placed officers in
other Ministries would have the benefit of promotion, the non-medical 'A' Group
scientists in the establishment of Director General of Health Services would be
deprived of such advantage. In a welfare State, it is necessary that there
should be an efficient public service and, therefore, it should have been the
obligation of the Ministry of Health to attend to the representations of the
Council and its members and provide promotional avenue for this category of
officers. It is, therefore, necessary that on the model of rules framed by the
Ministry of Science and Technology with such alterations as may be necessary,
appropriate rules should be framed within four months from now providing
promotional avenue for the 'A' category scientists in the non-medical wing of
Writ Petition is allowed and the following directions are issued:
Within four months from today, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare of the
Union of India shall frame a set of appropriate rules, inter alia, providing
suitable promotional avenue for the 'A' Group scientists in the non-medical
wing of the establishment of Director General of Health Services;
These 'A' Group scientists shall be entitled to book allowance, higher degree
allowance, risk allowance and conveyance allowance at the same rate as is
admissible to doctors in the medical wing in the Directorate w.e.f. 1.4.1989;
Government shall examine the tenability of the claim of equal pay scales for
this category of officers within four months from today.
shall be no directions for costs.