Union of India & Ors Vs. K.T. Shastri
 INSC 7 (12
P.B. Sawant, P.B. Misra Rangnath Ramaswamy, K.
1990 AIR 598 1990 SCR (1) 20 1990 SCC (1) 509 JT 1990 (1) 15 1990 SCALE (1)7
of India, 1950.' Article 16.' Service Law--Defence
Research Service--Three units--Benefit of enhanced superannuation age to the
members of one unit--Denial to members of other units-Held discriminatory.
was recruited as a Senior Scientific Officer in the Defence Science Service
which was subsequently tri- furcated and reconstituted.
Government of India enhanced the superannuation age of Scientific and Technical
personnel of one of the newly constituted units upto 60 years by an order dated
who was working in one of the other units of the reconstituted service, filed
an application in the Central Administrative Tribunal seeking a direction that
he was entitled to the benefit of enhanced age of superannua- tion upto 60
years as made applicable to the other unit which allowed the application. Hence
this appeal by the Union of India.
the appeal, this Court,
view of Rule 12 of the Defence Aeronautical Quality Assurance Service Rules,
1979 the benefit of en- hanced age of superannuation given to the members of
one unit was also available to the members of the other unit since the said
condition of service was not expressly pro- vided for in the Service Rules. At
the time of reconstitu- tion of the service no option was given to the
employees working in the different units to opt for one or the other of the
units. Those who were already working in either of the three units were deemed
to belong to the respective newly constituted service. Therefore their service condi-
tions will have to run parallel and no discrimination can be made between them
by an unilateral action. The classifica- tion made between them further has no
rational basis and no nexus of such classification to 21 the object sought to
be achieved has been shown. In the circumstances, the denial of the benefit of
the enhanced superannuation age to the members of one unit while the same is
granted to the members of the other units amounts to discrimination, violative
of Article 16 of the Constitution. [23A, F, G, H, 24A]
decision of the Tribunal is both proper and valid. The appellants are directed
to reinstate the respond- ent in service, who would continue in service till he
at- tains the age of 60 years. [24A, C-D]
APPELLATE JURISDICTION: Civil Appeal No. 4284 of 1988.
the Judgment and Order dated 30.3.88 of the Central Admn. Tribunal Hyderabad in
O.A. No. 575 of 1987.
Singh, A. Subba Rao, C.V.S. Rao and P. Parmeshwaran for the Appellants.
Judgment of the Court was delivered by SAWANT, J. The appellants, Union of
India and the Direc- tor, Technical Development and Production (Air), Ministry
of Defence, have preferred this appeal against the decision of the Central
Administrative Tribunal, Hyderabad Bench, hold- ing that respondent K.T. Shastry
was entitled to remain in service upto the superannuation age of 60 years and
was not liable to be retired at the alleged superannuation age of 58 years.
relevant admitted facts are that the respondent was recruited as a Senior
Scientific Officer on October
12, 1966 in the Defence
Science Service. He was posted in the Directorate of Technical Development and
Production (Air), briefly called DTD & P. at the relevant time, the Defence
Science Service had three units under it, namely, 1) Defence Research and
Development Organisation (DRDO), 2) Director- ate-General of Inspection (DGI)
and 3) Directorate of Tech- nical Development and Production (Air) (DTD &
recruitment when made was always to the Defence Science Service, and after the
recruitment, the recruits were posted according to the exigency of the service,
in any of the said three units. Their 22 services were inter-changeable and
inter-transferable be- tween the three units. All, the service conditions of
the persons working in the three units including scales of pay, superannuation
age, etc. were the same and were regulated by the same set of Rules, viz. Defence
Science Service Rules.
the year 1979, the Defence Science Service was trifurcated and reconstituted as
Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) was reconstituted as Defence
Research and Development Serv- ice (DRDS). (2) Directorate of Technical
Development and Production (Air) (DTD & P) was reconstituted as Defence
Aeronautical Quality Assurance Service (DAQAS), and (3) Directorate General of
Inspection (DGI) was reconstituted as Defence Quality Assurance Service (DQAS).
The appellant who was working in DTD & P became a member of DAQAS. When the
trifurcation was made, the Service Rules governing the three units had a common
Rule which was Rule 12 in DAQAS and DQAS, and Rule 13 in DRDS which reads as
conditions of service:
The conditions of service of the members of the service in respect of matters
not expressly provided for in these Rules, shall mutatis mutandis and subject
to any special orders issued by the Government in respect of the service, be
the same as those applicable to officers (Civil- ians) of corresponding status
in similar scientific institu- tions/organisations under the Government of
the time the present controversy arose and the respondent approached the
Administrative Tribunal, he was holding the post of Deputy Chief Scientific Officer.
By an Office Memorandum No. 7(3)/ 85-D(R & D) of the Government of India,
Ministry of Defence, Department of Defence Research & Development dated
24.12.1985, the decision of the President was conveyed whereby Scientific and
Technical personnel (gazetted) of D.R. and D.S. in the grade of Scientist 'E'
and above, would retire at the age of 60 years and those in the lower grade for
which flexible complementing scheme was applicable would also retire at the age
of 60 years provided they had been promoted to the grades they were holding at
the time of attaining the age of 58 years within the preced- ing five years.
Subsequently by OM No. 7(3)/85-D (R & D) dated
10.2.86, the said decision was extended to all 23 Scientific and technical
personnel of the DRDO i.e. DRDS as listed in the Appendix 'A' of that Memo. By
virtue of Rule 12 quoted above, this benefit given to the members of DRDS was
also available to the members of DAQAS, since the said condition of service was
not expressly provided for in the Service Rules. The Tribunal, therefore, held
that the re- spondent was not liable to be retired at the age of 58 years his
superannuation age being deemed to have been increased to 60 years in view of
the OM dated 24.12.85 read with OM dated 10.2.86 referred to above.
is this decision which is challenged before us by the appellants. Mr. Subba Rao,
learned counsel appearing for the appellants contended that the Government had
a right to prescribe different conditions of service for the members belonging
to the different units, and merely because the superannuation age of the
members of the DRDS was increased, it could not be held that the respondent who
belonged to another unit, viz. DAQAS, was entitled to the said benefit.
is no dispute that the Government has power to vary the service conditions of
the members of the services from time to time. The question involved in the
present appeal is, however, not whether the Government had such power. The
question is whether the respondent was also entitled to the benefit of the
power so exercised in the facts and circum- stances of the case. The admitted
facts are that in 1966 when the respondent was recruited to the Defence Science
Service, the three units belonged to the said Service and the employees were recruited
initially to that service and then sent to different units. The service
conditions of the employees belonging to the three units were the same and
their services were inter-changeable between the three units. The Service Rules
which applied to all the three units were also common, viz. Defence Science
three units, therefore, belonged to and constituted one single service. It is
later in the year 1979, that the Defence Research Service was reconstituted
into three dif- ferent services as stated above. However, at that time,
admittedly no option was given to the employees working in the different units
to opt for one or the other of the units. It appears that those who were
already working in either of the three units were deemed to belong to the
respective newly constituted service. This being so, their service conditions
will have to run parallel and no discrim- ination can be made between them by
an unilateral action.
classification made between them further has no rational basis and no nexus of
such classification to the object sought to be achieved has been shown to us by
Mr. Subba Rao appearing for the appellants. In the circumstances, the denial of
the benefit of the enhanced superannuation age to the members of one 24 unit
while the same is granted to the members of the other unit amounts to
discrimination, violative of Article 16 of the Constitution. We are, therefore,
satisfied that the decision of the Tribunal is both proper and valid, and there
is no substance in the present appeal. The appeal is, there- fore, dismissed.
are informed that in spite of the decision of the Tribunal and even pending
this appeal when no stay was granted, the Appellant-Union of India retired the respondent at the age
of 58 years. We have been unable to understand this indefensible action on the
part of the Appellant nor could the learned counsel for the Appellants explain
it to us. We, therefore, direct the Appellants to reinstate the respondent in
service within one week of this Order and to pay to him all his emoluments from
the date of his arbitrary retirement till the date of his re-instatement in
service as if he had not been retired. We further direct that he would continue
in service till he attains the age of 60 years, unless of course for some other
legal reasons, it becomes necessary to discontinue his services before that
also understand that in the meanwhile the respond- ent was paid all his
retirement benefits. The Appellant will not recover any amount so paid to the
respondent. The appeal is accordingly dismissed with aforesaid directions and
Appeal dis- missed.