Union of India & Ors Appelants Vs. Dr. J. K. Goel  INSC 263 (8 May 1995)
Sujata V. (J) Manohar Sujata V. (J) Verma, Jagdish Saran (J) Mrs. Sujata V. Manohar,
1995 SCC Supl. (3) 161 1995 SCALE (3)550
8TH DAY OF MAY, 1995 Present:
Mr. Justice J. S. Verma Hon'ble Mrs. Justice Sujata V. Manohar Mr. A. K.
Sharma, Mr. S. N. Terdol, Advs. for the Appellants Mr. Raju Rama Chandran, Mr. Prashant
Kumar and Mr. Satish Vig,
following Judgment of the Court was delivered:
Union of India & Ors. ...Appelants v.
Dr. J. K. Goel ...Respondent
appeal is from an order of the Central Administratice Tribunal, Allahabad
Bench, dated 22nd of April, 1994 in O. A. No.849/1993.
respondent was granted selection grade (non- funcational) in the post of Deputy
Commissioner of Incometex with effect from 1.1.86, by an office order dated
respondent was paid an amount of Rs.20,772/- pursuant to the granting of the
selection grade to him w.e.f. 1.1.86, in the last week of March, 1992.
respondent filed the above O.A. No.849/1993 before the Central Administratice
Tribunal claiming interest on the said amount from 1.1.86 to the end of March,
1992. The tribunal by the impugned otrder has granted interest @ 12% per annum
for the saidf period to the respondent. This order is challenged in the present
respondent jouned the Indian Revenue Service in 1969. He was promoted as Deputy
Commissioner of Incometax in the year 1979. The respondent was considered fro thr
grant of non-functional selection grade by the Departmental Promotion Committee
held in May/June 1990. His case was deferred as his Confidential Reports were
not available. His name was again considered by the Departmental Promotion
Committee held after 3 month in September 1990. As the integrity of the
respondent was not certified by the vigilance departmental, and two memoranda
had already been issued to him calling for his explanation, the findings of the
Departmental Promotion Committee relating to the respondent were kept in a
sealed cover in accordance with the provision contained in the DOP&T OM
No.22011/2/86- East(A) dated 12th of January 1988.
respondent approached the Central Administratice Tribunal at Delhi against the adoption of the
procedure of a sealed cover in the matter of grant of selection grade to him.
The Tribunal by its order dated 3rd of January, 1991 ordered the Department to
give effect to the recommendations of the Departmental Promotion Committee w.e.f.
1st of January 1986, this being the date from which person junior to the
respondent were granted non-functional selection grade, provided he was
declared fit by the Departmental Promotion Committee.
16th of July 1991 a charge-sheet was served on the respondent. The Department,
however, in view of the above order of the Tribunal, took steps of implement
the order by adopting the appropriate departmental procedure for opening the
sealed cover. When the sealed cover was opened the respondent was found fit.
The requisite approval from the Finance Ministry was obtained on 5th of March,
orders were issued granting non-functional selection grade to the respondent on
11th of March, 1992.
consequent payment 1992. We are further informed that the departmental
proceedings are still pending against the respondent.
these ciroumstances we have to examine whether their order of the Tribunal granging
interest @ 12% per annum to the respondent for the period January 1986 to March
1992 can be upheld. In the first place, there is no provision of law under
which such interest can be granted. Learned Advocte for the respondent,
however, has contended before us that on equitable considerations, the Tribunal
has granted interest @ 12% per annum to the respondent and we need not
interfere with the discretion exercised by the Tribunal in this regard. But
looking to the facts and circumstances of the present case, we cannot accept
the submission made by learned Advocate for the respondent. Before any interest
can be granted on equitable considerations, it is necessary that the facts of
the case should be examined to ascertian whether there are any special equties
which would justify the grant of such interest although there is no provision
in law for such grant. We have failed to find any such equities in favour of
the respondent in the present case. The respondent alongwith others was considereed
by the Departmental Promotion, Committee for the grant of selection grade only
in 1990. All those who were selected by the Departmental Promotion Committee
and granted selsction grade w.e.f. 1.1.86 were given the difference in salary
and other emoluments soon after the issuance of the order granting them
selection grade. None of them received interest from January 1986 on the
amounts so paid, althought they were granted selsecion grade w.e.f. 1.1.86 In
the case of the Departmental Promotion committee immediately and the sealed
cover procedure had to be resorted to because his intergarity was not certified
by the Department in view of the two memoranda having already been issued to
the respondent. We will assume in favour of the respondent that these memoranda
as well as the chargesheed which has been subsequently issued, are unwarpanted.
navertheless, the Departmental Promotion Committee was required to adopt the
sealed cover procedure for vailed reasons. it was only on account of the order
dated 3rd of January, 1991 issued by the Central Administrative Tribunal,
Delhi, that the sealed cover was opened, although investigations were pending
and a charge-sheet had also been issued. In these circumstances selection grade
was granted to the respondent by the order dated 11th of March 1992. It is
difficult to see any equities in favour of the respondent which would require
granting on any iterset to him form 1st January, 1986 as has been done in the
present case. At any rate, when the Departmental Enquiry is not complete and
the respondent has not so far been exonerated of the charges made against him,
the grant of interest appears to be wholly unjustified.
above circumstances, as we fail to see any kind of equity in favour of the
respondent, the impugned order of the Tribunal is set aside and the appeal is
allowed. In the circumstances, there will be no order as to costs.