Chandigarh Administration & Ors Vs. Naurang
Singh & Ors  INSC 282 (11 March 1997)
JEEVAN REDDY, K.S. PARIPOORNAN
JEEVAN REDDY, J.
appeal is preferred against the judgement of the Central administrative
Tribunal, Chandigarh allowing the Original application
filed by respondents 1 to 5 herein.
respondents are storekeepers in the Punjab Engineering College. Their claim before the tribunal was that they are entitled
to the pay scale of Rs. 570- 1080 as has been given to five other storekeepers
in the same college. The respondents invoked the principle " equal pay for
equal work". The Tribunal has upheld their claim.
Notification dated November
1, 1966 issued by the
Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India, the Administration of the Union
Territory of Chandigarh was required to follow the pattern of Punjab Government
with respect to the nature of the post, pay scale and the revision of pa
scales. According to the Punjab pattern, the scale of pay of
storekeeper was the same as that of the clerks namely Rs 60-175, which was
later revised to Rs. 110 - 50. However, on the basis of a letter written by the
Principal of the Punjab Engineering College , Chandigarh, the Chandigarh Administration revised the pay scales of
three categories including that of storekeeper. As against the pay scale of Rs
110-250, the pay scale of Rs. 160-400 was extended to the storekeepers. Because
of this proceeding, the five storekeepers working in the college at that time
got the benefit of the said higher pay scale.
1978-79 the Chandigarh Administration accepted and brought into force the
recommendations of the Second Pay Revision committee. According to this
recommendation, the pay scale of the storekeeper was kept at the same level as
that of clerk . (By that date the pay scale of Rs. 160-400 was revised to Rs.
570- 1080 to them also this was rejected where upon they approached the
case of the Administration before the Tribunal was that the decision of the chandigarh Administration contained in its
letter dated 19.9.75 extending the higher pay scale to storekeeper was mistake.
it was an unscheduled and unwarranted revision. The Higher pay scale then given
to storekeeper was the pay scale actually given to Assistants, which is a
promotion post for storekeepers. This mistake was corrected by the pay Revision
Committee whose recommendations were accepted at the same time it was thought
that taking away the said higher pay scale form the five persons (to whom it
was already given) would not be proper and advisable and, therefore, the said
higher pay was treated as personal pay to the said five storekeepers.
as respondents 1 to 5 were appointed after the acceptance of recommendations of
Second Pay Revision committee, the Administration said, the respondents cannot
treat the said mistake as a precedent nor can they make it a basis for claiming
equal pay. The Tribunal refused to accept this case.
are, however, of the opinion that a mistake committed by the Administration
cannot furnish a valid or legitimate ground for the Court or the Tribunal to
the direct the Administration to go on repeating that mistake.
proceedings placed before us clearly show that the pay revision of September
19,1975 was an unscheduled one, effected merely on the basis of a letter
written by the Principal of the College The Administration no doubt could have
rectified that mistake. That would have been the most appropriate course but
their failure to do so cannot entitle the respondents to say that mistake
should form a basis for giving the higher pay scale to them also. The
proceedings of the Administration dated 19.8.1982 clearly shows that the said
higher pay scale was treated as personal to the then existing incumbents. As
stated above that was really t he pay scale admissible to the post of
Assistants which was a promotion post to storekeepers. Both these posts cannot
be given the same pay scale.
are, therefore, of the opinion that the claim of the respondents could not have
been allowed by the Tribunal.
doctrine of "Equal pay for equal work" Has no application in such a
situation. An evident mistake cannot constitute a valid basis for compelling
the administration to keep on repeating that mistake. Personal pay is granted
to employees on various grounds. In certain services where the matriculation is
the minimum educational qualification for a particular post, and a graduate
joins that post, additional increments are given to him to start with.
are also given to male employees for undergoing family planning operation. Such
personal pays cannot furnish a ground for invoking the doctrine of "equal
pay for equal work". Because it was a mistake it was treated as personal
pay for existing incumbents. And for future incumbents, the appropriate pay
scale was given.
the above reasons the appeals is allowed and the order of the Tribunal is set
aside. No order as to costs.
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