Sunder Lal & Ors Vs. Union of India & Ors  INSC 461
(3 September 1998)
V. Manohar, S. Rajendra Babu. Sujata V. Manohar, J.
appellants were initially appointed in the service of the North Eastern Railway
as carpenters. However, on their passing trade test for carpenter and wireman
they were appointed as wiremen-cum-carpenters with effect from 16.12.1968. As
the category of carpenter-cum-wireman was a non-standard category, the
North-Eastern railway authority decided to abolish this category in 1978.
Options were invited from the original appellants who were six in number to opt
either for the carpenter's category or wireman's category. In 1979 the
appellants exercised their option for the category of wireman. Thereafter they
were posted as wiremen. However, on account of problems which arose relating to
the seniority of the appellants qua the existing wiremen, the General Manager
of North-Eastern railway by issuing order dated 24.9.1984, decided to put the
appellants in the category of carpenter which was the category in which they
were initially appointed. Their names were removed from the seniority list of
appellants had, in the meanwhile, in 1984 filed a suit for a declaration that
they were eligible to appear for the test for promotion to the highly skilled
wiremen Grade II posts. Since they were abbsorbed as wiremen. The suit was
decreed. The appeal which was transferred to the Central Administrative
Tribunal has been allowed and the suit has been dismissed. The Tribunal has
rightly come to the conclusion that under paragraph 2011 of the Indian Railway
Establishment Code Volume II a competent authority may transfer a railway
servant from one post to another provided that, except on account of inefficiency
on misbehavior or on his written request, he shall not be transferred to a post
carrying less pay than the pay of the post over which he holds a lien.
present case the posts of carpenter and wiremen are equivalent posts carrying
the same pay and the same terms and conditions of service. The post of
carpenter is also a post to which the appellants were originally appointed.
Now, on account of administrative reasons the appellants have been posted as
carpenter instead of wiremen when the category of carpenter-cum-wireman was
proposed to be abolished. We are also informed that out of the six appellant
two have been died and the other four have been working as carpenter after the
Tribunal's order of 10.2.1987. Looking to all the circumstances of the present
case this is not a fit case for setting aside the decision of the General
Manager of 24.9.1984 when the appellants continued to get the same pay in the
same pay-scale and the terms and conditions of service were not affected in any
appeal is, therefore, dismissed. There will, however, be no orders as to costs.