Engineer & Ors Vs. A. Sankariah  Insc 528 (17 October 2003)
Bhan & Dr. Ar. Lakshmanan.Bhan, J.
respondent herein was appointed as Junior Engineer in the Dandakarnya
Development Authority on 30.5.1980 in the pay scale of Rs.425-700. Subsequently,
he was declared surplus in the said project. With a view to mitigate the
hardship which would result from such retrenchment of employees, a scheme for
re-deployment of surplus staff was formulated by the Government of India vide
Ministry of Home Affairs, O.M. No. 3/27/65- CSII dated 25.2.1966 to provide
facility for re-deployment/alternative placement in other Government Offices
where suitable vacancies exist.
the re-deployment of surplus staff was treated as transfer in public interest
for specific purposes like transfer-TA, joining time, joining time pay, leave
and pension, the surplus staff was treated as fresh entrants in the new office
for the purpose of seniority and seniority based matters in that office.
view of the above O.M. respondent was offered an appointment in CPWD as Junior
Engineer which he jointed on 19.8.1988 as a fresh entrant.
letter of appointment it was specifically stated that the appointment will take
effect from the date he actually joins the duty. That he would be on probation
for a period of 2 years and required to pass a departmental examination in
simple accounts within two years from the date of appointment and in the event
of his failure to pass the said test within the stipulated time the second
increment and future increment would be withheld till he passes the test. The
appointment was temporary and liable to be terminated at any time by giving one
month's notice. That he would not be granted the benefit of past service
rendered by him prior to deployment for the purposes of seniority.
General of Works, Central Public Works Department vide O.M. No. A-11014/1/91EC
/VI dated 27.3.1991 took a decision that with effect from 1.1.1986 the Junior
Engineers (Civil and Electrical) and the Section Officers (Horticulture) of
CPWD on their completion of 5 years service in the entry grade pay scale of Rs.
1400-40-1800-EB-50-2300 (Pre- revised pay scale of Rs.
425-15-500-EB-15-500-20-700) may be placed in the higher grade pay scale of Rs.
1640-60-2600-EB-75-2900 subject to the rejection of unfit and vigilance
clearance by the DPC. In order to clarify that the benefit of past service
rendered prior to deployment would not be counted for fixation of revised pay
scales as per OM dated 27.3.1991 the Directorate
General of Works, Central Public Works Department, issued O.M. No.
A-26017/4/91/EC /VI dated 16.8.1991 clarifying that the Junior Engineers
re-deployed in the CPWD shall not be entitled to take the benefit of past
service for getting the benefit of two higher pay scales vide Memo dated
27.3.1991 as the same benefit was not admissible to the CPWD Junior Engineers
who were senior to them with less than 5/15 years service.
extract of O.M. dated 16.8.1991 is reproduced below:
matter has been considered and it has been observed that according to the
instructions contained in the scheme of re-deployed staff issued by the
Government from time to time the re- deployed staff are treated as fresh
entrants in the new offices/organisations for the purpose of fixing their
seniority and they are placed below the employees who have already joined the
new offices/organisations wherein they count the date of their seniority from
the date of joining/confirmation. The intention behind the policy is that the
benefit of past service should be allowed to them where it does not adversely
affect the interest of the employees already senior in the office/organisation
to which they are re-deployed.
has, therefore, been decided that the Junior Engineer's re-deployed in the CPWD
are not entitled to the past service benefit for getting the benefit of the two
higher pay scales vide this Directorate O.M. No. A 11014/1/91/EC/VI dated
27.3.1991 as the same benefit is not admissible to the CPWD Junior Engineers who
are senior to them with less than 5/15 years service." O.M. dated
27.3.1991 was to work out as under:
1400-40-1800-EB-50-2300 – At the entry stage.
1640-60-2600-EB-75-2900 - after completion of 5 years of service in the entry
grade effective from 1.1.1996.
2000-60-2300-EB-75-3200-100-3500 – After completion of 15 years service effect
Department of CPWD being of the opinion that on re- deployment the respondent
joined the CPWD as Junior Engineer (Civil) on 19.8.1988 as a fresh entrant
became eligible for the grant of higher scale of pay of Rs. 1640-2900 after
completion of 5 years in CPWD, gave him the benefit of higher pay scale on
19.8.1993, i.e., on completion of 5 years of service in the CPWD.
feeling aggrieved against the order granting the benefit of higher pay scale w.e.f.
19.8.1993 filed O.A. No. 929 of 1995 before the Central Administrative
Tribunal, Hyderabad Bench, hereinafter referred to as "the Tribunal",
claiming that his past service in Dandakarnya Development Authority should have
been taken into account for fixation of higher pay scale w.e.f. 19.8.1988.
Appellant in its written statement took the stand that for the eligibility of
higher pay scale the period of service rendered in the Dandakarnya Development
Authority could not be counted for giving higher pay scale. For fixation higher
scale of pay as per O.M.dated 27.3.1991, the only service, which could be
counted was the service rendered in the CPWD.
following the judgment and order in OA No. 2241 of 1991 allowed the OA filed by
the respondent. Against the order in OA No. 2241 of 1991 the appellant had
filed special leave petition… CCP 328 of 1993 the ground of delay on
30.11.1993. Since CCP 328 of 1993 in OA No.2241 of 1991 was not disposed of on
merits the appellant filed Special Leave Petition No. 421 of 1996 in this Court
against the judgment and order in OA No. 929 of 1995 (filed by the respondent)
which was disposed of on 10.9.1996 by observing that since this Court had not disposed
of the special leave petition …CCP 328 of 1993 in OA No. 2241 of 1991 on merits
the decision rendered by this Court could not be taken as a precedent. The
special leave petition was disposed of reserving liberty with the appellant to
file a review before the Tribunal within a period of 30 days. Thereafter the
appellant filed Review Application No. 88 of 1996 before the Tribunal which has
been dismissed by the impugned order. It was held that:
clearly appears to us that the provisions of OM dated 27.2.1991 which speak of
the requirement of completed 5 years of service in the grade mean the entry
into the pay scale of Rs. 1400-2300 including pre-revised scale Rs. 425-700 and
it has no reference to the post in which the employee has been re-deployed or
to the post he was holding earlier under the Dandakarnya Project. Admittedly
the applicant was in that pay scale at any rate since prior to 1983 and he had
completed 5 years in that grade which was the entry grade by the date on which
he was re-deployed i.e. on 19.8.1988. In our view it would not be correct
interpretation to be placed on the OM
to read the length of period of 5 years as from the date of entry in the
redeployed post. The applicant thus having fulfilled the requisite condition to
get the scale of pay of Rs. 1640-2900 w.e.f. 19.8.1988 as held in the order
under the review we see no reason to hold that there is an error apparent on
the fact of the record or even otherwise any legal error therein. "
Aggrieved by the order passed by the Tribunal the appellant has come up in this
counsel for the parties have been heard at length.
O.M. dated 25.2.1966 providing facility for re-deployment/ alternative
placement of the retrenched employees in other Government Offices it was specifically
mentioned that re-deployment of surplus staff was treated as transfer in public
interest for the specific purposes like transfer- TA, joining time, joining
time pay, leave and pension, but, for all other intents and purposes, the
surplus staff on re-deployment would be treated as a fresh entrant in the
service of the new department. The purpose behind this was not to disturb the
seniority of the persons who were already working in the equivalent post in
that department. This fact is re-enforced by the subsequent O.M. dated
16.8.1991 wherein it is mentioned that the intention behind the policy was that
the benefit of past service could not be allowed to re-deployed employees so as
not to affect the interest of the employees already senior in the office/organisation
in which they are re-deployed. O.M.dated 16.8.1991 was issued to clarify that
the Junior Engineers re-deployed in the CPWD are not entitled to the past
service benefit for getting the benefit of two higher pay scales as the same
benefit was not admissible to the CPWD Junior Engineers who are senior to them
with less than 5/15 years service.
OM dated 27.3.1991 is understood and
interpreted in the manner it has been done by the Tribunal, it would create an
anomalous situation. Juniors in service would get higher pay than their
seniors. For instance, a person recruited fresh from the open market in the
service of CPWD as a Junior Engineer in the year 1987 would get the benefit of
higher grade in terms of O.M. dated 27.3.1991 in the year 1992 whereas the re-
deployed Junior Engineer who joined the CPWD in the year 1988 and placed junior
to the person who joined in the year 1987, would get the benefit of higher
scale of pay under the O.M. on the basis of the past service rendered by him earlier
to the person senior to him. Precisely to avoid such a situation, in the policy
framed for the re-deployment of the surplus staff, it was made clear that the
re-deployed staff in the new department would be treated as a fresh entrant and
the service rendered by him in the previous department would not be counted
towards seniority. Appointment on deployment was to be treated as on transfer
only for specified purposes like transfer-TA, joining time, joining time pay,
leave and pension only. The Tribunal while interpreting the O.M. dated
27.3.1991 held that respondent's past service in Dandakarnya Development
Authority was to be counted for fixation the higher pay scale, without
considering the fact that respondent's re-deployment in the CPWD w.e.f. 19.8.1988
was totally a fresh appointment.
27.3.1991 was issued by the Department of CPWD to give the benefit of higher
pay-scale/revised pay scale to its Junior Engineers on completion of 5 years of
service in CPWD for the entry grade pay scale of Rs. 1400-40-1800-EB-50-2300
(Pre-revised pay scale of Rs. 425-15-500- EB-15-500-20-700) which could not be
given to an employee who was taken on re-deployment in the CPWD who was working
in the pre-revised pay scale of Rs. 425-15-500-EB-15-500-20-700, as they had
not completed 5 years of service in the department of CPWD. The benefit of
revised pay scale could be given only on completion of 5 years of service in
the CPWD in the entry grade pay scale of Rs. 1400-40-1800-EB-50-2300.
Respondent could not be given for the benefit of working in the pre-revised
scale of Rs.425-15-500-EB-15-500 -20-700 in his previous department. The
emphasis in the O.M. was for the service of 5 years rendered in the CPWD and
not for working in a particular grade in his service career, as has been
understood by the Tribunal. Tribunal has proceeded as if this benefit was given
to a person who had rendered service in a particular grade in his service
career including some other department. In our opinion, in the O.M. the
emphasis was to give benefit to the Junior Engineers working in the CPWD of a
higher grade on their completion of 5 years of service. The respondent was to
be treated as a fresh entrant and the benefit of the O.M. dated 27.3.1991 could
be given to him on completion of 5 years of service in CPWD from the date of
his joining the CPWD.
re-deployment the respondent joined the service in the CPWD as Junior Engineer
on 19.8.1988 as a fresh entrant and in the offer of appointment dated 11.8.1988
it was clearly stipulated that his re-deployment in the CPWD will not get the
benefit of his past service in Dandakarnya Development Authority and his
seniority in CPWD will be reckoned from the date of his actual joining the CPWD
as Junior Engineer. He had accepted this offer and joined the Junior Engineer
in terms of letter of re- deployment in the CPWD. In case the interpretation
put by the Tribunal is accepted the very purpose of putting the term mentioned
in the letter of appointment that on re-deployment the employee would not get the
benefit of his past service would be nullified. This would go against the
express condition contained in the policy as well as in the letter of
appointment to the respondent. It was not an appointment by way of transfer as
has been understood by the Tribunal. It was a fresh appointment for all intents
and purposes but in order to give certain specified benefits like transfer-TA,
joining time, joining time pay, leave and pension the re-deployment was treated
as transfer in public interest and not for any other purpose.
the respondent had not completed 5 years of service in CPWD in terms of O.M.
dated 27.3.1991 he could not claim the benefit of O.M.dated 27.3.1991 from the
date he joined the CPWD. He could claim the benefit only after completion of 5 years
of service in the CPWD. It has to be appreciated that re-deployment of the
respondent in the CPWD was only with a view to mitigate the hardship caused to
him by his retrenchment from service in Dandakarnya Development Authority
project. It was to protect his retrenchment from service. As per the terms of
the policy and the letter of appointment, his re-deployment in the CPWD was to
be treated as a fresh employment. His past service rendered in Dandakarnya
Development Authority could not be counted for extending the benefit of O.M.
the reasons stated above, the appeal is accepted and the order of the Tribunal
is set aside. It is held that the respondent would be entitled to the benefit
of the O.M. dated 27.3.1991 only after completion of 5 years of service as
Junior Engineer in the CPWD. There will be no order as to costs.