Union of India & Ors vs Shri C.R. Madhava Murthy & Anr.

Union of India & Ors vs Shri C.R. Madhava Murthy & Anr.

Landmark Cases of India / सुप्रीम कोर्ट के ऐतिहासिक फैसले


REPORTABLE
IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
CIVIL APPEAL NOS. 2087­2088 OF 2022
Union of India & Ors.      ..Appellant (S)
Versus
Shri C.R. Madhava Murthy & Anr.                       ..Respondent (S)
J U D G M E N T 
M. R. Shah, J.
1. Feeling aggrieved and dissatisfied with the impugned common
judgment   and   order   dated   31.07.2021   passed   by   the   High
Court of Karnataka in Writ Petition Nos. 33038­33039/2016,
by which the High Court has allowed the said writ petitions,
the   Union   of   India   and   others   have   preferred   the   present
appeals.
  
2. The facts leading to the present appeals in a nutshell are as
under: ­
2.1 That the respondents herein ­ original writ petitioners were
appointed   as   Lower   Division   Clerk   on   01.02.1973   and
03.08.1973, respectively. Thereafter, they were promoted to the
post of Upper Division Clerk on 04.10.1976. That one of the
respondents was promoted to officiate as an Inspector w.e.f.
02.04.1981 and the other respondent was promoted to officiate
as   an   Inspector   on   13.07.1981.   One   Shri   C.K.   Satish   was
appointed   as   an   Inspector   on   17.12.1981   by   way   of   direct
recruitment and one Shri B.S. Srikanth was also appointed as
an Inspector by way of direct recruitment on 15.05.1982.  
In order to provide upgradation to its employees and to
remove the stagnation on a particular post, the Union of India
introduced “Assured Career Progression Scheme” (ACP Scheme)
w.e.f. 09.08.1999. The said Shri C.K. Satish and Shri B.S.
Srikanth were granted upgradation under the ACP Scheme.
The   original   writ   petitioners   were   promoted   to   the   post   of
Superintendent of Central Excise and Customs on 02.07.2000.
The employees, juniors to the original writ petitioners were
granted upgradation under the ACP Scheme w.e.f. 17.12.2005
and 15.05.2006. However, it so happened that the persons who
were placed lower in the upgradation list than the original writ
petitioners, on account of upgradation granted to them under
the ACP Scheme, started drawing higher pay. Therefore, the
original   writ   petitioners   submitted   a   representation   to   the
Department for stepping up and to remove the anomaly and to
fix   their   salaries   at   par   with   their   juniors.   Thereafter,   the
original writ petitioners preferred O.A. Nos. 813 & 814/2014
before the Central Administrative Tribunal, Bengaluru Bench,
Bengaluru.   By   the   common   order   dated   04.01.2016,   the
Tribunal rejected the said applications. Feeling aggrieved and
dissatisfied with the common order dated 04.01.2016 passed
by the Tribunal, the respondents herein preferred the present
writ petitions before the High Court. On considering FR 22,
which   provides   for   stepping   up   of   pay   and   the   removal   of
anomaly   by   stepping   up   of   pay   of   a   senior   on   promotion
drawing lesser pay than his junior, by the impugned common
judgment   and   order   the   High   Court   has   allowed   the   writ
petitions and has directed the appellants herein to step up the
pay of the respondents herein, keeping in view the pay scale
which has been granted to the juniors from the date they have
started drawing lesser pay than their juniors. 
2.2 Feeling aggrieved with the impugned common judgment and
order passed by the High Court, the Union of India and others
have preferred the present appeals.       
3. Ms. Madhvi Divan, learned ASG, appearing on behalf of the
appellants has vehemently submitted that while passing the
impugned common judgment and order, the High Court has
not   at   all   appreciated   and/or   properly   considered   the   ACP
Scheme. 
3.1 It is submitted that the respective original writ petitioners were
already   promoted   to   the   post   of   Superintendent   of   Central
Excise and Customs. It is submitted that once the respective
writ petitioners were already granted the promotion, thereafter,
there was no question of granting any stepping up of pay under
the ACP Scheme. 
3.2 It is submitted that the High Court has not at all appreciated
the object and purpose of ACP Scheme. It is submitted that as
per the catena of judgments of this Court and various High
Courts, the purpose of the ACP Scheme/MACP Scheme is to
relieve   the   frustration   on   account   of   stagnation   and   the
Scheme does not involve the actual grant of promotional post
to the employees, but to merely monetary benefits in the form
of next higher grade subject to fulfilment of qualifications and
eligibility criteria. It is submitted therefore that when in the
present case the original writ petitioners were already promoted
to the next higher post – Superintendent of Central Excise and
Customs and they were placed in the appropriate pay scale of
the promotional post, thereafter, there was no question of any
stepping up in the pay.        
4. Having heard Ms. Madhvi Divan, learned ASG and considering
the facts and circumstances of the case, which has emerged
from the impugned judgment and order passed by the High
Court, it cannot be said that the original writ petitioners were
as such claiming the stepping up of the pay under the ACP
Scheme. Their grievance was with respect to the anomaly in the
pay   scale   and   their   grievance   was   that   while   granting
upgradation under the ACP Scheme, their juniors were getting
higher salaries than what they receive. Therefore, it was a case
of removal of anomaly by stepping up of pay of seniors on
promotion drawing a less pay than their juniors. 
5. The High Court has therefore rightly relied and/or considered
FR 22 and the order issued by the Government of India on
removal of anomaly by stepping up of pay, which reads as
under: ­ 
"(22) Removal of anomaly by stepping up of pay of Senior on
promotion drawing less pay than his junior ­ (a) As a result of
application of FR 22 ­C. [Now FR 22 (I) (a) (1)]. In order to remove
the anomaly of a Government servant promoted or appointed to a
higher post on or after 1­4­1961 drawing a lower rate of pay in
that post than another Government servant junior to him in the
lower grade and promoted or appointed subsequently to another
identical post, it has been decided the in such cases the pay of the
senior officer in the higher post should be stepped up to a figure
equal to the pay as fixed for the junior officer in that higher post.
The stepping up should be done with effect  from the date of
promotion or appointment of the junior officer and will be subject
to the following conditions, namely: ­
(a) Both the junior and senior officers should belong to the
same   cadre   and   the   posts   in   which   they   have   been
promoted or appointed should be identical and in the
same cadre; 
(b) The scales of pay of the lower and higher posts in which
they are entitled to draw pay should be identical; 
(c) The   anomaly   should   be   directly   as   a   result   of   the
application of FR­22­C. For example, if even in the lower
post the junior officer draws from time to time a higher
rate of pay than the senior by virtue of grant of advance
increments, the above provisions will not be invoked to
step up the pay of the senior officer.”
The orders refixing the pay of the senior officers I accordance
with the above provisions shall be issued under FR­27. The
next   increment   of   the   senior   officer   will   be   drawn   on
completion of the requisite qualifying service with effect from
the date of refixation of pay. 
[G.I.,   M.F.,   0.M.   No.F.2   [78)­E.III   (A)/66,   dated   the   4th
February, 1966)".
6. Therefore, it was a case where a junior was drawing more pay
on account of upgradation under the ACP Scheme and there
was an anomaly and therefore, the pay of senior was required
to be stepped up. Hence, in the facts and circumstances of the
case, the High Court has rightly directed the appellants herein
to step up the pay of the original writ petitioners keeping in
view of pay scale which has been granted to the juniors from
the   date   they   have   started   drawing   lesser   pay   than   their
juniors. We are in complete agreement with the view taken by
the High Court. No interference of this Court is called for.     
7. In view of the above and for the reasons stated above, the
present appeals deserve to be dismissed and the same are
dismissed, accordingly. 
…………………………………J.
                          (M. R. SHAH)
…………………………………J.
         (B.V. NAGARATHNA)
New Delhi, 
April  06, 2022.

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