Union of India & Ors vs Shri C.R. Madhava Murthy & Anr.
Union of India & Ors vs Shri C.R. Madhava Murthy & Anr.
IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
CIVIL APPEAL NOS. 20872088 OF 2022
Union of India & Ors. ..Appellant (S)
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
2. The facts leading to the present appeals in a nutshell are as
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
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
"(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
(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
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
(M. R. SHAH)
April 06, 2022.