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On Centre's Plea, Rajasthan High Court Stays CAT's Order Granting Notional Annual Grade Increment To Central Govt Employees

ANIRUDH VIJAY
27 May 2022 1:48 PM GMT
On Centres Plea, Rajasthan High Court Stays CATs Order Granting Notional Annual Grade Increment To Central Govt Employees
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The Rajasthan High Court, Jaipur has stayed Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT), Jaipur's order which disposed of the Original Application of the Central government employees-respondents/ applicants and directed the petitioners-Union of India to grant one annual grade increment payable on 1st July to all applicants

Notably, the Union stated that the respondents/ applicants completing 6 months and above in the revised pay structure as on 1st July will be eligible to be granted the increment. It was added that since the respondents/applicants had retired from service on 30th June, they were not in service as on 1st July of their respective years.

The division bench placed reliance on Safi Mohd. & Ors. v. State of Rajasthan [C.W. 6024/ 2021], whereby the division bench of this court observed that such increment is not payable. Moreover, the respondent counsel informed the court that the matter is pending for adjudication before the Apex Court In this regard, the court considered it appropriate to stay the impugned order till the disposal of the writ petitions.

Justice Pankaj Bhandari and Justice Anoop Kumar Dhand, while admitting the petition, observed,

"The dispute pertains to grant of annual grade increment. As per the Division Bench Judgment of this Court in the case of Safi Mohd. & Ors. Vs. State of Rajasthan in D.B Civil Writ Petition No.6024/2021 decided on 01.12.2021, the increment is not payable, however, counsel for the respondent contends that the matter is pending for adjudication before the Hon'ble Apex Court.

In view of the contentions raised, we deem it appropriate to stay the impugned order till the disposal of the writ petitions."

The plea filed by the Union stated as per the Fundamental Rules 9(21), 9(6), 17(1), 22, 26(a) and 56(a) as also the provisions of CCS (RP) Rules, 2008, a person appointed as a govt. servant is entitled to pay, and is also entitled to draw the annual increment as long as such govt. servant discharges duties of the post. It is stated that an employee would not be entitled to any increment if it falls due after the date of retirement, be it on the next date of retirement or sometime thereafter.

Moreover, it was alleged in the plea that the Tribunal has passed a completely unjust, unfair and arbitrary order in as much as it failed to appreciate the relevant provisions of the Fundamental Rules, the office memorandum of DoPT and the instant facts at hand that the respondents had very well ceased to be the govt. servants on the date of retirement and thus, cannot be given the benefits of notional annual increment.

Reliance was placed by the petitioner on the Andhra Pradesh High Court's decision in Principal Accountant General v. C.Subba Rao [2005], the full bench observed that a person retired on the last working day would not be entitled for any increment failing due on the next day.

The plea alleged that the respondents have heavily relied upon Madras High Court's decision of P. Ayyamperumal v. Registrar, CAT, Madras [2017]. against which an Special Leave Petition was filed before the Supreme Court and was subsequently dismissed in 2019. The plea states that the Supreme Court did not consider the legal principles involved on which the applicants had relied.

Moreover, it was alleged in the plea that the Delhi High Court in Union of India & Ors. vs G.C. Yadav held that P. Ayyamperumal case of the Madras High Court has only persuasive value and therefore, in the facts and circumstances of the instant case, the ratio of the judgment in P. Ayyamperumal cannot be relied upon.

In addition to this, it was stated in the plea that no instructions have been issued by DoPT so far for implementation of P. Ayyamperumal which is so heavily relied upon by the respondents.

Adv. Divyesh Masheshwari appeared for the petitioner-Union of India while Adv. Vinod Goyal appeared for the respondent.

Case Title: Union Of India v. Manohar Lal

Click here to Read Order


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