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[MACP Scheme] Claimant Cannot Be Denied Benefit Based On Clause Quashed By Tribunal Once Decision Is Upheld By HC: Delhi High Court

Nupur Thapliyal
30 Sep 2022 7:31 AM GMT
[MACP Scheme] Claimant Cannot Be Denied Benefit Based On Clause Quashed By Tribunal Once Decision Is Upheld By HC: Delhi High Court
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The Delhi High Court has observed that once a clause of a scheme is quashed by a tribunal and the decision is upheld by a High Court, the said clause ceases to exist in the scheme particularly when the government has decided to accept the ruling and implemented the same.The division bench of Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva and Justice Tushar Rao Gedela made the observation while dismissing Centre's...

The Delhi High Court has observed that once a clause of a scheme is quashed by a tribunal and the decision is upheld by a High Court, the said clause ceases to exist in the scheme particularly when the government has decided to accept the ruling and implemented the same.

The division bench of Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva and Justice Tushar Rao Gedela made the observation while dismissing Centre's plea challenging an order passed by the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) directing it to consider the claim of some individuals for financial upgradation in terms of the Modified Assured Career Progression Scheme (MACP), 2009.

The MACP scheme is a promotional scheme for Central Government employees. The scheme provides additional pay benefits in the form of Financial upgradation when regular promotion is getting delayed.

The claimants had earlier approached the Principal Bench of CAT seeking benefit of the service rendered in the parent cadre (State Government) while considering their eligibility for financial upgradation in terms of the scheme. The benefit was denied to the employees citing Clause 10 of Condition 4 of the MACP Scheme

The said provision provided that past services rendered by a central government employee in a State Government or Statutory Body or a Public sector organisation before appointment in the Central Government shall not be counted as regular service for the purposes of the scheme.

However, the Principal Bench in its order dated 12.05.2015 noted that a bench of the Tribunal at Jodhpur in Kishan Lal vs UOI had earlier struck down clause 10 of the MACP Scheme after relying upon the decision of year 2006 of its coordinate bench in a case titled D.K.Sharma v. Union of India & Ors.

The Principal Bench in the order had also said that it was bound by the view taken by a coordinate bench of equal strength, as per a Supreme Court decision. Even the decision in D.K Sharma was upheld by the Rajasthan High Court at Jodhpur in 2010 and SLP against it was dismissed in limine by the apex court, it was noted.

The HC division bench in its judgement further observed that even the decision in Kishan Lal's case - the one on which Principal Bench of CAT placed reliance - has been upheld by the Rajasthan High Court's Jodhpur bench.

"It is an admitted position that the petitioners have not impugned the decision of the Rajasthan High Court in Kishan Lal any further and have accepted the judgment. It is also not in dispute that both Kishan Lal and Dharmendra Kumar Sharma have been given the benefit which is sought to be denied to the respondents herein," said the division bench.

Dismissing Centre's plea, the Court observed that for all practical purposes, Clause 10 ceases to exist from the MACP Scheme and therefore the ground on which claimants were denied the benefit was an erroneous application of the scheme.

"Once a particular clause of a scheme is quashed and that quashing is upheld by the High Court, said clause ceases to exist in the scheme particularly when the Government has decided to accept the decision of the High Court and implemented the same," the court said.

The court also rejected the Centre's contention that the order in Kishan Lal's case was implemented only qua him, and said that there is no such direction either by the tribunal or Rajasthan HC that the scheme has to be implemented in the peculiar facts and circumstances of the case.

It also refused to accept the argument that the Jodhpur bench of CAT erroneously quashed the Clause 10.

"We are unable to accept the contention of learned counsel for the petitioners for the reason that the Tribunal in the order impugned herein has not quashed clause 10 of the scheme but has only relied upon a decision of the Jodhpur bench of the Tribunal which had quashed clause 10 of the Scheme, the quashing of which was upheld by the Division Bench of the High Court and that quashing was accepted by the petitioners and the order was implemented," said the division bench.

Noting that the Tribunal in the impugned order had granted three months' time to the Centre for completing the exercise, the Court directed it to complete the same within a period of three months.

Title: UNION OF INDIA & ANR v. GIRBAR SINGH & ORS

Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Del) 922

Petitioners's Counsel: T.P.Singh, Senior Central Government Counsel. 

Respondent's Counsel: Advocates Wajeeh Shafiq with Nimish Chib, Ramsha Shan, Sabika Ahmad and Divve Chugh.

Click Here To Read Order 


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