Begin typing your search above and press return to search.
Top Stories

Principle Of Equal Pay For Equal Work Cannot Be Applied Merely On Basis Of Designation: Supreme Court

LIVELAW NEWS NETWORK
1 Sep 2021 5:24 AM GMT
Principle Of Equal Pay For Equal Work Cannot Be Applied Merely On Basis Of Designation: Supreme Court
x

The Supreme Court observed that the principle of equal pay for equal work cannot be applied merely on basis of designation.In this case, the court had to examine the claims made by Private Secretaries (Grade-II) ("PS-II") employed in the Eastern Central Railways (Field Office/Zonal Railways),for parity in pay with their counterparts working in the Central Secretariat Stenographers...

The Supreme Court observed that the principle of equal pay for equal work cannot be applied merely on basis of designation.

In this case, the court had to examine the claims made by Private Secretaries (Grade-II) ("PS-II") employed in the Eastern Central Railways (Field Office/Zonal Railways),for parity in pay with their counterparts working in the Central Secretariat Stenographers Service ("CSSS")/Railway Board Secretariat Stenographers Service ("RBSSS")/Central Administrative Tribunal ("CAT").

Interpreting the Sixth Central Pay Commission report, the court noticed that the aspect of disparity between the Secretariat and the field offices was a matter taken note of by the Commission itself while making the recommendations. "Yet to some extent, a separate recommendation was made qua Secretariat Organizations and non-Secretariat Organizations. Once these recommendations are separately made, to direct absolute parity would be to make the separate recommendations qua non-Secretariat Organizations otiose. If one may say, there would have been no requirement to make these separate recommendations if everyone was to be treated on parity on every aspect", the court observed.

One of the contentions raised was that as a result of parity being given up to the level of Assistant (which would put them in the grade of Rs.4200 (later Rs.4600)), they, being one post higher, would automatically have to get one higher grade. The bench rejected the contention noticing that the report stipulated that parity would need to be absolute till the grade of Assistant and beyond that "it may not be possible or even justified to grant complete parity because the hierarchy and career progression will need to be different taking in view the functional considerations and relativities across the board."

"We are fortified in the view we are seeking to adopt in interpreting the aforesaid paragraphs of the Pay Commission by the observations in Union of India v. Tarit Ranjan Das,  where it was opined that the principle of equal pay for equal work cannot be applied merely on basis of designation. While dealing with the 5th Pay Commission recommendations with respect to functional requirements, it was held that there was no question of any equivalence on that basis. The said case dealt with Stenographers of the Geological Survey of India. While observing that as a general statement it was correct to state that the basic nature of work of a Stenographer remained by and large the same whether they were working for an officer in the Secretariat or for an officer in a subordinate office; it was held that Courts ought not to interfere if the Commission itself had considered all aspects and after due consideration opined that absolute equality ought not to be given", the court said.

Case: Union of India vs. Manoj Kumar ; CA 913-914 OF 2021
Citation: LL 2021 SC 409
Coram: Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Hrishikesh Roy

Click here to Read/Download Judgment




Next Story