Demand for Grade pay of Rs.4600 for Inspector Posts rejected by MOF once again

5:51 PM


Copy of letter of Shri Permanand posted in "Postal Inspectors Blog for Pay hike" is reproduced below for information. 

Dear Friends,
  It is really sad to intimate that Department of Expenditure, MOF has rejected the demand for grade pay of Rs.4600 to Inspector (Posts) even after the full justification given by Hon’ble CAT Ernakulam Bench in its order dated 18.10.2011 in OA No. 381/2010 and the good viable proposal submitted by DoP. The official rejection letter is yet to be received. However, note sheet of the relevant file has been received under RTI from DoP.
2.  As available in the note sheets (17/N), the DoP had sent the following proposal with concurrence of IFW and approval of Secretary (Posts) to Department of Expenditure, MOF:

“The hierarchical difference i.e non-availability of intermediary cadre like Assistant Superintendent Posts in CBDT/CBEC and CSS can be resolved by allowing Grade Pay of Rs.4600 to Inspector Posts in Department of Posts (a GCS Group B Non-Gazetted Post) and retaining its promotional cadre of Assistant Superintendent Posts (a GCS Group B Gazetted Post) also in the identical Grade Pay of Rs.4600. In the Accounts cadre, the cadre of Accounts Officer is in Grade Pay of Rs.5400 in PB-2. Its promotional post of Senior Accounts Officer is in Grade Pay of Rs.5400 in PB-3 & its further promotional post of ACAO also in Grade Pay of Rs.5400 in PB-3. This would not thereby involve upgradation in Grade Pays of Assistant Superintendent Posts and PS Group B.”

3.   MOF has rejected the demand for Grade pay of Rs.4600 for Inspector (Posts) without examining the above proposal, and stated the following (written in red colour):

(I)    There was no specific recommendation in para 7.6.14 to the effect that Inspector Post are granted Pre-revised pay scale of Rs. 6500-10500.

(It seems that MOF has not gone through the para 26 of Hon’ble CAT order dated 19.10.2011 in OA No. 381/2010, wherein the import of the observation of the Pay Commission has been clearly mentioned. Moreover, as mentioned in para 7.6.14 of 6thCPC report   “…………With this upgradation, Inspector (Posts) shall come to lie in an identical pay as that of their promotional post of Assistant Superintendent (Posts) [ASPOs]. ASPOs shall, accordingly, be placed in the next higher pay scale of Rs.7450-11500………….”)

(II)   Inspectors in CBEC/CBDT were placed in the scale of Rs.6500-10500 w.e.f 21.04.2004 i.e prior to 6th CPC by an executive order of the Govt. keeping in view of their parity with Inspectors of CBI/IB and court directions of CAT Jabalpur Bench. Further, Asstts. Of CSS have also been granted the pay scale of Rs.6500-10500 w.e.f 15.09.2006 on the basis of their traditional parity with Inspectors CBEC/CBDT. Further, it was the conscious decision of the Govt. to keep Asstts. In CSS/Inspector and analogous post in CBEC/CBDT in the higher pre-revised scale i.e Rs.7450-11500/- considering their pre-revising relativities, hierarchical structure, mode of recruitment etc.  The mode of recruitment was not the only criteria as contended by the applicants in the OA. In various cases, Apex Court also opined that wholesale identity between two groups would involve matters relating to nature of work, educational qualification, mode of recruitment, experience etc.

      (The details of the basis for increase from Rs.5500-9000 to Rs.6500-  10500 for Inspectors CBEC/CBDT w.e.f  21.04.2004 and for Assistants in       CSS w.e.f 15.09.2006 along with the note sheet of the relevant file have been asked from MOF under RTI.  Also, Documents available for establishing the “Traditional Parity” / wholesale identity between Inspectors CBEC/CBDT and Assistants in CSS have asked. MOF Response is awaited.  Further, wholesale identity should be decided by the Expert body i.e Pay Commission. 5th & 6th CPC had rightly did so for Inspector (Posts) and granted equal pay scale/ grade pay to that of Inspectors CBDT/CBEC and Assistants in CSS. Apex Court in the case of State of West Bengal v. West Bengal Minimum Wages Inspectors Association, (2010) 5 SCC 225 wherein it has been stated as under:-

  "23. It is now well settled that parity cannot be claimed merely on the basis that earlier the subject post and the reference category posts were carrying the same scale of pay. In fact, one of the functions of the Pay Commission is to identify the posts which deserve a higher scale of pay than what was earlier being enjoyed with reference to their duties and responsibilities, and extend such higher scale to those categories of posts.")

(III)  It is pertinent to mention here that the OM dated 13.11.2009 and 16.11.2009 came into existence as a result of demand from various quarters of Govt. seeking upgradation for pre-revised scale of Rs.6500-10500 due to functional requirement. However, hierarchical structure of Inspector Posts does not demand such functional requirement, as post of ASP in the scale of Pay of Rs.9300-34800 GP of Rs.4600/- PB-2 corresponding to the pre-revised scale of Rs.7450-11500 still exists, even after implementation of 6th CPC.

(Regarding the hierarchical differences, a viable proposal was submitted by DoP wherein it was clearly mentioned that the hierarchical difference i.e. non-availability of intermediary cadre like Assistant Superintendent Posts in CBDT/CBEC and CSS can be resolved by allowing Grade Pay of Rs.4600 to Inspector Posts in Department of Posts (a GCS Group B Non-Gazetted Post) and retaining its promotional cadre of Assistant Superintendent Posts (a GCS Group B Gazetted Post) also in the identical Grade Pay of Rs.4600. The example of AO, Sr. AO & ACAO was also given in the proposal. But, MOF overlooked the same.)

(IV)   Since Inspector Post have come in the Pay Scale of Rs.9300-3400 GP of Rs.4200/- PB-2 corresponding to pre-revised scale of Rs.6500-10500, the hierarchical posts in their cadre i.e ASP and SP had to be placed in the GP OF Rs.4600/- and Rs.4800/- respectively to maintain the relativity in the cadre. Moreover, the scale of other similarly placed posts i.e Asstt. Manager and Manager in mail Motor Service were also placed in the GP of Rs.4600/- and Rs.4800/- respectively. In case the demand of Inspector Posts for GP of Rs.4600/- is accepted, it will have cascading effect involving huge financial implications. Also, the demand for upgradation from similarly placed posts in Mail Motor Service etc. will arise immediately.

(In the proposal, it was clearly mentioned that this would not involve upgradation in Grade Pays of Assistant Superintendent Posts and PS Group B. Asst. Manager & Manager, Mail Motor Service are placed in the Grade pay of Rs.4600 & Rs.4800 respectively. Hence the imagination of MOF that In case the demand of Inspector Posts for GP of Rs.4600/- is accepted, the demand for upgradation from similarly placed posts in Mail Motor Service etc. will arise immediately, is hypothetical. Further, while submitting the proposal, DoP had given the figures for financial implications and for Inspector (posts), it is Rs. 1.01 crores only. Hence the ground that in case the demand of Inspector Posts for GP of Rs.4600/- is accepted, it will have cascading effect involving huge financial implications, does not hold any ground.)

(V)  The duties and responsibilities assigned to Assistant of CSS and Inspector, CBDT/CBEC are quite different from Inspector (Posts). There is no comparison between Assistants CSS & Inspector CBDT/CBEC and Inspector (Posts). They are performing different duties in their respective cadres.

(As a matter of fact, the duties and responsibilities assigned to different cadres in different Department / Ministries will be different and after comparison only, specific pay scale/grade pay is given to particular cadres by the expert bodies i.e Pay Commission. The details regarding comparison of “Duties & Responsibilities” of Inspectors CBDT/CBEC and Inspector (Posts) have been asked from MOF under RTI.
Further,  Para 30 of CAT Ernakulam Bench Order dated 19.10.2011 in OA No. 381/10 reproduced below:
“This Tribunal need not have to labour more to arrive at the finding that the functional responsibilities of the Inspector (Posts) are certainly onerous and evidently, it is on the basis of adequate justification that the successive Pay Commissions have appreciated the need to revise the pay scale of Inspector (Posts).”

 4.    It is very much clear from the grounds given by MOF that they were pre-determined not to allow Grade Pay of Rs.4600 to Inspector Posts in any case and they simply overlooked the full justification given by the Hon’ble CAT Ernakulam Bench and also the good viable proposal given by DoP. It can also be seen that the matter was disposed first time at the level of Jt. Secretary even after the clear instruction from Hon’ble CAT to re-look in the matter at the level of Secretary.  It is also evident form the notings of the DoP at 28/N, which is reproduced below:
                “Views taken by Ministry of Finance, Department of Expenditure contains neither any details of examination of the proposal made by this Department on 17/N nor reasoning based on which the proposal was admitted/rejected.”

5.     Accordingly the file was re-referred to the Department of Expenditure, MOF. However, Department of Expenditure, MOF returned the file stating that: 


   “The matter has been examined in this Deptt. and AM is advised to issue a    reasoned speaking order rejecting the claim of the applicants on the grounds indicated in U.O note dated 28.05.2012.
      This issues with the approval of Finance (Secretary).”  

6.            Our case for upgradation of Grade pay of Inspector (Posts) to Rs.4600 under OA No. 381/2010, had already been considered by Hon’ble  CAT Ernakulam Bench within the parameters prescribed by the Apex Court in respect of the powers of the Tribunal in dealing with the fixation of Pay scale and  had viewd that :

(a)   The decision of the Ministry of Finance does not appear to have taken into account the clear recommendation of the Sixth Pay Commission nor for that matter the full justifications given by the Department of Posts.

(b)    The Tribunal is of the considered view that there is no justification in denying the Inspector (Posts) the higher Grade Pay of Rs 4600 when the same is admissible to Inspectors of other Departments with whom parity has been established by the very Sixth Pay Commission vide its report at para 7.6.14 extracted above. The Ministry of Finance has to have a re-look in the matter dispassionately at the level of Secretary keeping in view the aforesaid discussion.

7.    From the documents received under RTI, the rejection of our demand of Grade pay of Rs.4600 for Inspector (Posts) has been disclosed. However, we may wait for the official rejection letter.   Further, we wish to move to High Court at the earliest, to get Justice.

                Views and comments are requested, so that we may move further.

Thanks.
Permanand

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