As you may be aware that our case 289/13 is posted on 04.09.2013 for argument. A brief note has been drafted for argument purpose. Kindly suggest if any other points are to be added. The same will be communicated to our counsel. Point wise our response is as follows:
Points raised by the Respondents in the Reply Statement
1. There is no specific recommendation in para 7.6.14 to the effect that Inspector Posts are granted Pre-revised pay scale of Rs.6500-10500.
Our Response :
6th CPC in its recommendation vide para 7.6.14 has mentioned that :
“…………………… With this upgradation, Inspector Posts shall come to lie in an identical pay scale 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………………..”
Moreover, the recommendation in para 7.6.14 was also clearly explained by the Hon’ble CAT Ernakulam Bench in its order dated 19th October’2011, allowing OA No.381/2010 vide para 26 & 32. Some of the extracts are reproduced below:
“…………. The import of the observation of the Pay Commission is that the Pay Commission was very much interested to ensure pay parity of Inspector (Posts) with Assistants of CSS and Inspector and analogous posts in CBDT and CBEC………..”
“………….Thus, when the Pay Commission opined that by virtue of merger of the Pay Scales of Rs.5500-9000 and Rs.6500-10500, the same would “automatically bring Inspector (Posts) on par with Assistants in CSS/ Inspector and analogous posts in CBDT and CBEC, what it meant was that from hence, Inspector (Posts) would sail in the same boat as his counterparts in the Income Tax Department or Central Excise or Customs Department or for the matter the Assistants in the CSS.”
“………….The difference in the Grade Pay is not one created by the Pay Commission but the same is due to the fact that as late as in 2009, it is the Government of India which had raised the Grade Pay of the Pay Scale Rs.6500 – 10500 that existed as on 01.01.2006 vide order dated 13.11.2009 ………………………”
“………… In fact had the above enhancement in the Grade Pay been recommended by the Pay Commission, it would not have omitted to consider such an increase in the Grade Pay of Inspector (Posts) as well……………………………………”
The Hon’ble Tribunal further held that there is no justification in denying the Inspector (Posts) the higher Grade Pay of Rs.4600, when the same is made admissible to Inspector of other Departments with whom parity has been established by the Sixth Pay Commission as per its report at para 7.6.14.
2. There is a “Taditional Parity” & Wholesale Identity between Inspectors CBEC/CBDT and Assistant of CSS. There is no comparison between Assistant CSS & Inspector CBEC/CBDT and Inspector Posts, as they are performing different duties.
Our Response :
‘Wholesale Identity’ between two groups would involve matters relating to Nature of work, Educational Qualification, Mode of Appointment, Experience etc. It is a fact that there is no difference in educational qualification, mode of Appointment or experience between the Inspector of Posts under the Department of Posts and those Inspectors and analogous post in CBDT/CBEC & Assistants in CSS.
Hon’ble CAT Ernakulam Bench in para 28,& 29 of its order dated 19th October’2011 elaborately explained the Roles & Responsibilities of Inspector (Posts) and admitted in para 30 of its order that:
“ This Tribunal need not have to labour more to arrive at the findings that the functional responsibilities of Inspector (Posts) are certainly onerous and evidently, it is on the basis of adequate justification that successive Pay Commissions have appreciated the need to revise the Pay Scale of Inspector (Posts).”
Also, once the Pay Commission have identified the posts for a particular higher scale of Pay with reference to their duties and responsibilities, it is not permissible to differentiate those categories by the Respondents in the matter of granting the higher Grade.
Moreover, when the Department of Expenditure, Ministry of Finance was asked to provide the documents available for establishing the “Taditional Parity” / Wholesale Identity between Inspectors CBEC/CBDT and Assistants in CSS, under Right to Information, it was replied that the information sought is not available in material form and is clarificatory in nature, it doesn’t come under the ambit of RTI Act’2005. Copy of the same enclosed with the OA as Annexure-23.
Further, it is also a fact that Pay Scale of Inspector CBDT/CBEC was increased from Rs.5500-9900 to Rs.6500-10500 in April’2004, whereas the same benefit was extended to Assistant in CSS only from 15th Sept’2006.
3. There is hierarchical difference due to presence of post of Asst. Superintendent in the Grade Pay of Rs.4600/-, in the Department of Posts.
Our Response :
It is a fact that there is a Post of ASPOs in Department of Posts. However, the parity made and recommended by the expert body namely, the Pay Commission and accepted by the Government cannot be denied under any pretext.
Also, It is worthy to mention that 6th Central Pay Commission in Para 3.1.3 had recommended absolute parity in terms of hierarchical structure of office staff in field and Secretariat offices up to the level of Assistants and this recommendation was accepted by the Government. The above factual aspects were considered while issuing OM F.No.1/1/2008-IC dated 16.11.2009 as indicated in paragraph 4 of Annexure A-10.
Moreover, in Annexure A-20 recommendation, it has been clearly pointed out by the Department of Posts that the hierarchical difference i.e absence of intermediary cadre like ASPOs in CBDT/CBEC and CSS, can be resolved by allowing Grade Pay of Rs.4600/- to Inspector Posts and retaining its promotional cadre of Assistant Superintendent of Posts also in the identical Grade Pay of Rs.4600/- similar as in the Accounts Cadre of Department of Posts and in other Ministries / Departments. This may be accepted as workable solution. For the fixation of Pay on promotion from one post to another where the promotional post carries the same grade pay as that of feeder post, Ministry of Finance already issued an OM No. 10/02/2011-EIII/A dated 07.01.2013 (Annexure-A 24).
4. In case the demand of Inspector posts for the Grade Pay of Rs.4600/- is accepted, it will have cascading effect involving huge financial implications. Also, the demand for upgradation from similarly placed in Mail Motor Service etc will arise immediately.
Our Response :
The apprehension of the Respondents regarding cascading effect is only hypothetical and not based on any facts. The Asst. Manager and Manager, Mail Motor Service in Department of Posts are already in the Grade of Rs.4600/- & Rs.4800/- respectively, hence placing Inspector Posts in the Grade Pay of Rs.4600/- equal to their promotional post of Assistant Superintendent of Posts will not have any cascading effect either within the Department or outside the Department.
Further, the Financial implications were calculated as Rs.1.82 crores only by the Integrated Finance Wing of the Department of Posts and after approval of the Secretary (Posts), it was communicated to Department of Expenditure, Ministry of Finance along with its proposal (Annexure A-20) to allow Grade Pay of Rs.4600/- to Inspector Posts, retaining its promotional cadre of Assistant Superintendent of Posts also in the identical Grade Pay of Rs.4600/-.
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