Chronological sequence of events regarding CAT Case:
The 4th pay commission had acknowledged the arduous nature of the duties of Inspector Posts in para 10.42 and recommended higher pay scale for Inspector Posts equivalent to Inspectors in Central Excise, Income Tax and customs provided there should be element of Direct recruitment at the Inspector level (Para 10.44 ).
Extract of IV CPC recommendation:
10.42. Inspectors of Post Office in the sca1e of Rs. 425-700 hold charge of sub-divisions and their duties mainly involve inspection of sub-post offices and branch post offices. They also function as appointing authority for Group-D and extra departmental staff and are vested with disciplinary powers in respect of these categories of staff. The inspectors of the RMS have similar duties and responsibilities………….
10.43. Associations of inspectors and assistant Superintendents of post offices and RMS have requested for better pay scales in view of the arduous nature of their duties and the detailed syllabus for the examination through which they have to qualify.
10.44. The Department has proposed merger of the IPO and IRM cadres and ASPO and ASRM cadres. It has been pointed out that the duties and responsibilities of the two cadres are similar. We find that the pattern of recruitment for posts of inspector in other Central Government organisations like customs and central excise and income tax; provides for direct recruitment through staff selection commission at this level. However, in the postal department, there is no direct recruitment above the level of postal and sorting assistants, or at Group-B, level Even for the posts of postal and sorting assistant, appointment is not through any competitive examination but is based on marks secured in the matriculation examination. In other Government departments there is generally direct recruitment based on competitive examination at clerical level. In the interest of efficiency of service it is necessary to introduce on element of direct recruitment at the level of inspectors/assistant superintendents through the staff selection commission, and we recommend accordingly. If this is done and the two cadres are merged, Government may examine what scale of pay will then be suitable for these posts. Till this is done the scales recommended by us in Chapter 8 will apply.
Higher pay scale could not be given to the Inspector Posts at that time, as the recommendation for Direct recruitment at the level of Inspector / ASP was not implemented by the Dept. of Posts.
In the V CPC, the Dept. agreed for Direct recruitment at the level of Inspectors and hence the pay parity with Inspectors and analogous post in CBDT / CBEC were given and accordingly, the Pay scale of Inspector Posts was upgraded from Rs.1400 – 2600 to Rs.1640 – 2490 and corresponding new pay scale of Rs.5500 – 9000 was given w.e.f 01.01.1996. (Para 62.9).
Extract of V CPC recommendation:
Para 62.9 : …………………..In the chapter relating to Restructuring of Postal Services, we have already recommended that Inspectors of-Post Offices and RMS should be merged, upgraded to Rs.1640-2900 and filled 33-1/3% by direct recruitment from the inspectors Grade Examination of Staff Selection Commission…………………………..
Dept. of Posts accordingly amended the Recruitment Rules for Inspector Posts in 2001.
Later on, the pay scales of Inspectors and analogous posts in CBDT / CBEC were enhanced to the scale of Rs.6500-200-10500 in April’2004 and subsequently the pay scale of Assistants in CSS was also enhanced in Sept’2006 by the concerned Departments. But the pay scale of Inspector Posts remained unchanged. Being aggrieved by this, two OAs No. 424/06 and 211/07 were filed before Hon’ble CAT Bangalore bench by Postal Inspectors of Karnatka Circle seeking the parity with the Pay scale of Inspector Posts and Inspector in CBDT / CBEC. Since the Central Government had constituted the sixth Central Pay Commission to set right the anomalies and to recommend Pay revision in case of Central Government employees, and the said commission had not submitted its report at that time, the Hon’ble CAT disposed these OAs vide its common order dated 27.07.07 directing both the applicants and the Respondents to take up the issue immediately before sixth Pay Commission with the copy of its order.
The demand of Parity in pay scales of Inspector Posts and Inspectors and analogous posts in CBDT/CBEC as well as Assistants of Central Secretariat Service (CSS) was approved by the sixth Central Pay commission and the commission in Para 7.6.14 of its final report, recommended the following :
“Postal Inspectors in Department of Posts have demanded a higher pay scale of Rs.6500-10500 on par with Inspectors and analogous posts in CBDT/CBEC as well as Assistants of Central Secretariat Service (CSS) on the ground that they are recruited through the same examination. The Commission is recommending the merger of pre-revised pay scales of Rs.5500-9000 and Rs.6500- 10500 which will automatically bring Inspector (Posts) on par with Assistants in CSS/Inspectors and analogous posts in CBDT and CBEC. With this upgradation , Inspector (Posts) shall come to lie in an identical pay scale as that of their promotion post of Assistant Superintendent (Posts) [ASPOs]. ASPOs shall, accordingly, be placed in the next higher pay scale of Rs.7450-11500 corresponding to the revised pay band PB-2 of Rs.8700-34800 along with grade pay of Rs.4600..……… ”
The above recommendation was accepted by the Govt. Of India and the same was published in the Gazette of India, No.304 dated 29.08.2008 (Resolution) and according to this Inspector Posts was upgraded in the Pre-revised Pay scale of Rs.6500-10500 at par with Inspectors and analogous posts in CBDT/CBEC as well as Assistants of Central Secretariat Service (CSS) and placed in the Revised Pay Scale of Rs.9300-34800 (PB-2)with Grade pay Rs.4200 w.e.f 01.01.2006, as per Sl.13 of revised pay scale table shown in Part A of Annex-I of the said Gazette Notification.
Later on, Ministry of Finance vide OM F.No.1/1/2008-IC dated 13.11.2009, granted the grade pay of Rs.4600 in the pay band PB-2 in revised pay structure to the posts that existed in the pre-revised scale of Rs.6500-10500 as on 01.01.2006 and which were granted the normal replacement pay structure of grade pay of Rs.4200 in the Pay band PB-2 . Accordingly, the Grade Pay of Inspectors and analogous posts in CBDT/CBEC are upgraded to Rs.4600. But no action taken by the Dept. of Posts to upgrade the same for Inspector of Posts.
It is to mention that Inspector Posts was brought on par with Inspectors and analogous posts in CBDT/CBEC and upgraded to the pre-revised pay scale of Rs.6500-10500 w.e.f 01.01.2006. With this upgradation, ASPOs (Promotion post of Inspector Posts) was placed in the next higher pre-revised Pay scale of Rs.7450-11500, which also proves the claim that the Inspector Posts was upgraded in pre-revised pay scale of Rs.6500-10500 w.e.f 01.01.2006.
Again, vide Memo. No. 1/1/2008-IC dated 16th November 2009 of Ministry of Finance, the benefit of upgradation of grade pay Rs 4600/- was extended to Assistants and personal Assistants of CSS, AFHQ, IFS ‘B’, and Railway Board Secretariat Service and their counterpart Stenographer Services also. In para 4 of the said OM, it is stated that “ one of the reasons due to which Assistants of Central Secretariat are being granted grade pay of Rs.4600 is the fact that there is an element of direct recruitment to the post and that too through an All India Competitive Examination.” Based on this order, the concerned Departments have issued the order for upgradation. It is a fact that Inspector Posts was brought on par with Assistants in CSS by Govt. of India as per the recommendation of the sixth central pay commission, and the Inspector Posts also has the element of direct recruitment to the post and that too through same All India Competitive Examination conducted by Staff Selection Commission.
In the clarification given by Department of Expenditure vide No.MOF, D/o Expenditure, IC U.O No. 10/1/2010-IC dated 27.01.2010, regarding Pay fixation of Assistants / PAs in Ministry of Pertoleum and Natural Gas, it is stated that “In cases of upgradation of Posts as a result of recommendation of sixth CPC, the Grade Pay corresponding to the upgraded post is to be added.”
The Grade Pay corresponding to the Pre-revised Pay Scale of Rs.6500-10500 is Rs.4600 as per the MOF OM F.No.1/1/2008-IC dated 13.11.09. Hence, in case of Inspector Posts, the Grade Pay of the upgraded Post (Rs.6500-10500 ) i.e Rs.4600 should be given.
Also, HSG –II cadre and BCR officials who are being supervised by Inspector Posts are placed on par by placing them in grade pay Rs.4200 w.e.f 1.1.2006. The principle of supervisor should get more pay than the supervised is to be followed and the level hierarchy should be maintained by placing Inspector Posts in the grade pay of Rs.4600 and above the HSG-II and BCR officials .