• Ms. Neelangini Tiwari

Union of India and Anr. Vs. Rosamma Benny and Ors. (2020 Latest Caselaw 113 SC)

Updated: Dec 8, 2020

CASE

Union of India and Anr. Vs. Rosamma Benny and Ors.


CITATION

2020 Latest Caselaw 113 SC


CORAM

Supreme Court of India

Division Bench: Judges - S. Abdul Nazeer and Sanjiv Khanna, JJ.


ALSO KNOWN AS

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POINT OF CONSIDERATION

It has to be examined whether posting on transfer as Commercial Clerks in the case of the respondents can be and should be treated as the first promotion.


FACTS

  1. Rosamma Benny, respondent No. 1, was appointed as an Office Clerk on 01.04.1982 under Sports Quota in Western Railways in the scale of Rs.260-400/Rs.950-1500. Thereafter, she was transferred to the Palakkad Division in Southern Railway on 13.02.1989 as a Commercial Clerk in the scale of Rs.290- 430/Rs.975-1540. On 14.08.1995 (subsequently revised to 28.12.1993), she was promoted as ECRC-II in the scale of Rs.1200-2040/Rs.4500-7000. Subsequently, respondent No. 1 was promoted as ECRC-I in the scale of Rs.5000-8000 w.e.f. 01.11.2003 (proforma) and 02.01.2009 (regular). Similarly, Jessy S. Babu, respondent No. 2, was appointed as an Office Clerk in South Eastern Railway on 02.03.1984 in the scale of Rs.260- 400/Rs.950-1500. She was transferred to the Trivandrum Division in Southern Railway on 25.06.1986 as a Commercial Clerk in the scale of Rs.290-430/Rs.975-1540. Subsequently, on 14.03.1995 she was promoted as ECRC-II in the scale of Rs.1200- 2040/Rs.4500-7000. On 01.11.2003 she was further promoted as ECRC-I in the scale of Rs.5000-8000. Sreekala P.V., respondent No. 3, was appointed as an Office Clerk on 13.03.1984 in the scale of Rs.260-400/Rs.950-1500 in South Central Railway. On 15.07.1987 she was transferred to the Madras Division in Southern Railway as a Commercial Clerk in the scale of Rs.290-430/Rs.975- 1540. Thereafter, she was promoted as ECRC-II on 22.08.1993 in the scale of Rs.1200-2040/4500-7000. On 01.11.2003 she was promoted as ECRC-I in the scale of Rs.5000-8000. As the respondents have no contentions to the claims the fact has been established.

  2. The High Court in the impugned order has held that the respondent Nos. 1, 2 and 3 were entitled to financial upgradation under the Modified Assured Career Progression Scheme (MACP, for short) as they have been working as Enquiry-Cum-Reservation Clerks (ECRC, for short) w.e.f. 01.11.2003 and therefore, have completed ten years in the cadre of ECRC. Accordingly, the Tribunal was justified and correct in granting the relief by placing the three respondents in the pay band- II with grade pay of Rs. 4600 w.e.f. 01.11.2013.

  3. The aforesaid clarification was issued after the matter was examined in consultation with the Department of Personnel & Training (DoP&T), the nodal department, and stipulates as under.

  4. References have been received from Zonal Railways seeking clarification regarding grant of benefits under MACPs in respect of the employees qualifying through LDCE/GDCE. The matter has been examined in consultation with Department of Personnel & Training (DoP&T), the nodal department of Government on MACPS and it has been declared as under:

  • if the relevant RRs provide for filling up of vacancies in a grade by Direct Recruitment, induction of an employee to that grade through LDCE/GDCE may be treated as Direct Recruitment for the purpose of grant of financial upgradation under MACPS. In such cases past service rendered in a lower pay scale/Grade Pay shall NOT be counted for the purpose of MACP Scheme.

  • if the relevant RRs prescribe a promotion Quota to be filled on the basis of LDCE/GDCE, such appointment would be treated as promotion for the purpose of benefit under the MACPS and in such cases past regular service shall also be counted for further benefits, if any, under the MACP Scheme.

  • The Indian Railway Establishment Manual Vol. I with regard to the filling of posts to ECRC states as under: The posts in the category of Enquiry- Cum- Reservation Clerks (ECRC) in scale of Rs. 4500-7000 w.e.f 1.1.96 will be filled as under -

  • 25% by direct recruitment through Railway Recruitment Board: and

  • 75% by promotion by selection from amongst Sr. Commercial Clerks and Sr. Ticket Collectors in the scale of pay Rs. 4000-6000 (RSRP) and Commercial Clerks and Ticket Collectors in the scale of pay Rs. 3200-4900 (RSPP) and Rs. 3050-4590 (RSRP) respectively who are suitable for posting as ECRC involving direct contact with general public. Commercial Clerks and Ticket Collectors in grades Rs. 3050-4590 and 3200-4900 respectively should have completed a minimum of three years service in the respective grade.

5. The impugned order dated 24.05.2018 passed by the Ernakulam Bench of the High Court of Kerala dismisses the Writ Petition filed by the Union of India and Senior Divisional Personnel Officer, Southern Railway, Trivandrum and affirms the order dated 13.10.2017 passed by the Ernakulum Bench of the Central Administrative Tribunal (the Tribunal, for short) allowing O.A. No. 180/523/2014 filed by Rosamma Benny, Jessy S. Babu and Sreekala P.V., respondent Nos. 1, 2 and 3 respectively before us.


ISSUES RAISED & RATIO

  • The appellant claims that respondents are not eligible for the financial upgradation under MACP. Are the respondents liable to financial upgradation at all?

Since the respondents have not being recruited to the position by the method of Direct recruitment, according to the clarifications on the grant benefits, they are not.


  • What are the reasons for contention on judgements held by the tribunal and the Ernakulam Bench of High Court of Kerela?

Certain notices and clarifications issued by the railway were not taken into consideration of the forming of the judgements at the tribunal and the HC thus the orders are based on lack of clarity of facts.

The impugned order by the HC and the tribunal are kept aside and the SC remands the matter to the Tribunal for a fresh adjudication without any prejudice based on its previous judgements. The Tribunal would independently apply their mind to the facts and the legal position after calling upon the appellant, that is, the Southern Railway, Trivandrum and the respondents, that is, the original applicants before the Tribunal to file additional affidavits, if required and necessary.

The appeal is allowed in the aforesaid terms, with an order of remand to the Tribunal, without any order as to costs. To cut short the delay, parties are directed to appear before the Tribunal on 30.03.2020 when a further date of hearing would be fixed.


IMPORTANT CASES REFERRED

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The author is a Bsc (Statistics) student at Kirori Mal College, University of Delhi.

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