WA 74(AT)/2003. Gauhati High Court

Case Number:WA 74(AT)/2003
Judgement Date:April 08, 2011
Court:Gauhati High Court
 
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AGARTALA BENCH WA No. 74 of 2003

  1. The Tripura Jute Mills Officers Association, represented by Shri Durgesh Ranjan Chowdhury, S/o. Late Debendra Chowdhury, Member of the Executive Committee of TJMOA, Agartala.

  2. Shri Samarendra Dey, S/o. Late Upendra Kumar Dey, Member of the Executive Committee, TJMOA, Hafania, Agartala, West Tripura.

  3. Shri Parimal Das, S/O Lalmohan Das, Member of the Executive Committee, TJMOA, Hafania, Agartala, West Tripura.

    .......... Appellant s/ Petitioners

    -Versu s –

  4. The State of Tripura, to be served on the Chief Secretary, to the Government of Tripura (Incharge), Agartala, West Tripura.

  5. The Tripura Jute Mills Ltd. (A. Govt. of Tripura Undertakings), represented by the Managing Director, Hafania, West Tripura.

  6. The Secretary to the Forth Tripura Pay Commission, Revenue Buildings, Agartala.

    .......... Respondents

    For the petitioners : Mr. P. Roy Barman, Adv. Mr. S. Bhattacharya, Adv.

    For the respondents : Mr. S. Deb, Sr. Adv.

    Mr. S. Chakraborty, GA.

    Date of hearing : 04.04.2011. Date of Judgement : 08.04.2011.

    JUDGEMENT AND ORDER (CAV)

    B.K. SHARMA, J

    This appeal is directed against the judgement and order dated 28.10.2003, passed by the learned Single Judge in the writ petition being Civil Rule No. 139/1997 dismissing the writ petition.

    Issue Involved :

  7. The issue raised in the writ petition is as to whether the employees of the Tripura Jute Mills Ltd., a Govt. of Tripura Undertaking, are entitled to the benefits of revision of pay at par with the State govt. employees and other Public Sector Undertakings including revised House Rent Allowance (HRA), Compensatory Allowance (CA), Career Advancement Scheme (CAS) and Dearness Allowance (DA). The learned single Judge having answered the issue in the negative, the petitioners have filed the instant appeal.

  8. The petitioner No.1 is an association formed in 1984 consisting of the employees of the Tripura Jute Mills Ltd. (TJM), a Govt. of Tripura Undertaking. The petitioners No. 2 & 3 are the employees of TJM and also represent the association.

  9. The TJM is wholly owned by the Govt. of Tripura and it is registered under the Indian companies Act, 1956. That being the position, the Govt. of Tripura made applicable the recommendation of the 2nd Pay Commission to the Officers and employees of TJM at par with other State Govt. Undertakings and Statutory Bodies. When the 3rd pay

    Commission was constituted by notification dated 4.11.1985, it was also provided by a subsequent notification dated

    16.12.1986 that the said Commission would also consider the pay structure for the Corporations, Autonomous bodies etc. of the Govt. of Tripura.

  10. Pursuant to the recommendation made by the 3rd Pay

    Commission in its report submitted in the year 1988, recommending revised pay structures for all Govt. Officers/employees of the State including the Officers and employees of Govt. Undertakings and autonomous bodies except the TJM, the revised pay structure was made applicable to all other PSUs/Govt. Undertakings/Statutory

  11. According to the petitioners, they came to know about the exclusion of TJM in the report of the 3rd Pay Commission at a later stage and consequently made several representations for treating the Officers and employees of the TJM at par with their counterparts in other PSUs, statutory bodies, etc. In consideration of such representation, the Managing director of TJM i.e. the respondent No.2 had assured the petitioners on 30.7.1988 that their demand for revision of pay at par with other PSUs would be considered sympathetically taking into account the recommendation of 3rd Pay Commission. However, nothing followed thereafter.

  12. The Board of Directors of the TJM in its meeting held on 20.11.1996 in the chamber of Minister of Industries and Commerce (Chairman TJM), resolved that the Govt. in the Industries Department be requested to constitution of Pay Revision Committee for the employees of the TJM. The said Committee was to compare the scale of pay of other PSUs keeping in mind the 4th Pay Commission, which was to consider the revision of pay. In this context, the petitioners have asserted that it is the Board of directors of the TJM, which is competent to take decision in the matter regarding revision of pay etc and that the Managing Director of his own is not entitled to take independent decision in the matter. This particular plea of the petitioners is in reference to the

  13. It is the further grievance of the petitioners that inspite of the aforesaid developments, the TJM was excluded from the purview of 4th Pay Commission unlike other PSUs / statutory bodies, which were covered by 4th

    Pay Commission. It is the stand of the petitioners that the same resulted in hostile discrimination and violation of Article 14 and 16 of the Constitution of India.

  14. When the petitioners agitated their aforesaid grievance before the Chief Secretary, Govt. of Tripura by a representation dated 7.1.97, the Chief Secretary by his letter dated 9.1.97 informed the petitioners that as he had no time they should meet the Principal Secretary, Industries and Commerce in respect of their grievances. Accordingly, the petitioners met the Principal Secretary on 24.1.97.

  15. When nothing resulted thereafter, the petitioners filed the instant writ petition. This Court by order dated 21.4.97 passed in CM Application No. 115/97 made a provision for submission of memorandum by the petitioners to the Pay Commission in respect of revision of pay scale of the officers /employees of TJM. Consequential direction was also issued to the 4th Pay Commission to consider the memorandum to

  16. Pursuant to the said order passed by this Court, the petitioners submitted memorandum in respect of revision of pay scale to the 4th Pay Commission and accordingly the said Pay Commission while making its recommendation, also included the TJM in its report and made recommendation for revision of pay scale of its officers and employees.

  17. Pursuant to the aforesaid report of the 4th Pay

    Commission, the Govt. of Tripura in acceptance of the same, introduced the revised pay scale for its employees vide notification dated 6.2.99 and accordingly Tripura State Civil services (Revised Pay) Rules, 1999 was introduced and it was published in the extra ordinary issue of Tripura Gazette on 6.2.99.

  18. After the aforesaid development, another notification was issued on 5.7.99 by the Govt. of Tripura revising the pay of the officers / employees of the TJM w.e.f. 1.4.1999. The revision was made to give effect to the recommendation of the 4th Pay Commission. It is in respect of this effective date

    i.e. 1.4.99, the petitioners have made a grievance. According to them, the pay revision should be made effective from 1.1.1996 at par with the other State Govt. employees and employees of other PSUs /statutory bodies like that of the TJM.

    Tripura Undertakings/Statutory Bodies including that of TJM and that the pay revision for those undertakings having been made effective from 1.1.96, there cannot be any reason as to why the TJM, which is similarly situated with those undertakings, should be treated differently. In this connection, the petitioners have annexed to the writ petition copies of various orders ( Annexure-20 series ) extending the benefit of revision of pay to the officer and employees of various undertakings w.e.f. 1.1.1996.

  19. It is in the aforesaid background coupled with the fact that the officers and employees of TJM have also not been provided with House Rent Allowance, Carrier Advancement Scheme, Compensatory Allowance and Dearness Allowance, the petitioners have contended in the writ petition that there is hostile discrimination in the matter of pay and allowances and consequently the employees of the TJM are getting much lesser pay than their counterparts in other PSUs.

  20. The Managing Director of TJM by his letter dated

    29.4.2000 took up the grievances of the petitioners with the Govt. and requested to provide the benefits of pay revision to the officers and employees of TJM at par with other PSUs. However, nothing resulted.

  21. Various counter affidavits and rejoinder affidavits have been filed. Be it stated here that although the writ petition was filed in 1997 but because of the subsequent developments that took place during the pendency of the writ petition coupled with the consequential action pursuant to the aforesaid interim order passed by this court, the writ petition was amended bringing on record the subsequent facts, which have been discussed above.

  22. In the counter affidavits filed by the...

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