L.N. Mittal, Member(J):
1. By filing this Original Application under Section 19 of the Administrative Tribunals Act, 1985, applicant Balbir Singh has claimed the following relief:-
(i) Quash the orders dated 03.12.14 (Annexure A-1) and orders dated 17/21.11.14 (Annexure A-2) issued by the respondents vide which representation of the applicant has been rejected and he has been held not entitled for grant of increment.
(ii) Issue direction to the respondents to grant the applicant one increment as has been given to his counter-parts for removal of anomaly by extending him the benefit of decision of the Honble High Court of Punjab and Haryana in the case of CWP NO. 16957 of 2010 decided on 20.07.2011 ( Annexure A-3), as intention of the rules and regulation was to extend benefit of fixation of pay and not to cause any loss as has been done in case of the applicant and extend him all the consequential benefits of arrears of pay and allowances and interest thereon @ 18% per annum from the date the amount became due to the actual date of payment.
2. Facts in the case are not in dispute. The applicant joined service as Postal Assistant (PA) with the respondents on 23.6.1998 in the pay scale of Rs. 4000-100-6000 (S-7) with date of next increment as 1st March. Accordingly he got his annual increment on 1st March every year. His basic pay as on 31.12.2005 (prior to the enforcement of revised pay-scales) was Rs. 4700/-. Next promotion was for the post of Inspector of Post Offices (IPO) in the pay scale of Rs. 5500-175-9000/- (S-10). The applicant appeared in the Departmental Examination for the post of IPO for the year 2004, held on 23rd , 24th and 26th January, 2005. The applicant was declared successful in the result declared on 10.08.2005. He was deputed for training from 29.08.2005 to 14.01.2006 vide order dated 22.8.2005. On completion of the training, he was appointed as IPO vide order dated 13.1.2006 and he joined as such on 16.1.2006 in the scale of Rs. 5500-175-9000/- (S-10).
3. As per the Central Civil Services (Revised Pay) Rules, 2008 (Annexure R-1) (in short, the Revised Pay Rules), uniform date of 1st July for annual increment was stipulated for all Central Govt. employees. The annual increment date of the employees who were to get the annual increment between 1st July, 2006 and 1st January 2007 was to be preponed to 1st July, 2006 whereas those who were to get their annual increment prior to 1st July, 2006 were to get their annual increment date postponed to 1st July, 2006, vide Rule, 10 of the Revised Pay Rules. However, part of this provision was struck down by Honble Punjab and Haryana High Court vide judgment (Annexure A-3) in CWP No.16975 of 2010 and connected petitions Ramesh Kumar and others Vs. State of Haryana and othersto the extent that the employees whose increment was due prior to 1st July 2006 shall get the increment on the original due date.
4. Before enforcement of the Revised Pay Rules in 2008, the applicant got annual increments in January 2007 and in January 2008 in the pre-revised pay scale of Rs. 5500-175-9000. However, under the Revised Pay Rules, pay of the applicant was fixed in revised Pay-Band 2 of Rs. 9300-34800/- with GP of Rs. 4200/- at Rs. 14,430/- as on 16.01.2006 with next date of increment as on 01.7.2007. Vide O.M. dated 5.7.2010 (Annexure A-5), employees were permitted to revise their initial option upto 30.1.2010, for adoption of the revised pay scale. The applicant opted for the revised pay scale w.e.f. 16.1.2016 (the date of his promotion as IPO) i.e. later than 1.1.2006.
5. Grievance of the applicant is that his next annual increment w.e.f. 1.7.2007 was given after 17= months whereas it should have been given after one year. To remove this anomaly, O.M. dated 19.3.2012 (Annexure A-6) was issued providing for grant of one increment in pre-revised scale as on 1.1.2006 as one time measure, to those Central Govt. employees who were due to get their annual increment between February and June 2006. The applicant claimed the benefit of said one increment as on 1.1.2006 by making representation dated 1.3.2014 (Annexure A-7). However, the same has been rejected by the respondents vide order dated 17/21.11.2014 (Annexure A-2) as communicated vide order dated 3.12.2014 (Annexure A-1) which are under challenge in the instant O.A.
6. The applicant has claimed benefit of one increment in pre-revised scale as on 1.1.2006 in view of O.M. dated 19.3.2012 (Annexure A-6) and judgment (Annexure A-3) in the case of Ramesh Kumar (Supra).
7. The respondents in their written statement, while not disputing the factual position, pleaded that the applicant is not entitled to the claimed benefit of one increment because the applicant opted for the revised pay scale w.e.f. 16.1.2006 the date of his promotion as IPO, instead of 1.1.2006. The applicant would have got his next increment in March 2006 had he continued in the scale of PA. However, in view of his promotion w.e.f. 16.1.2006, the applicant was not to get the annual increment in March 2006 in view of the promoted post of IPO. Consequently the applicant is not entitled to additional increment on 1.1.2006 under O.M. dated 19.3.2012 (Annexure A-6/R-2). Benefit of judgment in the case of Ramesh Kumar (Supra) is also not available to the applicant because the same would have been available if the applicant had continued in the same cadre of PA on the date of his increment i.e. as on 1.3.2006. Various other pleas have also been raised.
8. No rejoinder was filed by the applaint.
9. We have heard counsel for the parties and perused the case file.
10. Counsel for the applicant referring to O.M. dated 19.3.2012 (Annexure A-6) and judgment (Annexure A-3) in the case of Ramesh Kumar (Supra) contended that the applicant is entitled to the benefit of one increment w.e.f. 1.1.2006. On the other hand, counsel for the respondents contended that the applicant was no longer in the cadre of PA as on 1.3.2006 which was the date of his annual increment in the said cadre and, therefore, the applicant is not entitled to the benefit of one increment on 1.1.2006 under O.M. dated 19.3.2012. It was also pointed out that the applicant opted for the revised scale w.e.f. 16.1.2006 the date of his promotion as IPO and not w.e.f. 1.1.2006.
11. We have carefully considered the matter. We find force in the contention of the counsel for the respondents. The applicant would have earned his annual increment on 1st March 2006 had he continued in the cadre of PA. However, he was promoted as IPO on 16.1.2006 and opted for revised scale w.e.f. the said date. Consequently his increment was not due as on 1.3.2006 in view of his promotion as IPO and, therefore, he is not entitled to one increment on 1.1.2006 under O.M. dated 19.3.2012. Benefit of judgment in the case of Ramesh Kumar (Supra) is also not available to the applicant for the same reason. The said benefit would have been available to him if he had continued in the cadre of PA with his date of annual increment as on 1.3.2006. Even otherwise, according to the judgment in the case of Ramesh Kumar (Supra), the applicant is not en
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titled to get increment w.e.f. 1.1.2006, but would have got increment on the normal date of his increment which would have been 1.3.2006 if he had continued in the cadre of PA. However, he had already been promoted as IPO on 16.01.2006 and, therefore, his next annual increment was not due on 1.3.2006 in view of his promotion as IPO. 12. In view of the aforesaid circumstances, we find no merit in the claim of the applicant. He is not entitled to the benefit of one increment on 1.1.2006 under O.M. dated 19.3.2012 (Annexure A-6) or in view of judgment in the case of Ramesh Kumar (supra). There is no infirmity in the impugned orders (Annexures A-1 & A-2) which are reasoned orders. 13. As an inevitable result of the discussion aforesaid, the instant O.A. is dismissed. No costs.