Rajwant Sandhu, Member (A).
1. This O.A. has been filed under Section 19 of the Administrative Tribunals Act, 1985, seeking the following relief:
'8(a) The impugned order dated 11.01.2013 (Annexure A-7), by which the 3rd MACP has been denied in the pay grade of Rs.4200/- vide order dated 11.03.2013, which is illegal, arbitrary, discriminatory and deserve to be set-aside.
(b) Issue a direction to the respondents for fixing of pay in 3rd MACP in the pay grade of Rs.4200/- instead of Rs.2800/- after completion of 30 years of service as per 6th Pay Commission and fix the pay in the grade of Rs.4200/-, similar benefits have been given to the post of Printing & Binding to the post of Nashik Press, Govt. of India (M.P.). the anomaly should be removed within the class in the pay grade of Rs.4200/-, who is working in the Govt. Press, Nilokheri, Karnal and fix the pay after granting 3rd MACP with all consequential benefits alongwith interest @ 18% p.a. from the date of accrual till the date of realization.
2. Averment has been made in the O.A. that the applicant who has been working in Govt. of India Press, Nilokheri since 1982 was promoted on the post of Mechanic w.e.f. 01.12.1996 in the pay scale of Rs.1320-2040 and after revision on account of 5th Pay Commission w.e.f. 01.09.1996 he was in the scale of Rs.4000-6000. Copy of the order dated 29.11.1996 is annexed in this regard (Annexure P-2). Corresponding pay scale of Rs.4000-6000 in the revised pay scale as per 6th Pay Commission was Rs.5200-20200 with G.P. of Rs.2400/-. While the Highly Skilled Mechanics in Gr.I were allowed G.P. of Rs.2800/-, those in Gr.II got G.P. of Rs.2400/-. In 2008, after MACPS was introduced, the applicant was granted G.P. of Rs.2800/- w.e.f. 11.09.2008.
3. The applicant made numerous representations to the respondent department to consider his claim for grant of Highly Skilled Grade-I as per Gazette notification dated 28.07.2009 and 20.09.2009 but the department granted the same w.e.f. 04.03.2013 and his representation was rejected vide impugned order dated 30.10.2014 (Annexure A-9). Hence this O.A.
4. In the written statement filed on behalf of the respondents it has been stated that the applicant was appointed as Labourer on 15.12.1982 in the pay scale of Rs.196-232 (Annexure R-1) and thereafter, he was promoted as Asstt. Mechanic (Mono) w.e.f. 15.06.1988 (Annexure R-2) in the pay scale of Rs.950-1400. The applicant was promoted to the post of Mechanic (Mechanical Composing) w.e.f. 01.12.1996 in the pay scale of Rs.1320-2040 (Annexure R-3). In between, Directorate of Printing, B-Wing, Nirman Bhawan, New Delhi issued O.M. No.20/2/2001-A.III dated 09.10.2002 regarding modernization of the Govt. of India Presses. After implementation of the same, the post of Mechanic was declared surplus vide Office Order No.A-34011/1/2002-Estt./5957 dated 17.10.2002 (Annexure R-4). The applicant was also declared surplus on 17.10.2002. The applicant was asked for his option and he submitted his option with regard to his redeployment vide his application dated 30.06.2007 (Annexure R-5). As per Recruitment Rules, the absorption and redeployment is to be made after successful completion of six month’s training and trade test in repairing offset, Binding and Allied equipment/machinery (Annexure R-6). As per his option dated 30.06.2007 for absorption, he was given 6 months training in the grade of Mechanic (Printing and Binding). After successful completion of the training, the applicant was redeployed to the post of Mechanic (Printing & Binding) w.e.f. 03.03.2008 vide office order No.A-11015/9/2008-Estt./2715 dated 10.03.2008 (Annexure R-7) in the pre-revised pay of Rs.4000-6000 and revised pay scale of Rs.5200-20200+2400 G.P. (6th CPC). Thereafter the applicant was granted 3rd financial upgradation under the MACP Scheme w.e.f. 01.09.2008 in G.P. Rs.2800/- vide office order no.A-11014/5/2011-Estt.(MACP)/3919 dated 12.08.2011 (Annexure R-8).5. It is further stated that the pay of the applicant has rightly been fixed. It is also pointed out that the Gazette Notification dated 27.08.2009 and Directorate of Printing, B-Wing, Nirman Bhawan, New Delhi, O.M. No.60/16/2009/A-IV dated 20.11.2009, 07.02.2012 and 17.05.2012 were issued regarding splitting of cadre of Highly Skilled Workers equally in the ratio of 50:50 and re-designation into the categories of Highly Skilled Workers Grade II (Grade pay of Rs.2400/- in the pay Band PB-I) and of Highly Skilled Workers Grade I (Grade pay of Rs.2800/- in pay Band PB-I). On 01.01.2006, the applicant was surplus and absorbed on 03.03.2008 as Highly Skilled Worker Grade II. As per inter-se seniority the applicant was entitled for benefit of Highly Skilled Worker Grade I (in G.P. 2800) on 01.09.2011, whereas he was granted 3rd MACP benefit in GP 2800/- w.e.f. 01.09.2008. According to HQ Office O.M. dated 17.05.2012 (Annexure R-9) it is clearly mentioned that ‘Any worker who was placed in the Grade pay of Rs.2800/- as on 01.01.2006 is not required to get the benefit of Gazette Notification of Govt. of India M/o Finance, Deptt. of Expenditure vide no.G.S.R. 552 (E) dated 28.07.2009’. Since the applicant was granted G.P. 2800/- MACP on 01.09.2008 before his entitlement of Highly Skilled Worker Grade-I as on 01.09.2011, he was not entitled to take the benefit of Highly Skilled Worker Grade-I.
6. Arguments advanced by learned counsel for the parties were heard when learned counsel reiterated the content of the O.A., rejoinder and written statement respectively.
7. We have given our careful consideration to the matter. Perusal of the material on record shows that the applicant who was Assistant Mechanic (Mechanical Composing) was promoted as Mechanic (Mechanical Composing) in the pay scale of Rs.1320-30-1560-EB-40-2040 on regular basis w.e.f. 01.12.1996 as per order dated 29.11.1996 (Annexure R-3). Through order dated 10.03.2008 (Annexure R-7), the applicant who was till then designated as Mechanic (Mechanical and Composing) was absorbed/redeployed as Mechanic (Printing and Binding) in the pay scale of Rs.4000-6000 w.e.f. 03.03.2008. The applicant is basing his claim in the grade of HSG-I on the basis of Annexure A-11 which is a copy of the Rules GSR 479 dated 14.09.1993. The post of Mechanic (Printing and Binding) is at Sr. No.36, wherein the post is shown as General Central Service Group ‘C’ (Highly Skilled Grade I) Non-Gazetted, Non-Ministerial Rs.1320-2040. There is a similar entry at Sr. No.39 in this notification regarding Mechanic (Mechanical Composing) wherein also category of the applicant is shown as Highly Skilled Grade-I. Since the applicant was in the Highly Skilled Grade-I category while he was Mechanic (Mechanical Composing) since 1996 he could not be brought down to the level of Highly Skilled Grade-II on his redeployment as Mechanic (Printing and Binding). Doing so just because the applicant was in a category declared surplus on account of restructuring effected in Govt. of India Press, Nilokheri, would
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amount to discrimination against the applicant as there is no fault on the part of the applicant that his category was declared surplus. Hence the applicant is to be treated as having continued as Mechanic Highly Skilled Grade-I right from 1996 when he was promoted as such. He would, therefore, be entitled to G.P. of Rs.2800/- w.e.f. 01.01.2006. In this view of the matter, the claim of the applicant for grant of 3rd MACP in the Grade of Rs.4200/- on completion of 30 years merits consideration. The respondents are directed to allow the grade pay of Rs.2800/- to the applicant w.e.f. 01.01.2006 and examine his claim for grant of 3rd MACP on completion of 30 years service within a period of two months from the date of a certified copy of this order being served upon the respondents.