Denial of incremental pay after obtaining required academic degree is violative of Articles 14 and 16 of the Constitution: Manipur HC

Manipur High Court – A Single Judge Bench of Kh. Nobin Singh J., disposed of a writ petition by ordering the State Government to issue a speaking order with respect to the disposal of the representation which the petitioners were asked to make.

The petitioners were lecturers in United College, Chandel. After the college was taken over by the State Government, the employees of the college were included as the employees of the state government. There were certain conditions for such inclusion. The inclusion of the petitioners as lecturers was contingent on their obtaining an M.Phil or an equivalent degree within three years, failing which the increment in their pay would have been denied.

As the petitioners had failed to obtain an equivalent degree in the stipulated time period, an order was issued by the government which sought to withhold any increment that they had received after the completion of the time period.

In 2016, the final absorption of 16 lecturers and 1 librarian was completed, and an order was issued for the disbursal of the normal/annual increment in pay of these positions. Aggrieved by this, the petitioners argued that they had submitted the relevant documents to the authorities concerned immediately after obtaining the M.Phil/ Ph.D. degree. Thus, persons located in a similar position were being accorded the benefits, and their denial of the same was a violation of Articles 14 and 16 of the Constitution of India.

The Single Judge Bench found the writ petition to be similar to WP(C) No. 817 of 2017, which pertained to Tamenglong College, and gave the same order, asking the petitioners to submit a representation within a week of receiving a copy of the order. The State Government, after receiving the representation, was to dispose of it by issuing a speaking order. [L. Haokholet v. State of Manipur,2018 SCC OnLine Mani 126, Order dated 11-10-2018].

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