Pat HC | Prejudicial action taken by an authority against a government servant requires conformance to Art. 14 of the Constitution

Patna High Court: Shivaji Pandey, J. granted relief in a civil writ petition, brought before the Bench by an employee who assailed the wrong fixation of pay and pension, without any notice, and alleged the same to be an arbitrary use of power on the part of the respondent.

In the present case, the petitioner was appointed as a clerk and later promoted on the Junior Selection Grade with further promotion to Senior Selection Grade and continued on the said post. After the enforcement of 5th Pay Revision Commission, the need-based post was identified for each category including that for Head Clerk. 68 posts of Head Clerk were identified, and accordingly, the petitioner was appointed on the post of Head Clerk in the scale of pay of Rs 5000-8000. When the petitioner retired, his pension was fixed at the pay scale of Rs 5000-8000 for Rs 3843 per month but, later on, the Collector revised the number of need-based post to 29 and, accordingly, the petitioner was not considered in the berth as a Head Clerk and consequently his pay-scale reduced from 5000-8000 to 4000-6000 and, accordingly, his pension was also reduced causing persistent loss of Rs 500/- per month. He along with other employees had filed a suit for the same and they got a decision in their favor. However when the respondents did not abide by the decision, the petitioner, who suffered serious prejudice, was forced to file the present petition seeking the Court to command and direct the respondent to comply with the previously passed order whereunder, the Court had directed the respondents to issue show-cause to the petitioner and pass a fresh order in accordance with law within a period of 12 weeks from the date of show-cause.

The Court held that it is a well known principle of law that when an authority had taken any action prejudicial to the government servant, in such circumstances, it is expected that at least following the principle conforming to Article 14, a show-cause ought to have been served and, on reply, a decision as per law would be taken.

The Court thus, directed the respondent to identify the need-based post immediately and take a decision in the case of the petitioner within a period of three months from the date of receipt of a copy of this order.[Meghwarn Prasad Sinha v. State of Bihar, 2019 SCC OnLine Pat 789, decided on 01-05-2019]

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