Case BriefsHigh Courts

Punjab and Haryana High Court: Arun Monga J., allowed the application for the payment of the pay and allowances when petitioner was working on ad hoc basis.

A writ in the nature of mandamus was filed directing the respondent to pay along with other allowances and other service benefits equal/admissible to other employees regularly employed as Hindi Teachers.

The briefs facts of the case were that the petitioner was appointed on a temporary basis as the Hindi teacher and her duties and responsibilities were same as that of the other teacher appointed on regular basis. However, on completion of session, the services of the petitioner were terminated. The vacancy was again advertised and thus the petitioner joined the service without the issuance of the appointment letter and was continuing till the filing of the present writ petition.

R.L. Sharma, counsel for the petitioner submits that the policy of the respondents was against the principle of ‘equal pay for equal work’ as upheld by Courts in various judgments. She stated that having been given the same duties and responsibilities as the other Hindi Teacher, any discrimination with regard to her pay is in violation of Article 14 and 16 of the Constitution of India. Thus as the petitioner was serving the respondent-school since 1989 and was entitled to all the benefits being given to the other teachers. Reliance was placed on the case of Rattan Lal v. State of Haryana, (1985) 4 SCC 43, wherein it has been held that hire and fire policy being adopted in case of ad-hoc teachers is in violation of Articles 14 and 16 of the Constitution of India.

Counsel for the respondent submits that the school was a grant-in-aid minority institution and there was only one sanctioned post of Hindi teacher. It was conceded that the petitioner had been working in the respondent-school for the past decade albeit on a temporary basis. She was never appointed as Hindi teacher and was given various classes as and when the need arose. Hence, it was stated that she cannot claim parity with Hindi teacher working on a sanctioned post. It was also submitted that the terms of service of the petitioner were clear and specific and that the claim of the petitioner on par with the other teachers of the schools was wrong and cannot be allowed.

The Court opined that the prayer of the petitioner to the extent of being paid her salary and allowances and other benefits for the period of vacations/ weekends, as admissible to the other teachers employed in the school is fair and reasonable. It was further opined that respondent had exploited the vulnerability by throughout indulging in adhocism to deny the petitioner her legitimate dues on the ostensible ground of being a minority institute and the post of Hindi Teacher being a non-aided one against which the petitioner services were availed. Thus it was held that as per the principles of equal pay for equal work, the petitioner is entitled for regular scale as pay of Hindi Teacher as is being granted to another Hindi Teacher by the respondents besides other service benefits thereof and thus directed the respondent to calculate all the pay and allowances along with the arrears of salary for weekends and during the summer vacations.[Swaranjit Kaur v. Sri Guru Gobind Singh Senior Secondary School, Chandigarh; 2019 SCC OnLine P&H 1373; decided on 01-08-2019]

Case BriefsTribunals/Commissions/Regulatory Bodies

Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT), Chandigarh: Sanjeev Kaushik, (Member) J. quashed the order issued by the Chandigarh administration which provided that new recruits would be paid only fixed emoluments without any grade pay or annual increments or any other allowance except travelling allowance during the first two years of probation.

Applicants herein were appointed as clerk, steno and typist and they were granted fixed grade pay in their appointment letter. But as per Clause 4 of the appointment letter, a condition was inserted that minimum pay scale/salary of the pay band without any grade pay and without any annual increments or any other allowance except traveling allowance during the first two years of probation and on confirmation of probation period shall not be counted towards permanent service. This insertion was in accordance with the amendment in the Punjab Civil Service Rules, Volume-I, Part-I wherein Rule 2.20-A was inserted in substitution of Rule 4.1, 4.4 and 4.9. The said amendment was adopted by the Chandigarh administration through an adoption letter. Applicants, aggrieved by the adoption letter, filed an appeal in Central Administrative Tribunal, Chandigarh.

Learned counsel for the applicants,  S.S. Sidhu and Gagneshwar Walia argued that the notification issued by the State of Punjab and adopted by Chandigarh administration had already been set aside in Dr Vishavdeep Singh v. State of Punjab, CWP No.6391 of 2016 (O&M). Therefore, he prayed that as a result of the setting aside of notification issued by State of Punjab, being in violation of Articles 14 and 16 of Constitution of India, adoption letter of the rule by Chandigarh Administration was also liable to be set aside.

Taking note of the fact that Punjab and Haryana High Court, in Dr Vishavdeep Singh case, had already quashed the notification issued by Chandigarh administration the impugned letter of adoption was also quashed.[Amit Sharma v. Union Territory, Chandigarh, OA No. 60 of 348 of 2018, decided on 17-05-2019]