North Block, New Delhi
Dated the 17th January, 2011
Subject: New Agenda item for discussion in the Meeting of the National Anomaly Committee.
The Hon’ble High Court of Madras in its order dated 10.9.2009 in Writ Petition No.21367/2004 (grievances of Drivers and Artisans in the Postal Department with regard to anomaly in fixing pay since 4th Central Pay Commission followed by directorate dated15.12.2010 in Contempt Petition No.1371/2010 has directed that the matter may be referred to the National Anomaly Committee for its consideration and passing appropriate orders. Accordingly, Department of Posts has forwarded detailed Agenda Note on examination of the Claim of the cadre of Drivers deployed in Department of Posts for grant of pay scale equal to that of Postal Assistants working in the same Department in pursuance to direction of Hon’ble High Court of Madras.
‘In view of the position mentioned above, Secretary (P) in her capacity as the Chairperson of the Anomaly Committee has approved inclusion of the matter in the Agenda of the National Anomaly Committee. It is likely that this issue will be discussed in the next meeting of the National Anomaly Committee to be held in near future. A copy of the Agenda Note forwarded by the Department of Posts is enclosed for information and perusal please.
EXAMINATIN OF THE CLAIM OF THE CADRE OF DRIVERS DEPLOYED IN DEPARTMENT OF POSTS FOR PAY SCALE EQUAL TO THAT OF POSTAL ASSISTANTS WORKING IN THE SAME DEPARTMENT IN PURSUANCE TO DIRECTIONS OF HON’BLE HIGH COURT OF MADRAS IN JUDGEMENT DATED 10.09.2009 IN WP NO.21367/2004 FOLLOWED BY DIRECTIONS DATED 15.12.2010 IN CONTEMPT PETITION NO.1371/2010
1. Consequent upon implementation of 5th CPC recommendations, the cadre of Drivers deployed in Department of Posts in Mail Motor Services and other subordinate offices was placed in the scale of Rs.3050-4590. Their earlier scale as per 4th CPC recommendation was Rs.950-1500. 2. The Association representing the Drivers and Artisans submitted representation dated 20.08.2001 and 12.12.2001 to the Department of Posts that their cadre placed at the minimum of the pay scale equivalent to Postal Assistants in 1st CPC, 2nd CPC and 3rd CPC. Their argument was that in the 4th CPC they were given the minimum of Rs.950-1500 whereas the Postal Assistants cadre was given Rs.975-1660. While implementing the 5th Pay Commission recommendations, they were placed in the scale of Rs.3050-4590 whereas Postal Assistants were given the scale of Rs.4000-6000 and further stated that there is a genuine anomaly while fixing the scale of Drivers. They also represented that the Postman cadre, which was always kept below their pay scale; was given a jump and equated with their scale of pay the 5th Pay Commission recommendations. The other argument was that they have to possess Heavy Vehicle License and to do exchange of bags containing valuables, cash, etc. and represented to the Hon’ble Minister for Communications for bringing the parity with Postal Assistants. All these submissions were examined and the Association was informed that the Central Pay Commission submitted the recommendations on pay scale after taking into account the specific requirements for each category of posts in terms of educational qualification, skill required, arduous nature of work undertaken and based on the composite view of the matter & also that the Drivers are part of common cadres in Central Government the question of any isolated examination of their pay scale confining to Department of Posts alone did not arise. This communication was sent to the Association on 07.02.2002. 3. The Association filed an OA No.148/2003 before the Hon’ble Central Administrative Tribunal at Madras, which was dismissed observing that no sufficient material has been placed before them to record a specific finding as to whether there had been arbitrary, discriminatory and hostile discrimination made to the applicants in granting the pay scale. In no circumstances, the case of the Postal Assistants could be treated at par with Drivers.
4. Aggreved by the CAT order, the Association further filed Writ Petition No.21367/2004 in the Hon’ble High Court at Madrs. The Court after examining the affidavit filed by the Department observed in Para No.8 of their judgement that "it is an admitted case that upto the Third Pay Commission, the pay of Drivers was equal to that of Postal Assistants. In the Fifth Pay Commission, the difference in the pay scale of Postal Assistants and Drivers was Rs.950/-. The case of the petitioners is that, their duties are more arduous; they have to carry insured bags registered post, parcel, speed posts and letters bags from various post offices situated in remote villages and drive through ruddy roads to catch the trains. The only reason given for fixing a higher pay to Postal Assistants is that they possess 10th standard qualification and having knowledge in computer. Though learned counsel appearing for the respondents submitted that common categories are common to all Central Government Departments and their recruitment rules and pay scales are also similar, yet the pay scale of postal Assistants and Drivers are different. The Drivers working in the Delhi Judicial service are getting a higher scale of pay. When the Central Government has prescribed 10th Standard as the qualification for Postal Assistants, the same qualification should have been fixed for the Drivers also, especially when the Drivers were getting an equal pay till the Fourth Pay Commission. This shows that definitely there is discrimination in pay scales among Postal Assistants and Drivers, …………In this case admittedly the scale of pay of Postal Assistants and Drivers was the same till the Fourth Pay Commission and thereafter parity in pay had arisen. This shows that the decision of the Government in fixing the pay scales of Postal Assistants and Drivers are patently irrational, unjust and prejudicial to a section of employees. Therefore we consider it appropriate to set aside the order under challenge and dispose of the writ petition with a direction to the respondents to refer the matter to the Anomaly Committee for its consideration and passing appropriate orders within a period of three months from the date of receipt of a copy of this order and if necessary, to afford an opportunity of hearing to the petitioners. ………"
5. On receipt of this judgement, the Department sought extension of time for its examination till 30.06.2010. The Hon’ble High Court at Madras did not specifically direct for placing the matter before National Anomaly Committee. By the time of receipt of the Judgement, the Department had already constituted its Anomaly Committee for sorting out the anomalies that arose due to implementation of 6th Pay Commission recommendations pertaining to the Department. Since the parity had been sought with a cadre of Postal Assistants, which is exclusively specific to the Department, the Departmental Anomaly Committee (DAC) chose to examine this in its meetings held on 05.02.2010 and also on 16.04.2010 after giving an opportunity to the Association for presenting their case. The DAC observed that the parity sought is not falling under the ambit of definition of the term ‘anomaly’ defined by DOPT but recommended for taking u the case with Nodal Ministry for placing the Drivers on par with Postman Grade by giving Grade Pay of Rs.2000 outside the purview of Anomaly Committee.
6. The proposal sent by Department of Posts to Department of Expenditure, Ministry of Finance through Department of Personnel & Training for placing the Drivers on par with Postman Grade by giving Grade pay of Rs.2000 did not find favour with by Ministry of Finance, Department of Expenditure. This was also conveyed to the Association. The Association filed a Contempt Petition in the Hon’ble High Court of Chennai alleging that there was a wanton disobedience in implementation of the order of the Hon’ble High Court. The Department filed a detailed affidavit rebutting their contentions raised in the Contempt directing the Additional Solicitor General in High Court for writing to the concerned Ministry for convening the meeting National Anomaly Committee for examination of the issue raised by the Association for bringing parity with the cadre of Postal Assistants in the Department of Posts.
7. Therefore, the agenda before the National Anomaly Committee is for examination of the issue of providing Grade Pay of Rs.2400 to the Drivers deployed in Department of Posts at the initial entry on par with Postal Assistants.