UNJUST STAND OF FINANCE MINISTRY FOR DENIAL OF HIGHER GRADE PAY FOR JEs & SSEs
Facts are misinterpreted & falsely negated
In its response to CAT Chennai Judgment on OA 706/2013 filed by IRTSA, directing Finance Ministry to consider upgradation of Grade Pay of JEs & SSEs to Rs.4600 & Rs.4800 respectively, as proposed by Railway Ministry, MOF (DOE) vide its letter dated 29.11.2016 had rejected the proposal of Railway Board and that of IRTSA. In its letter Finance Ministry not only falsely negated the facts, but also referred to extraneous factors to deviate from the core issue of determining rightful Grade Pay for JEs & SSEs on the Railways.
In its reply to the Tribunal’s judgment for not implementing its order Finance Ministry relied on following points, which have factual errors:
1. JEs & Senior technicians were recommended same Pay scale/GP by 5th & 6th CPCs. (Wrong statement as CPC proposed lower GP of 2800 for Sr, Tech.)
2. 7 th CPC also considered the issue of JEs in Railways and recommended for no change in the pay.
3. Pay commissions are expert bodies to go into all considerations. Any modification therein is not justified. (Wrong as many changes are made by the Govt. in Pay Commissions’ recommendations).
4. GP Rs.4200 is a major pay in the Govt. including CPWD, MES, etc and any change in the pay scale of Railways will have direct impact on JEs in general, leading to substantial financial implications. – (Wrong as many Deptts. Hasd already upgraded the posts of JEs without Railways following suite).
5. If GP Rs.4200 is revised horizontal relativity will be disturbed, this will have cascading effect on all posts and further round of court cases will follow.
6. If JE is to be placed in GP Rs.4600 then SSE need to be placed in GP Rs.4800, which will set another chain of repercussions. Railway Boards’ proposal for revision of Pay scale of Technical Supervisors from Rs.4600 to Rs.4800 was not accepted at the level of then Finance Minister in 2013. (MOF decision was unjustified).
7. Possibility of immediate repercussion in Railways, as mentioned by them in their counter reply to CAT is also real. (Wrong as many changes are made by the Govt. in Pay Commissions’ recommendations ).
8. The fact of higher and lower posts lying in a same Grade does not appear to be unique. Finance Ministry order allows the benefit of fixation of pay on promotion even when the promotion taking place in same grade. (This case is different as it involves Supervisor & supervised being placed in the same scale).
Finance Ministry ignored the following basic fact:
Position of JE & SSE on the Railways is unique and not comparable with any other Ministry or Department in view of higher qualifications, higher degree of training, higher duties & responsibilities for safe train operation etc.
5 th CPC recommended pay scale of Rs.5500-9000 for JE-I, Rs.5000-8000 for JE-II and Rs.4500-7000 for Sr. Technician. 6th CPC recommended Grade Pay of Rs.4200 for JE by merging JE-II & JE-I and Rs.2800 for Sr.Technician. On both the occasion Gov. has upgraded the pay scale / GP of Senior Technician on par with JE, without upgrading the pay scale / GP of JEs & SSEs. While introducing Grade Pay concept, 6th CPC had mentioned that:
a) Grade Pay determines the status of a post with senior post being given higher grade pay;
b) Promotion should happen progressively in the next higher Grade Pay.
7 th CPC in para 1.27 said that anomalies created subsequent to the modifications done in 6th CPC’s recommendations could not be rectified till date.
7 th CPC also recommended that “horizontal range” in pay matrix assigned as Level 1, 2, 3 and so on till 18 represents “functional role in the hierarchy”. When the employee receives a promotion or a non functional upgrading, he/she progress one level ahead on the horizontal range. i.e, when a Senior Technician receives promotion to JE he should be placed in Pay level-7 instead of Level-6.
Uniqueness of JEs & SSEs working in Railways was accepted by CAT Chandigarh in its Judgment in OA 211/2014 for Group B (Gaz) for Technical Supervisors. CAT Chandigarh had accepted the submission of union of India that Railway is governed by separate pay rules & DAR rules, not governed by CCS rules & CCS classification, control & appeal rules. CAT Chandigarh held that, due to unique nature, Railway stands on different footing than other ministries of central or state governments.
Pay scales of Accounts, Teachers and Nurses had been upgraded from time to time disturbing the horizontal parity with Technical Supervisors.
In the year 2013, Finance Minister turned down the proposal of Railway Minister which was asking for blanket approval for upgrading all posts in GP Rs.4600 to Rs.4800 and there was no specific proposal for upgrading Technical Supervisors as claimed by Finance Ministry. In fact Finance Ministry had asked for specific proposal on individual posts Railways want to upgrade.
Railway Ministry also send a proposal to Empowered committee of Secretaries formed after 7th CPC for revision of pay of Technical Supervisors, but details of decision taken by ECoS on Railway’s proposal was not
The fact of higher grade post of JE and lower grade post of Sr. Technician lying in the same grade arose not as a result 5th & 6th CPC recommendations, because of revision done to the Pay scale / GP of Sr. Technicians.
Ministry of Finance orders dated 24.11.2000 and 7.1.2013 were not about justifying placement of feeder and promotional posts in the same grade. These orders only extended the benefit of pay fixation if promotion happens to a post which involves assumption of higher responsibilities.
Railway agreed with the fact that the post of Junior Engineer carries higher responsibilities than the Senior Technician. Rejection of demand of Technical Supervisors on the plea of inviting similar demands from other such cases is illogical and unjust.
The following principles of law upheld by various Court including by the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India, were totally ignored by Finance Ministry:
a) ‘Promotion’ implies advancement to a higher grade
b) Supervisor should be in a scale higher than Supervised
c) “An equal cannot be over an equal” Justice will be re-established only if pay of JEs & SSEs are upgraded based on higher duties & responsibilities shouldered by them, based on decision taken by Railway ministry to upgrade the grade pay of JE & SSE above the categories whom they supervise.