In the writ petition Smt Shipra Debnath & Ors vs State of Tripura & Ors (W.P.(C) No.1449 of 2019), Hon’ble Justice S. Talapatra decided on the issue whether higher pay due to pay scale revision amounts to a career progression.
Petitioners represented a deceased employee Mr Debnath who was initially appointed as helper under the Tripura Government Services [Revised Pay] Rules, 1982. But, later re-designated to Junior electrician post under Tripura State Civil Services [Revised Pay] Rules, 1988 with higher pay. Further entitled to a next graded scale on completion of 10 years of service, he was granted the same higher salary and was re-designated to the post of Electrician. The said pay scale was revised by the Tripura State Civil Services [Revised Pay] Rules, 1999.
On completing 17 years of service, according to the 1999 rules, the employee was moved to a larger scale pay for the same post. As per Rule 10(2) of the ROP Rules, 2009 each scale up-gradation availed by an employee after his direct entry into the post of a department shall be treated as consumption of one Assured Career Progression (ACP). Subsequently, the employee completed 25 years of service and demanded his third ACP. The same was not granted by the authority and was rejected by a letter of the Finance department; the said letter has been challenged through a writ petition.
Respondents argued that the employee is not entitled to a third ACP, as he had already consumed three scale upliftments.
Petitioners argued citing the case of Dilip Kumar Guha v. State of Tripura & Ors, that the said controversy had been settled. Higher pay in the same post due to the revised pay scale cannot be considered as a career progression, and therefore, the pay increase after 25 years of service has to be granted.
Court’s Decision and Observation
The Court observed that the Additional learned G.A. has submitted that the facts are similar to the Dilip Guha case, and the said judgment has not been challenged. On the scrutiny of facts, the Court also concluded that the factual matrix is similar, and there is no distinguishable element between the current writ petition and the decided case. Hence, it is wholly covered by the decision. Respondents were directed by the Court to release the third ACP in favour of the employees to legal heirs of the deceased.
Furthermore, the Court also directed to refix the last pay and modify the pension or family pension claimed, based on the revised pay. The payment should be made within three months from the date the petitioner produces a copy of the order. The benefit shall be released from 3 years before the date of filing the writ petition and the period between completion of 25 years service by the employee and the abovementioned date shall be carried forward notionally. Hence the writ petition stands allowed.
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