IN THE HIGH COURT OF PUNJAB AND HARYANA AT
Civil Writ Petition No. 8292 of 2008
DATE OF DECISION : AUGUST 26, 2009
THE STATE OF PUNJAB & ORS.
CORAM : HON'BLE MR. JUSTICE AJAI LAMBA
PRESENT: Mr. BS Jaswal, Advocate, for the petitioner(s). Ms. Charu Tuli, Senior DAG, Punjab.
AJAI LAMBA, J. (Oral)
This petition under Articles 226/227 of the Constitution of India has been filed praying for issuance of a writ in the nature of certiorari quashing order dated 19.3.2008 (Annexure P-5), whereby the respondents have denied the right of the petitioner to the benefit of proficiency step- up/increments on completion of 8/16 years of service and, consequently, Civil Writ Petition No. 8292 of 2008 2 higher scale.
Order dated 19.3.2008 (Annexure P-5), passed by the District Education Officer (Senior Secondary), Hoshiarpur, is to the effect that the petitioner had approached this Court by way of filing CWP 1102 of 2008, in which he had claimed that he was entitled to 8/16 years annual Assured Career Progression Scheme increments. This Court, on 24.1.2008, while disposing of the petition, had directed the respondents to take a decision on the legal notice served on behalf of the petitioner. Order dated 19.3.2008 (Annexure P-5) further stipulates that in terms of instructions, an employee who foregoes his promotion, is not entitled for proficiency step-up/Assured Career Progression Scheme increments. When the case of the petitioner is considered, it is found that the petitioner was promoted as Lecturer on 10.10.1995. The petitioner, however, had not availed the promotion and, therefore, as per instructions dated 1.9.1989, the claim of the petitioner for proficiency step- up/Assured Career Progression Scheme increments is rejected. Learned counsel for the petitioner states that the issue is covered by a Division Bench judgment of this Court rendered in CWP 6135 of 2003 (Varinder Pal v. The State of Punjab and others) decided on 5.7.2005.
Learned counsel for the respondent-State has not been able to distinguish the judgment rendered in Varinder Pal's case (supra). In Varinder Pal's case (supra), the following has been held:- "Having heard the learned counsel for the parties, we are of the view that the controversy raised in the instant petition is covered by the Division Bench judgment Civil Writ Petition No. 8292 of 2008 3 of this Court rendered in CWP No.6049 of 1997 "Tipan Chand Sharma and another Vs. State of Punjab and others decided on 6.5.1998. This judgmnet has also been followed by another Division Bench of this Court in Shashi Kiran and others Vs. state of Punjab and others 2003 (1) SCT 340. The view taken by this Court is that merely because an employee has fore gone his promotion would not be sufficient to deny him the benefit of proficiency step up after completion of 24/32 years of service. The facts of present case are also similar as in the impugned order the same reason for declining the benefit of proficiency step up on completion of 24/32 years of service has been stated. Therefore, in our view the matter is squarely covered by the ratio of the judgments cited above. It is also pertinent to notice that the learned State Counsel has not been able to successfully dispute the aforementioned conclusion drawn by us.
In view of the above, the writ petition is allowed. The order Annexure P-7 dated 7.11.2002 is quashed and the directions are issued to the respondents to release the increments of proficiency step up after completion of 24/32 years of service to the petitioner under the Assured Career Progression Scheme with all consequential benefits and also to refund recovered amount of Rs.21,110/-."
In view of the above, the petition is allowed. Order dated 19.3.2008 (Annexure P-5) is hereby quashed. The respondents are directed to consider the case of the petitioner in terms of the judgment rendered in Varinder Pal's case (supra), portion of which has been extracted above, and release the increments of proficiency step up after completion of 8/16 years of service to the Civil Writ Petition No. 8292 of 2008 4 petitioner with all consequential benefits. The needful be done within 3 months of receipt of certified copy of this order. August 26, 2009 ( AJAI LAMBA ) Kang JUDGE
1. To be referred to the Reporters or not?
2. Whether the judgment should be reported in the Digest?