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Article 14 in The Constitution Of India 1949
P.K. Ramachandra Iyer & Ors vs Union Of India & Ors on 16 December, 1983
Section 19 in The Societies Registration Act, 1860
The Societies Registration Act, 1860
Article 32 in The Constitution Of India 1949
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Supreme Court of India
Dr. S.M. Ilyas And Ors vs Indian Council Of Agricultural ... on 13 November, 1992
Bench: [M.H. Kania Cj., N.M. Kasliwal Ramaswamy, Jj.]
           PETITIONER:
DR. S.M. ILYAS AND ORS.

	Vs.

RESPONDENT:
INDIAN COUNCIL OF AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH AND ORS.

DATE OF JUDGMENT13/11/1992

BENCH:
[M.H. KANIA CJ., N.M. KASLIWAL AND K. RAMASWAMY, JJ.]




ACT:
Civil Services:
ICAR-Scientists-S2 and S3 grades-Fixation of pay scales.
Constitution of India, 1950:
Article 14- I.C.A.R.-Scientist-Pay scales-Revision-Disparity
in revised  pay scale-Prescribing  lower pay scale to senior
scientists  than   their     junior   counterpart-Held	 not
justified.



HEADNOTE:
The  Imperial	Council	 of  Agricultural  Research,  a
Society established  under the Societies Registration Act in
the year  1929 was  redesignated as  the Indian	 Council  of
Agricultural Research after the advent of Independence. Till
1965, the  ICAR was  largely functioning  as a	coordinating
agency and  apex body  for financing  research projects, but
with effect  from 1966	the administrative  control over the
Indian Agriculture  Research Institute (IARI) and other such
Institutes were transferred to ICAR,  simultaneously placing
the staff  of such  Institutes at the disposal of the ICAR A
department of Agricultural Research and Education was set up
in the	Ministry of Agriculture and the said department came
into existence	on 15.12.1973.	 The ICAR was fully financed
by the	Department of Agricultural Research and Education of
the Government of India.
ICAR started  an  Agricultural	Research  Service  with
effect from  1.10.1975, and  the  relevant  grades  and	 pay
scales as on 31.12.1985 were:
Grade of Scientist S in pay scale Rs. 550-900,
Scientist S-I in Rs. 700-1300, Scientist S-2 in
Rs. 1100-1600, and Scientist S-3 in Rs. 1500-2000.
The Scientists	of the ICAR who were earlier covered by
the Third  Pay	Commission  pay-scales	had  been  demanding
parity in pay-scales with  the employees of the Agricultural
Universities who  were	also  financed	by  the	 ICAR  After
persistent demand,  the ICAR agreed to revise the pay scales
with effect  from 1.1.1986  by notification dated 9th March,
1989. This  notification benefited  some of  the Scientists,
but was denying the principles of 'Equal Pay for Equal Work'
in the	case of	 the appellants	 and the  like, and the said
notification had further placed persons much junior  to many
of the	appellants in  a higher	 scale of  pay, resulting in
violation  of  the  fundamental	 rights	 of  the  appellants
guaranteed under Articles 14 and 16 of the Constitution.
Some of	 the appellants	 in this  appeal had earlier filed a
Writ Petition before this Court under Article 32 challenging
the aforesaid  notification and for other connected reliefs,
which was  disposed of	on  3rd	 May,  1990,  directing	 the
appellants to  approach the Central Administrative Tribunal,
and a  further declaration  was made that the Tribunal shall
treat the petition as a Representative Petition.
Certain clarifications	were issued  by the ICAR by its
letter dated   31st  March, 1989  and by  orders dated	14th
June, 1989,  6.11.1989 and  6.7.1989.  These orders not only
revised the pay scales but also gave new designations to the
various posts held by the appellants.
----------------------------------------------------------
S.No. Existing Grade	Existing    New		Revised
Pay-scale  designation	pay-scale
----------------------------------------------------------
1.  Scientist,S-2  Rs.1100-50-1600  Scientist  Rs. 3000-100
with service			(Senior	   3500-125-5000
upto eight			scale)
years.
2. Scientist,S-2   Rs.1100-50-	    Scientist  Rs. 3700-125
with service	1600 (Selection		    4950-150-5700
exceeding	grade)
eight years
3. Scientist,S-3   Rs.1500-60-	   Scientist   Rs. 3700-125
with service	1800-100-2000	(Selection 4950-150.5700.
upto 16 years			Grade)
4. Scientist,S-3   Rs.1500-50-	   Principal   Rs. 4500-l50
with service	1800-100-2000	Scientist   5700-200-7300
exceeding 16
years
The appellants filed an application under Section 19 of
the Administrative Tribunal's Act before the Principal Bench
of the	Central Administrative Tribunal, Delhi and contended
that according	to the	notification dated 9.3.1989 together
with  the   subsequent	clarifications,	  juniors  and	less
meritorious Scientists	and who	 were drawing  lesser  basic
pay as	on 31.12.1985 than the appellants had been placed in
higher pay  scales causing  great resentment amongst a large
number of Scientists including the appellants.
Not  being   successful	 before	  the	Tribunal,   the
appellants  appealed   to  this	 Court	and  contended	that
Scientists S-3	in pre-revised scale of Rs. 1500-2000 having
completed  total   service  in	the  ARS  as  on  31.12.1985
exceeding 16 years had been placed in the scale of Rs. 4500-
7300, whereas  Scientists S-3  who were	 in  the  same	pre-
revised scale  of Rs. 1500-2000 but had put in total service
in the	ARS as	on 31.12.1985 upto 16 years have been placed
in the scale of Rs. 3700-5700.
Similarly, Scientists  S-2 who	were in the pre-revised
scale of  Rs. 1100-1600	 and had  completed total service of
more than  8 years  in the ARS as on 31.12.1985 had been put
in the	scale of  Rs. 3700-5700,  but those having completed
total service  upto 8 years as on 31.12.1985 had been put in
the scale of Rs. 3000-5000.
It was	further submitted  by the appellant that in the
ICAR there  were two  streams for  career advancement of the
Scientists. The slower stream is the five yearly assessment,
and  the   faster  one	 is  the  direct  selection  through
advertisement to various posts at All India level, and	that
in the	direct selection,  the existing	 Scientists can also
compete	 with	  the	other	Scientists   from   non-lCAR
Institutions,  that   the  criterion   of  eight   years  of
qualifying service  for getting	 the scale of Rs. 3700-5700,
and 16	years of qualifying service for getting the scale of
Rs. 4500-7300 completed ignores the period of service put in
the grades of S-2 or S-3 respectively, and that this clearly
shows the  utter disregard  for merit  and competence of the
Scientists working on these posts of S-2 or S-3.
It was	also submitted	that the  impugned notification
was  not  only	unreasonable  and  discriminatory,  but	 had
resulted in  grave  injustice  to  the	Scientists  directly
selected  as   Scientists  S-2	 and  S-3   by	taking	into
consideration the  total length of service in the ARS as the
only criterion	 thereby  giving a  complete go-bye to merit
and competence.
The respondents	 opposed the  appeal by	 contending that  on
persistent demand of the appellants and other scientists for
giving them  better pay-scales than those recommended by the
Fourth Pay  Commission, the Government introduced University
Grant Commission  pay package  for them. The designations of
Scientists on  various grounds	had been suitably amended so
as to  conform to  their respective level of responsibility.
Scientist S-2  having less  than 8  years of  service as  on
31.12.1985 were	 placed in  the revised	 scale of  Rs. 3000-
5000, whereas  those having  more than 8 years of prescribed
service as  on 31.12.1985  were placed	in the	scale of Rs.
3700-5700. It  was further contended that efforts were being
made to devise means by which the affected Scientists may be
able  to   take	 their	chance	for  appointment  to  higher
management positions.
Allowing the appeal, this Court,
HELD :1.  While introducing  a new scheme of pay-scales
and fixing  new grades	of posts, some of the incumbents may
have to	 be put	 to less  advantageous position than others,
but at	the same  time the granting Of new pay-scales cannot
be allowed  to act arbitrarily and cannot create a situation
in which  the juniors may become senior or vice-versa. [450-
B]
2. The	appellants are	justified in  their  submission
that they  were also entitled to the higher pay-scale on the
post of	 Scientists S-2	 as well as  S-3 specially when they
were recruited on those posts much earlier to those who have
now become  entitled to higher pay-scales under the impugned
notification. They  are also  right in their submission that
it also mars their future chances of promotion on the higher
posts. [452-A-B]
3. The	appellants are	Scientists  who	 are  rendering
great service  to   the nation and no justification is found
as to  why the	appellants or  any other  Scientists in ICAR
placed in  similar position  like the  appellants should  be
deprived the benefit of the revised pay-scales on the higher
post of	 S-2 or	 S-3, in  case they were appointed by direct
recruitment or	by selection  on merit-cum-seniority  on the
post of	 Scientists S-2	 or S-3 prior  to those who have now
become entitled	 to  higher  pay-scale	under  the  impugned
notification dated 93.1989. [453-B-C]
4.  The	  Tribunal   itself   had   found   force   and
justification in  grievances made  by the appellants and had
granted	 six   months  time   to  the  respondents  to	take
appropriate  action.   Opportunities  were  granted  to	 the
respondents to	come  with  a  scheme  granting	 appropriate
relief to  the appellants,  but they were unable to come out
with any concrete proposal
or scheme redressing the grievances of the appellants. [452-
H; 453-Al
5. The	respondents to issue appropriate orders so that
any of	the appellants	or the like working as Scientist S-2
or S-3	on or  before 31.12.1985  earlier to  anyone of	 the
Scientists getting  benefit of	the revised pay-scales under
the impugned  notification dated 9.3.1989 also get a similar
benefit of revised pay-scale of Rs. 4500-7300 in the case of
S-3 and	 pay-scale of Rs. 3700-5700 in the case of S-2. Such
revised pay-scales  shall a  be given from 1.1.1986 as given
to S-2	and S-3	 Scientists under the impugned notification.
Suitable action	 in this  regard to  be taken and the entire
amount to be paid within six months. [453-D-E]
P.K Iyer  & Ors. v. Union of India & Ors., [1984] 2 SCR
200, referred to.



JUDGMENT:

CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION: Civil Appeal No. 2736 of 1991.

From the Judgment and Order dated 5.10.1990 of the Central Administrative Tribunal, New Delhi in O.A. No. 1510 of 1990.

M.K. Ramamurthy, Raj Kumar Mehta and Ms. Mona Chakraborty for the Appellants.

R.K. Jain, Arun Jaitley, Mahesh Srivastava, Vishnu Mathur, A.K. Sikri and Ms. Madhu Sikri for the Respondents.

The Judgment of the Court was delivered by KASLIWAL, J. The appellants who are Scientists working in various Institutes under Indian Council of Agricultural Research (in short 'ICAR') throughout the country have filed this appeal against the order of the Central Administrative Tribunal, New Delhi dated 5.10.1990. Some of the appellants had filed a Writ Petition No. 550 of 1990 before this Court under Article 32 of the Constitution challenging the notification issued by the ICAR dated 9.3.1989 and for other connected reliefs. This Court disposed of the said Writ Petition by order dated 3.5.1990 in the following manner:

"The main relief which the petitioners ask for in this writ petition is about revision of pay-

scale and other connected service benefits. When we suggested to learned counsel that the matter should go before the Central Administrative Tribunal, he has indicated certain difficulties which are like the officers being spread-over in different parts of the country and the difficulty in coordinating the cases for disposal, in case they are required to go before the Tribunal and the fact that there may be inordinate delay in disposal and in obtaining the relief. We are of the view that the matter can be appropriately considered by the Tribunal for overcoming the difficulties indicated by Mr. Sanghi, we direct the Central Administrative Tribunal to treat the petition that is going to be filed at the Principal Bench at Delhi as the representative petition and dispose of the same within six months from the date it is filed. This petition is allowed to be withdrawn."

In pursuance to the above order dated 3.5.1990 some of the appellants filed an application No. 1510 of 1990 under Section 19 of the Administrative Tribunals Act before the Central Administrative Tribunal, Principal Bench, Delhi. The Tribunal treated the aforesaid application as having been filed in representative capacity of S-2 and S-3 Officers of the ICAR, pursuant to the directions of the Supreme Court in its order dated 3.5.1990.

In order to appreciate the controversy, we shall state the facts in brief. The Imperial Council of Agricultural Research, a Society established under the Societies Registration Act in the year 1929 was redesignated as the Indian Council of Agricultural Research after the advent of independence. Till 1965, the ICAR was largely functioning as a coordinating agency and apex body for financing research project. With effect from 1966, administrative control over the Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI) and other such Institutes was transferred to ICAR simultaneously placing the staff of such Institutes at the disposal of the ICAR. A department of Agricultural Research and Education was set up in the Ministry of Agriculture and the said department came into existence on 15.12.1973. The ICAR is fully financed by the Department of Agricultural Research and Education (DARE), Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperation, Government of India. ICAR follows the rules of Government of India Mutatis Mutandis. The ICAR has been held to be `State' within the meaning Article 12 of the Constitution as per the judgement of this Court in the case of P.K. Iyer & Others v. Union of Indian & Others, reported in [1984] 2 SCR 200.

The ICAR started an Agricultural Research Service (in short 'ARS') with effect from 1.10.1975 and the relevant grades and pay-scales as on - 31.12.1985 are given as under :

	"Grades			   Pay-scales
      Scientist S		       Rs. 550-990
      Scientist S-1		       Rs. 700-1300
      Scientist S-2		       Rs. 1100-1600
      Scientist S-3		       Rs. 1500-2000"

The Scientists of the ICAR who were earlier covered by the Third Pay Commission pay-scales had been demanding parity in pay-scales with the employees of the Agricultural Universities who were also financed by the ICAR. After persistent demand, the ICAR agreed to revise the pay scales with effect from 1.1.1986 vide notification No.1-14/87-Per. IV dated 9th March, 1989. According to the appellants, the aforesaid notification though benefited some of the Scientists, but was denying the principle of 'Equal Pay for Equal Work' in the case of the appellants and the like and the said notification had further placed persons much junior to many of the appellants in a higher scale of pay resulting in violation of the fun damental rights of the appellants guaranteed under Article 14 and 16 of the Constitution. In order to appreciate the grievances of the appellants the pay-scales as revised by the ICAR vide the impugned notification dated 9.3.1989 are given as under :

"S.No.	    Grade     Existing	 New	       Revised pay
		     pay-scale	  designation	     scale
 1. Scientist S-2 Rs.1100-50  Scientist	       Rs. 3000-100-
 (with total ser-   1600       (Senior	      3500-125-5000
 vice in the scale)
 ARS as on
 31.12.1985
 upto 8 years)
 2. Scientist  S-2  Rs. 1100-50 Scientist     Rs. 3700-125-
 (with total	   1600	       (Selection     4950- 150-5700
 service in the			Grade)
 ARS as on
 31.12.85
 exceeding 8
  years)
3. Scientist S-3    Rs. 1500-60- Scientist    Rs. 3700-125-
 (with total ser- 1800-100-2000 (Selection    4950-150-5700
 vice in the			  Grade)
 ARS as on
 31.12.85 upto
 16 years)
 4. Scientist S-3 Rs. 1500-50- Principal       Rs. 4500-150-
 (with total	      1800-100-2000 Scientist  5700-200-7300
 service in the
 ARS or
 equivalent
 grades as on
 31.12.85
 exceeding 16
 years)

Certain clarifications were issued to the above notification vide letter No. 1-14/87-Per. IV (Vol. III) dated 31.3.1989, order No. 1-7/89-Per. IV (Vol. III) dated 14.6.1989, order No. 1-7/89-per. IV dated 6.11.1989 (Vol. III) and order No. 1-7/89-Per. IV dated 6.7.1990.

The case of the appellants is that according to the impugned notification dated 9.3.1989 together with subsequent clarifications, Scientists S-3 in pre-revised scale of Rs. 1500-2000 having completed total service in the ARS as on 31.12.1985 exceeding 16 years had been placed in the scale of Rs. 4500-7300, whereas Scientists S-3 who were in the same pre-revised scale of Rs. 1500-2000 but had put in total service in the ARS as on 31.12.1985 upto 16 years have been placed in the scale of Rs. 3700-5700.

Similarly, Scientists S-2 who were in the pre-revised scale of Rs.1100-1600 and had completed total service of more than 8 years than in the ARS as on 31.12.1985 have been put in the scale of Rs. 3700-5700, but those having completed total service upto 8 years as on 31.12.1985 had been put in the scale of Rs. 3000-5000. According to the appellants, by the impugned notification dated 9.3.1989, in the guise of revision of pay-scales, altogether new grades/designations have also been created as under :- "S Grade Existing designation New designation No.

 1. Scientist S-2 (with Scientist S-2	   Scientist (Senior
 total service in				 Scale)
 ARS as on
 31.12.1985 upto 8
 years)

2. Scientist S-2 (with Scientist S-2 Scientist (Selection total service in Grade) ARS as on 31.12.1985 exceeding 8 years)

3. Scientist S-3 (with Scientist S-3 Scientist (Selection total service in Grade) ARS as on 31.12.1985 upto 16 years)

4. Scientist S-3 (with Scientist S-3 Principal Scientist" total service in ARS or equivalent Grades as on 31.12.1985 exceeding 16 years) It has been further submitted by the appellants that in the ICAR there were two streams for career advancement of the Scientists. The slower stream is the five yearly assessment and the faster one is the direct selection through advertisement to various posts at All India level. In the direct selection, the existing Scientists can also compete with the other. Scientists from non-lCAR Institutions. The requirements for assessment and direct selection are different as illustrated below by the appellants :-

"Suppose a Scientist with Ph. D qualification joins as S-1, it will take for him at least 11 years to become S-3 through assessment, whereas if he had only 7 years' experience and good merit, he could be directly selected as S-3. So, it takes 4 years less for a Scientist to become directly recruited S-3 as compared to his counterparts who got S-3 through assessment scheme.
This fact has been completely ignored by the ICAR while revising the pay-scale in which the requirement of total length of service was kept same for Scientists of both the streams. This is the reason why many of the Scientists who were selected directly as S-2/S-3, taking lesser time to attain higher grades, have been denied their due in the impugned revision of pay scales."

It has been further submitted on behalf of the appellants that the criterion of eight years of qualifying service for getting the scale of Rs.3700-5700 and 16 years of qualifying service for getting the scale of Rs. 4500-7300 completely ignores the period of service put in the grade of S-2 or S-3 respectively. This clearly shows the utter disregard for merit and competence of the Scientists working on these posts of S-2 or S-3. The impugned notification is not only unreasonable and discriminatory, but has resulted in grave injustice to the Scientists directly selected as Scientists S-2 and S-3 by taking into consideration the total length of service in the ARS as the only criterion thereby giving a complete go-bye to merit and competence. It has been further submitted that before the issuance of the impugned notification Scientists S-2 who had put in upto 8 years service and those who had put in exceeding 8 years service had the same designation namely, Scientist S-2 and were performing the same nature of work and duties. After the impugned notification, they have been reclassified in two categories, namely Scientist (Senior-Scale) and Scientist (Selection Grade), and have been put in different pay-scales, though their nature of work and duties still continue to remain the same.

It has been similarly pointed out that prior to the issuance of the impugned notification Scientists S-3 who had put in upto 16 years of service and those having put in more than 16 years had the same designation of Scientist S-3 and their nature of work and duties were also the same. Now, by virtue of the impugned notification Scientists S-3 have been reclassified into two categories, namely, Scientist (Selection Grade) and Principal Scientist and have been given different scales of pay, though their nature of work and duties still continue to remain the same. It has thus been submitted that as a result of the impugned notification juniors and less meritorious Scientists and who were also drawing lesser basic pay as on 31.12.1985 than the appellants have been placed in higher pay-scales causing great resentment amongst a large number of Scientists including the appellants.

The appellants have further illustrated the injustice and arbirtrainess in the application of the impugned notification in the following manner :-

"ILLUSTRATION- I

------------------------------------------------------------

	 DATE OF		   Scale	       Scale
	APPOINTMENT
	Class II Scien Scien Scien-    as	      as on
       (Gaze-	-tist	-tist tist    on	    1.1.1986
	tted)	 S-1	S-2   S-3     31.12.85	     as per
						     the
						    impugned
						Notification

------------------------------------------------------------ Scientist-A 30.4.65 9.10. 1.7.76 1.1.85 Rs. Rs.

 Dr. G.C.	       74		      1500-   4500-
Sharma					      2000    7300
Scientist-B	      1.7.76   24.3.79	6.12.79 Rs.    Rs.
Dr. Sheo					1500-  3700-
Raj					       2000   5700

------------------------------------------------------------ It would thus be seen that although Scientist-B got the S-3 grade much before Scientist-A and both were in the same scale as on 31.12.1985, by the impugned notification Scientist-A has been given the higher scale of Rs 4500-7300 with effect from 1.1.1986 whereas Scientist-B has been put in the lower scale of Rs. 3700-5700.

ILLUSTRATION-II

------------------------------------------------------------

	      DATE OF APPOINTMENT	Scale	    Scale
       Scientist S-1  1 Scientist 1 S-2	  as on	    as per
					31.12.85    impugned
						Notification

------------------------------------------------------------ Scientist -A 1.9.76 1.7.1985 Rs. Rs.

 Ms. Pratibha				   1100-    3700-
 Shukla					   1600	    5700
Scientist-B	      -		 22.7.78    Rs.	     Rs.
 Shri  B.S.			  (joined    1100-     3000-
Modi			   directly as S-2) 1600     5000

---------------------------------------------------------- The above illustration would show that while Scientist-B got the S-2 grade much earlier than Scientist-A and both were in the same scale as on 31.12.1985, by the impugned notification Scientist-A has been placed in the higher scale of Rs. 3700-5700 w.e.f. 1.1.1986 and Scientist-B has been given lower scale of Rs 3000- 5000."

On the other hand, it has been contended on behalf of the respondents. that on persistent demand of the appellants and other Scientists for giving them better pay-scales than those recommended by the Fourth Pay Commission, the Government introduced University Grants Commission (in short 'UGC') pay package for them. The designations of Scientists on various grounds have been suitably amended so as to conform to their respective level of responsibility. In the UGC revised scales, there is no single/uniform revised scale for servicing S-2 and S- 3 Scientists. However there is provision for specific placement of Scientists S-2 and S-3 in the UGC scales by virtue of their length of service as on 31.12.1985. Thus, as per the scheme concurred in by the Ministry of Finance, Scientist S-2 having less than 8 years of service as on 31.12.1985 have been placed in the revised scale of Rs. 3000-5000, whereas those having more than 8 years Of prescribed service as on 31.12.1985 have been placed in the scale of Rs. 3700-5700. Similarly, in case of S-3 Scientists, the period of service as on 31.12.1985 has been taken as 16 years and as such those having more than 16 years of service as on 31.12.1985 have been put in the scale of Rs. 4500- 7300 and those upto 16 years have been placed in the scale of Rs. 3700-5700. Thus, prescribing the aforesaid pay-scales on the pattern of UGC as per the demand of the Scientists themselves, the above fixation of pay scales is perfectly valid and proper. It has been further submitted that injustice done to some of the incumbents in introducing a new scheme cannot be a reason for setting aside the whole scheme. It has been further submitted that they have formulated model recruitment rules on the pattern of UGC. Some difficulties have been experienced while prescribing the experience of 3, 5, 6 years as Principal Scientists for recruitment to the higher posts. Efforts are being made to devise means by which the affected Scientists may be able to take their chance for appointment to higher management positions.

We have considered the arguments advanced by learned counsel for both the parties and have thoroughly perused the record. It is no doubt correct that while introducing a new scheme of pay-scales and fixing new grades of posts, some of the incumbents may have to put to less advantageous position than others, but at the same time the granting of new pay- scales cannot be allowed to act arbitrarily and cannot create a situation in which the juniors may become senior of vice-versa. Admittedly, the Scientists working in the ICAR had made a grievance for the revision of their pay-scales and the Government being satisfied with their grievances had appointed various expert Committees such as, M.V. Rao Committee, N.G.P. Rao Committee, Menon Committee and G.V.R. Rao Committee for improvement of service conditions of the Scientists working in the ICAR. Government had notified a set of pay-scales for the Universities in 1988 known as 'UGC Scales. M.V. Rao Committee which was set up by the Government to go into the pay-scales of ARS Scientists had recommended the application of the UGC Scales to the ARS Scientists. So far as the recommendations of the aforementioned expert Committees are concerned, learned counsel for the appellants pointed out that none of the recommendations made by such Committees laid down any criteria of 8 years or 16 years of service for giving higher pay-scales in the case of incumbents holding the same S-2 or S-3 grade in the ICAR. The respondents in their counter affidavit have admitted that S-1, S-2 and S-3 are equivalent to that of Lecturer, Reader and Professor respectively. Dr. M.V.Rao Committee after considering the facts that the ICAR has the role of UGC in agricultural education recommended that the ICAR being an apex organisation in the country for agricultural education, research and extension should have the pay-scales at least at par with the State Agricultural Universities. Dr. M.V. Rao Committee's recommendations were accepted by the Central Government and a policy decision was taken on 13.10.1988 to the effect that UGC package may be extended to ICAR Scientists engaged in teaching, research and extension. It may be further noted that prior to the impugned notification dated 9.3.1989, there were four grades of Scientists namely, Scientist-S, S-1, S-2 and S-3 apart from other higher grades with which we are not presently concerned. So far as the lowest grade of Scientist is concerned which has been named as Experimental Scientist in the impugned notification is a dying cadre. Now, so far as 8 Scientist S-1 is concerned, he has been given the revised pay-scale of Rs.2200-4000 and there is no controversy about it. The controversy is about Scientists S-2 and S-3. All Scientists S-2 were in the same pay-scale of Rs. 1100-1600 prior to the introduction of the revised pay-scales by the impugned notification dated 9.3.1989. By the impugned notification, post of Scientist S-2 has been bifurcated in two grades as Scientist (Senior Scale) in the pay-scale of Rs. 3000-5000 and Scientist (Selection Grade) in the pay- scale of Rs. 3700-5700. Similarly, in the case of Scientist S-3 which had a common pay-scale of Rs. 1500-2000 has now been bifurcated as Scientist (Selection Grade) in the pay- scale of Rs. 3700-5700 and Principal Scientist in the pay- scale of Rs. 4500-7300. The basis for giving higher pay- scales has been taken as period of total service in ARS as 8 years in the case of Scientist S-2 and 16 years in the case of Scientist S-3. It would have been correct in case the recruitment to such posts of S-2 and S-3 had been made purely on the basis of seniority and length of service in ARS. But the admitted position is that such posts of Scientists S-2 and S-3 were also filled by direct recruitment from public as well as by merit-cum-seniority from amongst the members of the Agricultural Research Service. Thus, the anomalous situation created is amply illustrated by the examples of Dr. G.C. Sharma and Dr. Sheo Raj in the case of S-3 and the case of Ms. Pratibha Shukla and Shri B.S. Modi in the case of Scientist S-2. Dr. Sheo Raj came to be appointed as a Scientist S-3 on 6.12.1979 while Dr. G.C. Sharma came to be appointed as Scientist S-3 as late as on 1.1.1985. Admittedly, on 31.12.1985 both were in the scale of Rs. 1500-2000. Now, on the basis of the impugned notification Dr. G.C. Sharma gets the pay-scale of Rs. 4500-7300 as Principal Scientist while Dr. Sheo Raj is fixed in the pay-scale of Rs. 3700-5700 as Scientist (Selection Grade). Similar is the case of Shri B.S. Modi and Ms. Pratibha Shukla in S-2.

Shri Arun Jaitley Leaned senior counsel appearing for the ICAR which tried hard but in vain to justify such disparity which is totally arbitrary and unreasonable. It does not stand to reason that Dr. Sheo Raj having been appointed as Scientist S-3 on merit as back as on 6.12.1979 is fixed in the new pay-scale of Rs. 3700-5700 while Dr. G.C. Sharma who became Scientist S-3 as late as on 1.1.1985 is fixed in the pay-scale of Rs. 4500-7300. Similarly, in the case of the incumbents on the post of Scientist S-2 Shri N.S. Modi having appointed by direct recruitment on 22.7.1975 has been fixed in the new pay-scale of Rs. 3000- 5000 as Scientist (Senior Scale) while Ms. Pratibha Shukla who came to be appointed as Scieutist S-2 on 1.7.1985 has been fixed in the revised pay-scale of Rs. 2700-5700 as Scientist (Selection Grade). In our view, the appellants are justified in their submission that they were also entitled to the higher pay-scale on the post of Scientist S-2 as well as S-3 specially when they were recruited on these posts much earlier to those who have now become entitled to higher pay-scales under the impugned notification. They are also right in their submission that it also mars their future chances of promotion on the higher posts.

The following observations made by the Tribunal itself shows the justification of the demand made by the appellants :-

"The respondents have admitted in their counter affidavit that certain anomalies have been created by the new scheme and that they are trying to rectify the same. They have issued orders allowing directly recruited S-2 and S-3 Scientists certain wetihtage for a period of service rendered by them for placement in the higher scale as on 1.1.1986. They have also stated that they are devising means by which the affected Scientists may be able to take their chance for appointment to higher management positions ........................... In the instant case, by applying the principle of length of service in the ARS irrespective of the grades in which the officers were hitherto working a large number of erstwhile seniors will be rendered juniors and they will now be entitled to only lower pay scales than their erstwhile juniors. This would also adversely affect their eligibility for promotion from 1.1.1986. In case they were eligible to be considered for promotion to the next higher grade under the old dispensation, it will be unjust and inequitable to render them ineligible for such promotion against the existing vacancies proposed to be filled up. It is, however, for the respondents to devise suitable steps, including grant of one time relaxation and/or appropriate weightage to the applicants and those similarly situated, so as to make them eligible to appear before the Selection Board for the various posts already advertised."

It may be noted that the Tribunal itself had found force and justification in the grievances made by the appellants and had granted 6 month's time to the respondents to take appropriate action.

We had also granted opportunities to the respondents to come with a scheme granting appropriate relief to the appellants in the facts and circumstances of the case, but till the matter was finally heard by us, the respondents were unable to come out with any concrete proposal or scheme redressing the grievances of the appellants. The appellants are Scientists who are rendering great service to the nation and we find no justification as to why the appellants or any other Scientists in ICAR placed in similar position like the appellants should be deprived the benefit of the revised pay-scales on the higher post of S-2 or S-3, in case they were appointed by direct recruitment or by selection on merit-cum-seniority on the post of Scientist S-2 or S-3 prior to those who have now become entitled to higher pay- scale under the impugned notification dated 9.3.1989.

We, therefore, allow this appeal and direct the respondents to issue appropriate orders so that any of the appellants or the like working as Scientist S-2 or S-3 on or before 31.12.1985 earlier to anyone of the Scientists getting benefit of the revised pay-scales under the impugned notification dated 9.3.1989 also get a similar benefit of revised pay-scale of Rs.4500-7300 in the case of S-3 and pay-scale of Rs.3700-5700 in the case of S-2. Such revised pay-scales shall be given from 1.1.]986 as given to S-2 and S-3 Scientists under the impugned notification. The respondents are directed to take suitable action in this regard and to pay the entire amount within six months from the date of this order. In the facts and circumstances of the case, we pass no order as to costs.

N.V.K.					 Appeal allowed.