IN THE HIGH COURT OF DELHI AT NEW DELHI W.P. (C) 5364/1999 and CM Nos. 5261/04, 12702/06 & 12100/08 Reserved on: July 6, 2011 Decision on: July 22, 2011 SHANTI YADAV & ORS ..... Petitioners Through: Mr. S. K. Puri, Senior Advocate with Mr. Praveen Kumar and Ms. Gayatri Puri, Advocates. versus UNION OF INDIA & ORS ..... Respondents Through: Mr. Ruchir Mishra, Advocate for R-1 & 2. Mr. Ankur Chhibber, Advocate for R-3 to R-5. CORAM: JUSTICE S. MURALIDHAR 1. Whether Reporters of local papers may be allowed to see the judgment? No 2. To be referred to the Reporter or not? Yes 3. Whether the judgment should be reported in Digest? Yes JUDGMENT
1. The twenty six Petitioners who are part of the teaching and non-teaching staff of Asha AWWA School for Handicapped Children (hereinafter „the School‟), Respondent No. 5, have filed this writ petition seeking directions to the Union of India through the Ministry of Defence („MoD‟), Army Headquarters (Respondent No. 1); the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment („MSJE‟), Government of India („GOI‟) (Respondent No. 2); Adjutant General („AG‟), Adjutant General‟s Branch, Army Welfare Society (Respondent No. 3); Army Wives Welfare Association („AWWA‟) (Respondent No. 4) and the School to extend to the Petitioners and other employees of the School, the benefits in the matter of pay and allowances in accordance with the recommendations of the Fifth Pay W.P. (C) No. 5364 of 1999 Page 1 of 14 Commission („FPC‟) as extended to the employees of the GOI and employees of the other educational institutes in the National Capital Territory of Delhi with effect from 1st January 1996.
2. The School is located in the complex of the Base Hospital, Delhi Cantonment. It was started in July 1991 under the aegis of the MoD through the agency of the AWWA, under the control of the AG, Respondent No. 3, for imparting training and education facilities to the handicapped children of army personnel. It is stated that the building was provided by the GOI and government funds were routed from various sources for setting up and running of the School. It is stated in the petition that the School was started with 13 children, 2 or 3 teachers, 2 maids and a sweeper. At the time of the filing of the present petition in September 1999, the strength of the School had risen to more than 150 students with 16 teachers, a Principal, three sweepers, one mali, two watchmen and a clerk. The School also has a Director and a Deputy Director. It is stated that the children are of abnormal intellectual faculties due to cerebral palsy and/or are hearing or speech impaired. It is stated that teaching in the School is regulated by the syllabus of Lady Noise School for Hearing Impaired and National Institute for the Mentally Handicapped. The teaching and non-teaching staff have to undertake varied jobs from the cleaning of children to physical training and education with the aim to rehabilitate the children and integrate them in the society. Towards this end the School offers facilities in education, activities of daily living, physiotherapy, music and dance therapy, social integration, speech therapy, vocational training, yoga and other exercises. The School also organises various in-service training programmes and training camps for parents. The teachers are well qualified and trained in their particular fields and are required to remain present to attend to the children through the entire hours of the School.
3. Anticipating a plea by the Respondents that the School is a private one, the staff of which cannot be extended the benefits of the FPC, the Petitioners have in the writ petition set out the relevant facts in support of their plea that the School is receiving grants through the GOI with the substantial control of its activities by the AG‟s branch under which the AWWA functions. It is stated that apart from W.P. (C) No. 5364 of 1999 Page 2 of 14 the plot of land on which the building of the School stands being allotted by the Defence Ministry Officers Delhi Circle, Delhi Cantonment by a letter dated 30th December 1996, a grant of Rs. 1,33,380/- was received from the MSJE. The staff of the School is employed only upon approval by the AG. The various circulars including the policy circulars of the army headquarters in relation to the allotment of grants are circulated to the School officially as the School draws funds from the army. The various funds drawn from the Government are set out in Annexure C-I and constitute 90% of the amount from which salaries of the staff are paid. A copy of the annual report for the year 1999-2000 of the School sets out the details of the expenditure of the grant-in-aid received from the Ministry of Social Welfare (`MSW‟). The utilization certificate in respect of the grant-in-aid from the MSJE has also been enclosed with the report. It is accordingly claimed that the School is in the nature of a public institute in which the GOI has interest. The Petitioners submit that the MoD and the MSJE have a vital interest in the School as they have the obligation to provide facilities and opportunities to army personnel to avail of the right to educate their disabled children. It is submitted that pursuant to the implementation of the recommendations of the FPC, the teaching staff of various institutions under the MoD and MSJE have been granted enhanced pay scales whereas the Petitioners have been denied such benefit. It is submitted that this constitutes a hostile discrimination and is in violation of Article 14 of the Constitution. It is pointed out that simultaneous with the FPC recommendations, the School increased the monthly fees of students from Rs. 75/- to Rs. 150/- per month on the ground that the reimbursement fee for children in regular schools had been increased from Rs. 50/- to Rs. 100/- per month on the basis of a communication dated 12th June 1998 issued by the GOI. The Petitioners point out that in response to the representation made on 9th July 1999 the AWWA has cited financial constraints for not being able to extend to the Petitioners benefit of the FPC revision of pay scales.
4. The counter affidavit filed on behalf of the AWWA and the School raised an objection as to the maintainability of the writ petition on the ground that the School was unrecognised and unaided and, therefore, not an authority in terms of Article 12 of the Constitution. It is maintained that the School was established and W.P. (C) No. 5364 of 1999 Page 3 of 14 run by the AWWA which is a private and Non-government Organization („NGO‟) and was not under any type of control (whether direct or indirect) of the government. The membership of AWWA consists of the wives of army personnel of all ranks. AWWA is stated to be founded and run for welfare and charitable activities. The funds for running all these welfare activities are raised mainly from voluntary contributions, donations, financial aid etc. It is stated that the School was established by AWWA in order to fulfil one of its welfare activities, i.e., "running of special school for handicapped children of army personnel." It is submitted that inasmuch as there is no public duty cast upon the School by any statute or statutory rule, no writ of mandamus can be sought against Respondent Nos. 3 to 5. It is submitted that the remedy available to the Petitioner is under the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 („ID Act‟). It is pointed out that earlier one of the employees of the School had filed a writ petition in this Court titled Hav. Madan Mohan Sharma v. Asha Handicapped Children School [CWP No. 1770 of 1999] which was dismissed as withdrawn as this Court was not satisfied about its maintainability. According to Respondent Nos. 3 to 5, the School was neither performing any public function nor performing any public duty and the government had no role either in the administrative, financial or teaching aspects of the School.
5. It is stated that the School has already raised the salaries of its employees by 65% from the past salaries within a period of last 18 months prior to the filing of the affidavit, i.e., 28th March 2000. It is reiterated that the financial constraints faced by the School did not allow it to grant FPC pay scales to the Petitioners. It is submitted that the School which was established for charitable and welfare purposes was charging a meagre fee of Rs. 150/- per student whereas the actual expenditure was much higher. It is further submitted that the building of the School was constructed by AWWA out of its own funds. It is further submitted that the School cannot be equated with the Air Force Golden Jubilee School and other schools run by the armed forces.
6. An additional affidavit was filed on behalf of the AWWA and the School wherein it is stated that AWWA is a registered society whose members are wives W.P. (C) No. 5364 of 1999 Page 4 of 14 of army personnel of all ranks. In the said affidavit, it is stated that the School was initially funded by AWWA and a regular half yearly grant was sanctioned by it to meet the necessary running expenditures. Later on, a sum of Rs. 25 lakhs was paid to the School in the year 1991 as grant from the AG‟s Welfare Fund. The School is also stated to have issued a cheque for Rs. 25 lakhs on 27th March 2001 in favour of AWWA Fund. It is stated that from 1990 onwards the School applied to the MSJE for funding under the Scheme of Assistance to Voluntary Organizations for Special Schools for Handicapped Children („Scheme‟). The Scheme has been revised since 3rd February 2003. The extent of support offered under the Scheme is only upto 90% of the total expenses. The funds are released in two instalments. It is stated that the Scheme had been floated to help and promote voluntary action related to disabled people and that the Scheme is neither permanent nor perennial. Therefore, the temporary financial support received by the School from the MSJE cannot justify the maintainability of the present writ petition or the demand by the Petitioners for parity in pay scales with government employees. The appointment letters in respect of each of the Petitioners stated that they were being paid only a fixed consolidated salary/honorarium. There was no provision for grant of any increment as no pay scale had been fixed. It is stated that there has been 20% increase in the honorarium since 1997 and a 40% increase in 1999. It is stated that the grant-in-aid offered under the Scheme is not a recurring one. It is granted on a yearly basis and would go on decreasing with passage of time since under the Scheme the AWWA will have to sustain itself after ten years.
7. Mr. S.K. Puri, learned Senior counsel appearing for the Petitioners first submitted that this writ petition under Article 226 of the Constitution was maintainable. It was incorrect for the purposes of Article 226 of the Constitution to pose a question whether the School answered the description of „State‟ under Article 12 of the Constitution. In any event, it is submitted that the School is discharging a public function by providing education to handicapped children and therefore, is amenable to the jurisdiction of this Court under Article 226 of the Constitution. He has also placed reliance upon the decisions of the Supreme Court in Pradeep Kumar Biswas v. Indian Institute of Chemical Biology & others W.P. (C) No. 5364 of 1999 Page 5 of 14 (2002) 5 SCC 111, Ajay Hasia v. Khalid Mujib Sehravardi AIR 1981 SC 487, Chairman, National Productivity Council v. Association of Employees of National Productive Council 150 (2008) DLT 618 (DB) and Zee Telefilms v. Union of India (2005) 4 SCC 649. Mr. Puri submitted that the Petitioners would be entitled to the benefits of the recommendations of the FPC on par with the benefit given to the staff of other government run schools including schools under the control of or run by the armed forces. Mr. Puri referred to the pleadings and the documents and submitted that there was no justification for the Respondents to deny to the Petitioners the benefit of the FPC pay scales. He referred to the decision of the Supreme Court in Union of India v. Tarit Ranjan Das (2003) 11 SCC 658.
8. Mr. Ankur Chhibber, learned counsel appearing for the Respondents objected to the maintainability of the petition on the ground that AWWA and the School were private organisations not under the administrative control of any Ministry or department of Government. He also denied that army staff at the Base Hospital exercised any control or authority over the School. The salaries of the employees of the School were not approved by any Ministry. The handing over of the auditing of the accounts of the School was a stop-gap/temporary arrangement as the School did not have any accounting of its own. For the last one and a half years, the School was maintaining and auditing its accounts and there was no role of the army hospital. The raising of the fees from Rs. 75/- to Rs. 150/- was due to administrative reasons and the financial constraints faced by the School. The staff of the School was employed by the management of the School on the basis of the rules and regulations and standing orders of the School as framed by them and without interference or approval of the AG. As regards the allotment for construction of the School, it is submitted that this was a stop-gap arrangement keeping in view the urgency involved in the rehabilitation of the handicapped children of defence personnel till such time, an alternative arrangement could be made by the School. It is stated that the MoD and the MSJE have no interest in the School.
9. The first issue that arises for consideration is whether the present writ petition W.P. (C) No. 5364 of 1999 Page 6 of 14 is maintainable under Article 226 of the Constitution. In Zee Telefilms v. Union of India (2005) 4 SCC 649, the Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court reviewed the case law both as regards the maintainability of the writ petition under Article 32 against an entity which could be considered to be State within the meaning of Article 12 of the Constitution and the maintainability of a writ petition under Article 226 of the Constitution. While on the facts of the said case, it was held that the Board of Control for Cricket in India („BCCI‟) was not State under the meaning of Article 12 of the Constitution, it was held that a writ petition under Article 226 of the Constitution would nevertheless be maintainable against it. This is clear from para 31 of the judgment which reads as under: (SCC, p. 682) "31. Be that as it may, it cannot be denied that the Board does discharge some duties like the selection of an Indian cricket team, controlling the activities of the players and others involved in the game of cricket. These activities can be said to be akin to public duties or State functions and if there is any violation of any constitutional or statutory obligation or rights of other citizens, the aggrieved party may not have a relief by way of a petition under Article 32. But that does not mean that the violator of such right would go scot-free merely because it or he is not a State. Under the Indian jurisprudence there is always a just remedy for violation of a right of a citizen. Though the remedy under Article 32 is not available, an aggrieved party can always seek a remedy under the ordinary course of law or by way of a writ petition under Article 226 of the Constitution which is much wider than Article 32."
10. The Constitution Bench noted with approval its earlier decision in Anadi Mukta Sadguru Shree Muktajee Vandas Swami Suvarna Jayanti Mahotsav Smarak Trust v. V. R. Rudani (1989) 2 SCC 691 where it was held as under:- (SCC, pp 699-700) "Article 226 confers wide powers on the High Courts to issue writs in the nature of prerogative writs. This is a striking departure from the English law. Under Article 226, writs can be issued to "any person or authority." ...The term "authority" used in the context must receive a liberal meaning unlike the term in Article 12 which is relevant only for the purpose of enforcement of fundamental rights under Article 32.W.P. (C) No. 5364 of 1999 Page 7 of 14
Article 226 confers powers on the High Courts to issue writs for enforcement of the fundamental rights as well as non-fundamental rights. The words "any person or authority" used in Article 226 are, therefore, not to be confined only to statutory authorities and instrumentalities of the State. They may cover any other person or body performing public duty. The form of the body concerned is not very much relevant. What is relevant is the nature of the duty imposed on the body. The duty must be judged in the light of positive obligation owed by the person or authority to the affected party, no matter by what means the duty is imposed. If a positive obligation exists mandamus cannot be denied."
11. Thereafter, it was concluded by the Constitutional Bench of the Supreme Court that "when a private body exercises its public functions even if it is not a State, the aggrieved person has a remedy not only under the ordinary law but also under the Constitution, by way of a writ petition under Article 226."
12. The nature of functions of the School where the Petitioners are employed is to be judged in light of the obligation owed to those receiving education, i.e., the handicapped children of defence personnel. After the enactment of the Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act, 1995 („PDA‟) the State owes a statutory duty to differently abled persons and it is this obligation that is being met in a small way by the School. It certainly partakes the character of a public function. Inasmuch as the School is functioning under the control of the armed forces for instance, the Air Force Bal Bharti Public School or the Army Public School are said to be discharging public functions, not merely because they happen to be under the control of these authorities but by the very nature of the activity performed, i.e., imparting education. The School in the present case, which is undoubtedly imparting education to the disabled children of the personnel constituting the armed forces, can also be said to be discharging a public function.
13. The test for maintainability of the writ petition under Article 226 is not the same as that applicable for determining whether a body or entity is „State‟ within W.P. (C) No. 5364 of 1999 Page 8 of 14 the meaning of Article 12 of the Constitution. This has been made explicit in Zee Telefilms v. Union of India which in turn approved and reiterated the decision in Anadi Mukta Sadguru Shree Muktajee Pandas Swami Suvarna Jayanti Mahotsav Smarak Trust v. V. R. Rudani to the following effect: "The words „any person or authority‟ used in Article 226 are, therefore, not to be confined only to statutory authorities and instrumentalities of the State. They may cover any other person or body performing public duty. The form of the body concerned is not very much relevant what is relevant is the nature of the duty imposed on the body." Imparting of education to handicapped children is performance of both statutory and public functions particularly when it is also catering to the needs of the children of the defence personnel. It does not matter much that the School may at present not be receiving funds directly from the MSJE or the MoD. Nevertheless, the Petitioners have placed on record the documents to show that 90% of the honorarium of the staff and teachers is through funds released by the Ministry. The office bearers of the Managing Committee of the AWWA for the years 2005-06 indicates that a Major General is the President of the Managing Committee, a Brigadier is the Vice-President, the Chairperson is the wife of the Major General and there are three other defence personnel who are Ex-Members. Further, under the Office Memorandum dated 12th June 1998 issued by the Department of Personnel and Training („DOPT‟), GOI, educational assistance has been granted to defence personnel by way of reimbursement of the tuition fees incurred. This would cover the fees incurred by the defence personnel for education of their disabled children at the School. Grants are received by the School through the Army. The appointment of the staff is done only on the approval of the AG. Para 4 of the statement of purpose of the School dated 18th September 1992 indicates that the accounts of the School are to be maintained by the Accounts Officer of the Army Hospital at Delhi Cantonment. The annual stock verification of the stores is furnished to the Board of Officers detailed by AWWA or on the request of the commandant of the Army Hospital. Suggestions have been made by the AG to streamline the activities of the School. In this connection, the Petitioners have placed on record a letter dated 5th February 2011 addressed by the AG to all Asha Schools which reads as under:
"Delhi W.P. (C) No. 5364 of 1999 Page 9 of 14 All Asha Schools Suggested activities to be undertaken by Asha Schools for disabled children
1. In order to ensure smooth and efficient functioning of all the Asha School being run by the Army, there is a requirement of streamlining the activities carried out at various Asha Schools as also the various equipments to be used for improvement of skills of effected children. This will assist the effected children in smooth transition from one school to another on pasting of their parents.
2. Suggested activities that should be undertaken and the various eqpt. recommended for use are enclosed as Apprx.
(PM Rath) Lt. Col Joint Secretary For Adjutant General"
14. The document of handing over and taking over by the army personnel and the School has also been placed on record. The advertisement for the post of Principal of the School dated 5th April 2006, a copy of which has been placed on record states: "Principal required for AWWA Asha School for special children. School run by Army for differently abled children." In para 23(B) of the counter affidavit on behalf of Respondent Nos. 3 to 5 it is denied that the projects of the School are funded by the MSJE. It is pointed out that "in the last 8-1/2 years of its existence, the said Ministry had given meagre funds of Rs. 1.67 lakhs in 1987 and Rs. 1.33 lakhs in 1999 to the Asha School which is not even sufficient to give one month‟s salary to its employees." In para 23(A), it is stated that "the corpus grant available with the ASHA School has been given to it by AWWA Respondent No. 4 and Respondent No. 3 out of its welfare funds." What is significant is that there is no denial that the AG is functioning under the control of the army. In fact, the memorandum of AWWA indicates that one of its sources of funds is "financial aid from Government of India, State Governments and Army Headquarters." There are documents placed on record by the Petitioners that go to show that 90% of the total expenses towards honorarium and salaries of the staff W.P. (C) No. 5364 of 1999 Page 10 of 14 of the School is funded by the MSJE. Paras 8, 9 and 10 of the additional affidavit filed on behalf of Respondent Nos. 4 & 5, read as under:
"8. That only from 1999 onwards ASHA AWWA School applied for funding to Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment under the Scheme of Assistance to Voluntary Organisation for special school for handicapped children. Under this Scheme, Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment offers financial support on yearly basis to the project related to persons with disabilities. The said Scheme has since been revised w.e.f. 03.02.2003. The copy of the Scheme is annexed herewith as ANNEXURE-2.
9. That a bare perusal of the said Scheme shows that the Scheme has been floated to help the voluntary action relating to disabled persons. The extent of support offered under the Scheme is only upto 90% of the total expenses. The funds are released in two instalments. The financial support under this Scheme is offered only for a limited period after which the organisation receiving the grant has to become self-sustaining or get its fund from some other source.
10. That the basic aim of the Scheme is to initiate voluntary action and it has been specially mentioned in the Scheme that the human resource personnel assisting the non-governmental organisation are not the employees of Govt. of India and they would be entitled to claim honorarium not at par with personnel who may be employed with Govt. of India."
15. The above constitutes an admission by the Respondents of receipt of grants by the School from the MSJE. Likewise, the document pertaining to grant-in-aid for the year 2003-04 also indicates that 90% of the total expenses are given by the MSJE as grant-in-aid. Also on record is a letter dated 21st February 2004 from the MSJE (B.B. NGO Division) to its Pay & Accounts Officer conveying the sanction of the President for grant-in-aid for an amount of Rs.8,10,540/- as first and second instalment to the ASHA School. There are documents regarding grant-in-aid for the years 1999-2000, 2001-02, 2002-03 and the utilization of these years which go W.P. (C) No. 5364 of 1999 Page 11 of 14 to show that 90% of the expenses are given as grant-in-aid by the MSJE and only the balance 10% is taken care of by the School itself.
16. All the above documents comprehensively go to show that the School receives substantial support from the MSJE and functions under the control of the AG and the AWWA. When all of the above facts are cumulatively viewed, the conclusion that is inevitable is that the School is in fact discharging a public function and is amenable to the jurisdiction of this Court under Article 226 of the Constitution.
17. The other question that arises for consideration is whether the Respondents are justified in denying the Petitioners the benefit of the recommendations of the FPC. In a separate compilation, the Petitioners have placed charts and tables comparing the scales of pay offered to the teachers of schools for the disabled either under the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi („GNCTD‟) or of staff of the schools under the armed forces or other special schools. As regards schools for the disabled their primary teachers are paid the scale of Rs. 4500-125- 7000/-. Apart from HRA, DA, CCA etc. travel allowance of Rs. 100/- per month is also given both to the Primary as well as Trained Graduate Teachers (`TGTs‟). However, in the School in question, the special educators who may be TGTs or PGTs or even primary teachers are given a consolidated pay of Rs. 4200/- with no special educator or medical allowance. An Assistant Teacher is paid a consolidated pay of Rs. 2800/- per month. On the other hand, the scale of pay of Rs. 4500-125-7000 is offered to teachers of the Air Force Golden Jubilee School, Subroto Park; Kulachi Hans Raj Model School, Ashok Vihar Phase-II; Aanchal Special School, Kautilya Marg, NDMC; Balwantray Mehta Vidya Bhawan, Greater Kailash-II; and even the Model School for Mentally Handicapped Children, Kasturba Niketan, Lajpat Nagar-II, Delhi. What is significant is that while in some of these schools a special allowance is given to special educators there is no such allowance to the teachers of the School in question. This also has to be viewed in light of the inability of the Sate to meet its statutory obligation under the PDA to fulfil the minimum educational needs of disabled children. The need for a School for the special children of the defence personnel is beyond question. The staff of such schools, which include the Petitioners, are in fact W.P. (C) No. 5364 of 1999 Page 12 of 14 discharging what in effect is the statutory obligation of the State under the PDA. The pay and allowances granted to such teachers ought to be on par with teachers in other schools. In fact, those like the Petitioners who are engaged in providing education to the special children ought to be given, in addition to the regular pay scale, special allowances consistent with the delicate and difficult but skilled task being performed by each of them. An educator of a special child has to devote personalised attention to each special child and ensure that the child receives skills and training apposite to the child‟s abilities and needs and relevant to the child‟s development as an individual. These skills are gathered by the educator over years of experience and cannot be expected of teachers of children in other schools. There is a need to incentivise and acknowledge the special skills and tasks performed by teachers of special children. Granting them special pay and allowances, in addition to the regular pay scales, is but one such device.
18. It is disconcerting that the School in question is in fact doing the opposite. It is paying its teachers far less than the normal pay of teachers in other schools whether in the private sector or in the public sector. There can be no justification for this discriminatory practice which clearly contradicts the constitutional guarantee of equality and non-discrimination under Article 14 of the Constitution. To be fair to Respondent Nos. 3 to 5, Mr. Ankur Chhibber, learned counsel appearing on their behalf stated that if a direction is issued to Respondent Nos. 1 and 2 to release adequate funds to Respondent Nos. 3 to 5, then they would have no objection whatsoever to paying to the Petitioners the revised pay scales not limited to revision of pay consistent with the recommendations of the FPC and consistent with what is being paid to teachers in other schools run by or under the control of the armed forces or catering to the needs of the children of defence personnel. That brings up the issue of financial constraints.
19. Lack of financial resources ought not to be permitted to be pleaded by the Respondents, in particular the MoD and MSJE, when it comes to meeting the constitutional and statutory obligation imposed on the GOI under the Constitution and the PDA respectively. The MSJE is providing grant-in-aid to the School but this is not adequate to enable the School to pay its staff and teachers the FPC pay W.P. (C) No. 5364 of 1999 Page 13 of 14 scales on par with other Schools run by or under the control of the armed forces or catering to the needs of children of defence personnel. A case has indeed been made out by the Petitioners to enforce the constitutional and statutory obligation owed by the GOI and through it the School.
20. A mandamus is accordingly issued to Respondent Nos. 1 & 2 to release to Respondent No. 5 School, grant-in-aid commensurate to the requirement of Respondent No. 5 to pay to its teachers and staff, including the Principal and the Vice-Principal, pay scales at par with the scales of pay given to the staff, teachers and holders of corresponding posts in Government schools, schools run by or under the control of the armed forces or catering to the needs of the children of defence personnel. An incidental direction is issued to the MoD and MSJE to constitute a Committee of senior officers of both ministries and representatives of Respondents 3 to 5 to coordinate with each other and oversee the implementation of the above directions and determine the appropriate sum of grant-in-aid and ensure its release to the School to enable it to pay each of the Petitioners the revised pay scales on par with the teachers of other government schools and/or under the control of the armed forces or catering to the needs of the children of defence personnel at least from the year in which they filed the present writ petition, i.e., with effect from 1st January 1999. The committee will calculate the arrears of pay owing to each of the Petitioners and other similarly placed staff and teachers of Respondent No. 5 School and ensure that the sum so determined is released to the School for payment by it in turn to the Petitioners and other staff. This exercise be completed within a period of twelve weeks from today.
21. The writ petition and the pending applications are allowed with the above directions with costs of Rs. 10,000/- which will be paid by the Respondents to the Petitioners within a period of four weeks from today.
S. MURALIDHAR, J JULY 22, 2011 ha/rk W.P. (C) No. 5364 of 1999 Page 14 of 14