Service Law; Narmad Shanker Awasthi Vs. Central Administrative Tribunal [Allahabad High Court, 19-17-2017]

GDS (Conduct and Engagement) Rules, 2011 – Principle of equal pay for equal work – While working and discharging their duties on the post of Gramin Dak Sevak, are not entitled for salary and other allowances which are being paid to a regular incumbent, who is working on the post of Postman.

HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT ALLAHABAD, LUCKNOW BENCH

Hon’ble Anil Kumar, J. & Hon’ble Rang Nath Pandey, J.

Order Dated : 19.12.2017

SERVICE BENCH No. – 1877 of 2014

Petitioner :- Narmad Shanker Awasthi And Another Respondent :- The Central Administrative Tribunal Lko.Bench Lko.And Ors.

Counsel for Petitioner :- O.P.Tiwari Counsel for Respondent :- A.S.G.,Ajay Kumar Singh,Raj Kumar Singh

Heard Shri O. P. Srivastava, learned Senior Advocate assisted by Shri Virendra Kumar and Shri O. P. Tiwari, learned counsel for the petitioner, Shri Raj Kumar Singh, learned counsel for the respondent and perused the record.

By means of the present writ petition, the petitioners have challenged the impugned judgment and order dated 14.07.2014 passed by Central Administrative Tribunal, Lucknow Bench, Lucknow in Original Application No.355 of 2011.

Facts in brief of the present case are that petitioners were appointed as Gramin Dak Sevak-Delivery Agent on 23.07.1979 and 07.10.1991 respectively at Unnao Head Office. From the year 2001, they did not complete the work of delivery of dak within 4 to 5 hours. They were required to cover about 30 to 35 Kms for delivering of dak at different places which took about 06 to 07 hours. Further, it takes about 02 hours for collecting the dak from the post office and in this way, the petitioners worked 08 to 09 hours daily. It has been stated that the regularly appointed Postmen also discharge the same nature of duties for 08 hours daily like the petitioners but the petitioners are not paid the same pay and allowances and they are discriminated from the regularly appointed Postman. Accordingly, they moved a representation on the ground that petitioners are doing the same nature of work and for the same period as Departmental Postmen but they are not being paid salary on the principle of equal pay for equal work. As no heed paid, so they filed a Original Application No.179 of 2010 before the Central Administrative Tribunal, Lucknow Bench, Lucknow, which was disposed of by order dated 26.04.2010 with a direction to the respondent no.4 to consider and decide the case of the petitioners.

By order dated 19.07.2010, opposite party no.4 has rejected the claim of the petitioners of equal pay for equal work, challenged by them by filing Original Application No.355 of 2011. By order dated 14.07.2014, Central Administrative Tribunal, Lucknow Bench, Lucknow has dismissed the same with the following observations :-

“It is well settled that the principle of “equal pay for equal work” could be invoked only when the employees are similarly situated and their mode of recruitment, qualification, nature of work and experience are also same.

In the case of State of Orissa Vs. Bala Ram Sahu and other reported in 2003 (1) SCC 250, Hon’ble Supreme Court has held that equal pay for equal work would depend not only on the nature and volume of work but also on the qualitative differences as reliability and responsibility and though the functions may be the same, the responsibility does make a real and substantial difference. It is also a settled law that the burden to establish the right to equal pay is on the person claiming the same and once this initial burden is discharged, the burden is shifted to the State to establish that the services are dissimilar in essence and substance and the Court must be satisfied with regard to similarity of work and other relevant factors from clear and acceptable factors.

In the light of the discussions above and the facts and circumstances of the case we are of the view that the petitioners were appointed as GDS DA and they are governed by GDS (Conduct and Engagement) Rules, 2011 and they have to work 04 to 05 hours daily. They also could not qualify the departmental examination for promotion to the post of Postmen. As their mode of recruitment and service conditions are totally different from the departmental Postmen they cannot be equated with them and the principle of”equal pay for equal work” could not be invoked in the case of petitioners.”

Learned counsel for the petitioners while challenging the impugned order submits that petitioners are doing same nature of work and for the same period as Departmental Postmen but they are not being paid salary, which is paid to a person, who is regularly working and discharging his duties on the post of Postman.

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