Title: FOOD CORPORATION OF INDIA Vs SMT. SUNITA KUMARI & ANR
Decided on: 10th August, 2023
+ LPA 62/2020 & CM APPLs. 4141/2020, 4142/2020
CORAM: HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE MANMOHAN HON’BLE MS. JUSTICE MINI PUSHKARNA
The Delhi High Court recently ruled on a case involving the eligibility for an additional increment under the Stagnation Impact Amelioration Scheme, 2014 (SIA Scheme). The court held that the respondents, who had not completed six years of regular service in their previous post before being promoted to a higher post, were not eligible for the benefit of an additional increment as per the SIA Scheme.
The respondents were initially appointed to the post of Assistant Grade – III (Accounts) and later promoted to the post of AG – II (Accounts) after which they were further promoted to the post of AG – I (Accounts). The Stagnation Impact Amelioration Scheme, 2014 was introduced to provide additional increments to eligible employees on stagnation after completion of specific years of regular service in the same post/pay scale.
The respondents requested an additional increment under the SIA Scheme, arguing that the delay in their promotion was not their fault. However, the appellant declined the request, and the respondents sought the benefit through a petition. The High Court analyzed the eligibility criteria under the SIA Scheme and noted that additional increments were granted to employees who had completed 6, 12, and 20 years of regular service in the same scale. The scheme stated that the additional increment would be applicable from the day next to the actual completion of the required years of service.
The Court also highlighted Clause 22 of the scheme, which specified that the benefit of the additional increment would only be given to those who couldn’t be promoted due to non-availability of vacancies or administrative reasons.
The Court observed that the respondents had not completed six years of regular service in their previous post before being promoted to AG – I (Accounts). Additionally, the SIA Scheme was not in existence before September 1, 2008, and the respondents’ promotion was before this date. As a result, the Court held that the respondents were not eligible for the additional increment under the SIA Scheme as per the scheme’s criteria. Clause 22 or any other provision of the scheme couldn’t be applied retrospectively for the period when the scheme wasn’t even in place.
The Delhi High Court’s decision reaffirms the importance of adhering to the eligibility criteria stipulated under specific schemes. It highlights the need to interpret such schemes based on their effective dates and the existence of necessary conditions at the time of promotion or implementation.
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Written by- Ankit Kaushik