Delhi High Court Upholds Tribunal’s Directive on Grade Pay Decision for Petitioners

CASE TITLE – Union of India & Anr. v. Tapash Basak & Ors.

CASE NUMBER – W.P.(C) 716/2015, CM APPLs. 5955/2020, 44178/2023 & 53675/2023

DATED ON – 27.05.2024

QUORUM – Justice V. Kamshwar Rao & Justice Rajnish Bhatnagar



This petition has been filed by the petitioners challenging the order dated March 17, 2014 passed by the Central Administrative Tribunal, Principal Bench, New Delhi in the Original Application being OA No.3882/2012 (‘OA’, for short) filed by the respondents herein, whereby the Tribunal has disposed of the OA. The case of the respondents before the Tribunal was that, they are civilian ministerial staff of Secretarial Service with the Director General of Security (‘DGS’, for short) under the Cabinet Secretariat (‘CS’, for short) of four units (a) Special Service Bureau now Sashastra Seema Bal (‘SSB’, for short), (b) Aviation Research Centre (‘ARC’, for short), (c) Special Frontier Force, (‘SFF’, for short) and (d) Chief Inspectorate of Armament (‘CIOA’, for short). These four units had a common and combined DGS (Secretarial Service) promulgated on November 4, 1975. The personnel did not belong to any particular organisation, i.e., SSB, ARC, SFF and CIOA but were merely posted in any one of the organisations. The trifurcation of four organizations took place in 2001. Before trifurcation, the secretarial staff of these four organisation were part of one secretarial service, i.e., DGS (Secretarial Service). The case of the respondents before the Tribunal was that, they have been discriminated and put in disadvantageous position, vis-à-vis their counterpart in ARC/SFF, though all belong to the same cadre, it is due to sheer luck the counterparts got posted in ARC and SFF and therefore, there is a violation of Articles 14 and 16 of the Constitution of India resulting in infringement of fundamental rights of the respondents. One of the pleas of the respondents was also that, on the promulgation of the Recruitment Rules for SSB Secretarial Service Rules in the year 2006 and on implementation of the 6th Central Pay Commission, the Assistants / Personal Assistants of SSB have been given grade pay of ₹4,200/- in PB-2 as admissible to the personnel of non-secretarial service whereas some of the counterparts in ARC & SFF were given grade pay of₹4,600/- in PB-2 as admissible to the personnel of Secretariat Organisation vide CS order dated June 18, 2012. It is also stated that the counterparts of the respondents in other two organisations are also enjoying 15% special allowance by virtue of sheer luck based on their posting in the divided units which benefit is not available to the respondents as they are in SSB by default.



Whether the employees of the SSB Secretarial Service be granted the same grade pay as their counterparts in ARC and SFF who perform similar functions.



The submission of the Learned CGSC appearing for the petitioners, is that the trifurcation policy was upheld by the Supreme Court in Union of India v. Suresh Kumar Nayak. She submitted that the nature of work, job and responsibilities attached to various posts in different cadre of four services or three services after trifurcation has not been compared anywhere and therefore the question of grant of same pay and allowances, including 15% special allowance, at par with ARC/SFF secretarial/ministerial service from the date of trifurcation does not arise. She submitted that, on November 20, 2006, after notification of SSB (Secretarial Service), the employees of SSB (Secretarial Service) were covered under the category of “non secretarial” staff and were dismembered from the combined seniority list of erstwhile DGS (Secretarial Service) by way of having their own statutory recruitment rules promulgated on November 20, 2006. As they are governed by their own statutory Recruitment Rules, they cannot seek any parity with the employees of ARC and SFF. The Learned CGSC stated that the restructuring of a cadre in a department is done in accordance with its own functional requirement and cadre strength. Therefore, the relief prayed for by the respondents for cadre restructuring in SSB in proportion, with Secretarial / Ministerial service of SSB is devoid of merit. According to her, 6th CPC recommendation has granted grade pay of ₹4,800/- in PB II and grade pay of ₹5,400/- in PB-III after 4 years, to those employees of Ministerial / Secretarial posts, which have historical parity with CSS/ CSSS services. However, with trifurcation and formulation of revised Recruitment Rules, SSB (Secretarial Services) bears no parity with CSS/ CSSS cadres as on date.



The Learned Senior Counsel appearing for respondent Nos. 25, 53, 83 & 91 stated that the respondents had previously filed an OA 3882/2012 which was pending before the Tribunal seeking parity in pay as is being granted to employees of ARC and SFF. Pending adjudication, in another OA namely P.C. Chinhara (supra), the Tribunal held that the SOs and the PSs in the SSB (Secretarial Service) be granted the same pay at par with their counterparts in ARC and SFF. The petitioner No.1 challenged the judgment in the said OA before this Court, which was dismissed vide order dated November 18, 2010. He submitted that the respondents are seeking nothing but the parity in pay with those employees of ARC and SFF, who had previously been working with the respondents and performing the same functions. He also submitted that the Assistants in the ARC and SFF are placed in PB-II with grade pay of ₹4,600/-, whereas the respondents are still stagnating at grade pay of ₹4,200/-, despite the fact that the SOs and the PSs consequent to the judgment passed by this Court in P.C. Chinhara (supra), have already been granted parity with SOs and PSs of ARC and SFF and at ₹4,800/- in PB-II and ₹5,400/- in PB-III vide order dated January 04, 2017. He further submitted that there had always been a parity in pay between the employees of ARC and SFF and at the time of trifurcation in the year 2001, all the Assistants under DGS (Secretarial Services) were in the pay scale of ₹5500-175-9000/- (5th CPC). Today, the respondents cannot be denied the grade pay of ₹4,600/- as being enjoyed by their counterparts. The Learned Counsel for the other remaining respondents submitted that the respondents should have been given promotion or should have been considered for promotion at least from the date of promotion of their juniors. He stated that the respondents have been discriminated and put into disadvantageous position whereas their counterparts who were in ARC and SFF are continuing to get their Fast Track Promotion.



The Hon’ble High Court of Delhi noticed that the Tribunal has remanded the matter back to the petitioners to take an informed decision on the benefits that can be granted to the respondents herein, and since the matter has been narrowed down to grant of grade pay of ₹4,600/- they were of the view that the impugned order passed by the Tribunal need no interference. And stated that the petitioners must decide the issue as per the directions of the Tribunal. The Hon’ble High Court of Delhi also stated that, the decision taken by the petitioners must keep in mind, the fact that the SOs / PSs have been granted grade pay of ₹4,800/- with a further grade pay of ₹5,400/- after completion of four years and also the fact that the said grade pay of ₹4,800/- is two stages above grade pay of ₹4,200/-, which the petitioners are drawing. And hence, disposed of the petition, by granting the petitioners three months time to take decision for the reasons stated by the Tribunal and convey the decision thereof to the respondents, who if aggrieved can seek such remedy as available to them in law, and held that they could not allow these applications.


“PRIME LEGAL is a full-service law firm that has won a National Award and has more than 20 years of experience in an array of sectors and practice areas. Prime legal fall into a category of best law firm, best lawyer, best family lawyer, best divorce lawyer, best divorce law firm, best criminal lawyer, best criminal law firm, best consumer lawyer, best civil lawyer.”

Judgement Reviewed by – Gnaneswarran Beemarao

Click here to view full Judgement