The Delhi High Court has dismissed a plea of the former Delhi Minorities Commission Chief Dr. Zafarul Islam Khan seeking directions for the grant of enhanced salary for the post of Rs. 2 lacs per month under a 2018 cabinet decision.

Justice V. Kameswar Rao while dismissing the petition placed reliance on a Supreme Court judgment in the case of Assistant Excise Commissioner, Kottayam & Ors. v. Esthappan Cherian & Anr., Civil Appeal No. 5815/2009; where the Apex Court had observed that in the absence of express statutory authorization, delegated legislation in the form of rules or regulations, cannot operate retrospectively.

The Court observed that there was no merit in the petition and noted that the Petitioner had demitted the office on July 19, 2020, and did not challenge the 2021 Delhi Government notification that specified that the amended salary shall come into effect on the date of notification and have prospective effect.

The Petitioner was represented by Advocate Mr. M.R. Shamshad before the High Court.

The Petitioner had contended before the Court that he was not given the benefit of the notification concerning the enhancement of salary on a consolidated basis and the same was illegal and arbitrary.

Further, it was sought that the Delhi Government gives effect to its cabinet decision dated July 17, 2018, from the same date and grant to him all the consequential benefits concerning the enhancement of salary on a consolidated basis, including HRA and leave encashment.

Delhi government had contended that the notification of June 9, 2021, issued by the Department of Revenue, was prospective and not retrospective and the cabinet decision nowhere directed or decided that the revised salary and other perks shall be from the date of the said decision and not the notification.

The Court observed, "In the present case, the respondent has justified the issuance of notification for reasons highlighted in paragraph 29 above. It appears that pursuant to Cabinet Decision No. 2600 dated July 17, 2018, the administrative process has resulted in the issuance of the notification only in the year 2021. Mr. Shamshad has not contested those reasons highlighted by the respondent. Hence, the issuance of notification in the year 2021 cannot be contested or set to naught."

The Court further noted that the Petitioner did not challenge the vires of the notification dated July 9, 2021, in as much as the said notification vide Rule 1(2) stipulates that the amendment to Rule 3 of the Rules of 2000 shall come into effect on the date of the notification in the Delhi Gazette. Admittedly, the said notification was notified on June 09, 2021, and as such shall have a prospective effect.

Thus, the Court held that there was no merit in the Petition and dismissed it.

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