The Himachal Pradesh High Court said that similarly placed employees discharging similar duties cannot be placed in different pay scales merely on the basis of their date of appointment.

The Court was deciding a petition regarding the recommendations of the Himachal Pradesh Public Service Commission (HPPSC) by which a man was offered appointment to the post of Shastri on a regular basis in 1989.

A Single Bench of Justice Bipin Chander Negi observed, “The explanation offered by the respondents-State, based on following the Punjab pattern as granted to their counterparts in Punjab cannot be justified to grant two pay scales merely on the basis of different date of appointment. Other than the aforesaid, grant of higher pay scale based on educational qualification would have been justified if persons appointed prior to 23.03.1989 would also have been granted higher pay scale based on educational qualification.”

Senior Advocate Dilip Sharma represented the petitioner while Advocate General Anup Rattan represented the respondents.

In this case, at the time when the petitioner had joined service, the Recruitment and Promotion Rules applicable to the post of Shastris were those which were notified in 1986. A perusal of the same categorically reflected that the essential qualification for the post of Shastri was, “Shastri from a recognized University/Institution”.

Vide Notification, the pay scale of the post of Shastri were revised with effect from January 1, 1986 to Rs.1640-2925/-. The senior scale was to be granted after 8 years and selection scale after 18 years. However, as per the note appended, the scales were given as a personal measure with a stipulation that in future Masters (TGT) be appointed as Language Masters.

The High Court in the above regard noted, “However, in the case in hand, prior to 23.03.1989 individuals who do not have a higher educational qualification, i.e., B.Ed., have been granted a higher pay scale. Therefore, in the case at hand, the petitioner must succeed on the principle of “equal pay for equal work”.

The Court said that no tangible explanation has been offered by the respondents to justify the date of appointment becoming relevant for fixing different pay scales for discharging similar work in the same cadre.

“A perusal of Notification dated 23.3.1989 (Annexure A-2) reflects that pay scale of Rs.1640-2925 has been granted as a measure personal to the present incumbents and in future Masters (TGT) be appointed as Language Masters. The aforesaid Notification nowhere specifies that a higher pay scale has to be granted to an incumbent appointed after 23.3.1989 with a B.Ed Degree. It only contains a direction to appoint incumbents to the post of Shastri in future with Masters (TGT)”, it further noted.

The Court observed that it is only vide a clarification that it has been made clear that the pay scale of Rs. 1640-2925/- would be granted only to those who possess the educational qualification of TGT and that others who do not possess the TGT qualification would be entitled to lower pay scale i.e. Rs.1500-2640/- after March 23, 1989.

Accordingly, the High Court disposed of the instant petition and quashed the office order.

Cause Title- Narayan Dutt v. State of Himachal Pradesh and Others (Neutral Citation: 2024:HHC:66)


Petitioner: Advocates Ompal and Manish Sharma

Respondents: Additional Advocate General Y.P.S. Dhaulta

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