A two-judge Bench of Justice MR Shah and Justice BV Nagarathna has held that it could not be said that the original Writ Petitioners were claiming stepping up of pay under the Assured Career Progression Scheme (ACP).

The Court held that the grievance of the Writ Petitioners was with respect to the anomaly in the pay scale and their grievance was that while granting upgradation under the ACP Scheme, their juniors were getting higher salaries than what they receive. Therefore, it was a case of removal of anomaly by stepping up of pay of seniors on promotion drawing lesser pay than their juniors.

ASG Ms. Madhvi Divan appeared for the Appellants – Union of India before the Apex Court.

In this case, two employees who were appointed through direct recruitment were granted upgradation under the ACP Scheme. The original Writ Petitioners were promoted to the post of Superintendent of Central Excise and Customs. However, it so happened that the persons who were placed lower in the upgradation list than the original Writ Petitioners, on account of upgradation granted to them under the ACP Scheme, started drawing higher pay.

When the matter approached the High Court, the Court allowed the Writ Petitions of the Respondents and directed the Appellants to step up the pay of the Respondents keeping in view the pay scale that was granted to the juniors from the date they had started to draw lesser pay than juniors.

Aggrieved, the Appellants – Union of India preferred appeals before the Supreme Court.

The Apex Court noted that the High Court had rightly relied and considered the Government Order on the removal of anomaly by stepping up of pay.

The Bench further noted that it was a case where a junior was drawing ore pay on account of upgradation under the ACP Scheme and there was an anomaly and hence, the pay of the senior was required to be stepped up.

The Court additionally observed, "Hence, in the facts and circumstances of the case, the High Court has rightly directed the appellants herein to step up the pay of the original writ petitioners keeping in view of pay scale which has been granted to the juniors from the date they have started drawing lesser pay than their juniors. We are in complete agreement with the view taken by the High Court. No interference of this Court is called for."

Accordingly, the Court dismissed the appeals.

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