The judgment in our Grade Pay case OA No.381/2010 has been published and is available on the CAT website with the following link
In the judgement, the Hon'ble CAT has categorically stated in the second last para No.33 that
".....the case has been considered and the Tribunal is of the considered view that there is no justification in denying the Inspector (Posts) the higher Grade Pay of Rs 4600 when the same is admissible to Inspectors of other Departments with whom parity has been established by the very Sixth Pay Commission vide its report at para 7.6.14 extracted above........"
Extract of some paras of the judgement are reproduced below:
Para 26. From the perusal of the Recommendations of the Pay Commissions it could be easily discerned that the Pay Commissions have suggested certain measures relating to introduction of element of direct recruitment which was conspicuously absent earlier and without which comparison with the Inspectors in other Departments/Ministries could not be made. Once direct recruitment has been introduced, it was to the full satisfaction of the Pay Commission, which had in fact commented, "The Commission is recommending the merger of pre-revised pay scales of Rs 5500 - 9000 and Rs 6500 - 10500 which will automatically bring Inspector (Posts) on par with Assistants in CSS/Inspectors and analogous Posts in CBDT and CBEC."
The import of this observation of the Pay Commission is that the Pay Commission was very much interested to ensure pay parity of Inspector (Post) with Assistants of CSS and Inspectors and analogous posts in CBDT and CBEC. This recommendation of the Pay Commission is in tune with the observations of the Apex Court in the case of State of West Bengal v. West Bengal Minimum Wages Inspectors Association, (2010) 5 SCC 225 wherein it has been stated as under:-
"23. It is now well settled that parity cannot be claimed merely on the basis that earlier the subject post and the reference category posts were carrying the same scale of pay. In fact, one of the functions of the Pay Commission is to identify the posts which deserve a higher scale of pay than what was earlier being enjoyed with reference to their duties and responsibilities, and extend such higher scale to those categories of posts."
Para 27. When the question of pay scale parity is examined, as stated by the Apex court, the Court has to make analysis in respect of factors like the source and mode of recruitment/appointment, qualifications, the nature of work, the value thereof, responsibilities, reliability, experience, confidentiality, functional need, etc. Viewed from this point, first as to the mode of recruitment. As stated earlier, it was at the recommendations of the Fourth Pay Commission, element of Direct Recruitment had been introduced and in fact there has been common examination in respect of inspectors in various departments, including Inspector (Posts). In fact, the statistics furnished by the applicants vide Annexure A-14 which has been rightly highlighted by the Senior Counsel at the time of hearing, would reflect that the cut off marks in respect of Inspector (Posts) is more than the cut of marks of Inspector (Central Excise). Thus, this requirement is fully met with.
Para 30. This Tribunal need not have to labour more to arrive at the finding that the functional responsibilities of the Inspector (Posts) are certainly onerous and evidently, it is on the basis of adequate justification that the successive Pay Commissions have appreciated the need to revise the pay scale of Inspector (Posts).
Para 31. The decision of the Ministry of Finance does not appear to have taken into account the clear recommendation of the Sixth Pay Commission nor for that matter the full justifications given by the Department of Posts.
Para 32. Thus, when the Pay Commission opined that by virtue of merger of the pays scales of Rs 5500 - 9000 and Rs 6500 - 10500, the same would "automatically bring Inspector (Posts) on par with Assistants in CSS/Inspectors and analogous posts in CBDT and CBEC, what it meant was that from hence, Inspector (Posts) would sail in the same boat as his counterparts in the Income Tax Department or Central Excise or Customs Department or for that matter the Assistants in the CSS. "The difference in the grade pay is not one created by the Pay Commission but the same is due to the fact that as late as in 2009, it is the Government of India which had raised the grade pay of the pay scale 6500 - 10500 that existed as on 01-01-2006 vide order dated 13-11-2009, whereby posts which were in the pre-revised scale of Rs 6,500 - 10,500 as on 01-01-2006 and which were granted the normal replacement pay structure of grade pay of Rs 4,200/- in the pay band PB 2 will be granted grade pay of Rs 4600 in the pay band PB 2 corresponding to the pre-revised pay scale of Rs 7450-11500 w/e/f/ 01-01-2006. And, if a post already existed in the pre-revised scale of Rs 7450-11500, the posts being upgraded from the scale of Rs 6500 - 10500 should be merged with the post in the scale of Rs 7450 - 11500/-. In fact had the above enhancement in the grade pay been recommended by the Pay Commission, it would not have omitted to consider such an increase in the grade pay of Inspector (Posts) as well.
Para 33: Thus, within the parameters prescribed by the Apex Court in respect of the powers of the Tribunal in dealing with the fixation of Pay scale the case has been considered and the Tribunal is of the considered view that there is no justification in denying the Inspector (Posts) the higher Grade Pay of Rs 4600 when the same is admissible to Inspectors of other Departments with whom parity has been established by the very Sixth Pay Commission vide its report at para 7.6.14 extracted above. The Department of Post also equally recommends the same and as such, at appropriate level, the Ministry of Finance has to have a re-look in the matter dispassionately and keeping in view the aforesaid discussion. The ASPOs, as a result can be granted a grade pay of Rs.4800/- and the Superintendents grade pay of Rs.5400, as in the case of Superintendents of Central Excise & Customs.
Para 34. In view of the above, the OA is allowed to the extent that keeping in tune with the observations of the Sixth Pay Commission, coupled with the strong recommendations of the Department of Post and also in the light of our discussion as above, first respondent, i.e. the Ministry of Finance shall have a re-look in the matter at the level of Secretary and consider the case of the Inspector (Posts) for upgradation of their grade pay at par with that of the Inspector of income tax, of CBDT and CBEC. This will make the grade pay of Inspector (Posts) at par with that of the promotional post of Assistant Superintendents of Post Offices, it is expedient to consider and upward revision of the grade pay of ASPs as well. All the necessary details and statistics as required by the Ministry of Finance shall be made available by the second Respondent i.e. the Director General of Posts. It is expected that within a reasonable time, the respondents shall arrive at a judicious decision and implement the same.