CENTRAL ADMINISTRATIVE TRIBUNAL, ERNAKULAM BENCH
Original Application No. 180/00526/2016- Thursday, this the 16th day of March, 2017
CORAM: Hon'ble Mr. U. Sarathchandran, Judicial Member
V. Prabhakaran, S/o. Late T. Kuttappan Nair,Aged 78 years, Deputy Postmaster (HSG I) (Retd.),
Varikattu House, Suprabha, Palissery, Annamada PO,Thrissur - 680 741. ... Applicant
(By Advocate : Mr. C.S.G. Nair) Versus
1. Director of Accounts (Postal), Kerala Circle, Trivandrum - 695 001.
2. Chief Postmaster General, Kerala Circle, Trivandrum - 695 033.
3. Union of India, represented by its Secretary, Department of Pension & Pensioners'Welfare,
Loknayak Bhavan, Khan Market, New Delhi - 110 001. ... Respondents
(By Advocate : Mr. K. Kesavankutty, ACGSC)
This application having been heard on 27.02.2017, the Tribunal on 16.03.2017 delivered the following:
Hon'ble Mr. U. Sarathchandran, Judicial Member -
Applicant is a retired Deputy Postmaster (HSG-I). He had a total service of 36 years, 9 months and 8 days in the Postal Department. When he retired on 30.9.1996 he was drawing pay in the pay scale of Rs. 6,500-10,500/-. He was granted monthly pension of Rs. 3,912/- vide Annexure A1 Pension Payment Order with effect from 1.10.1996. Pursuant to an order of this Tribunal, the applicant was granted promotion as LSG with effect from 1.3.1983, as HSG-II with effect from 19.6.1990 and as HSG-I with effect from 19.4.1996. These promotions were given with retrospective effect vide Annexure A2 memo issued from the office of respondent No. 2. Applicant states that on implementation of the VIth Central Pay Commission (CPC) the pay scale of HSG-I was upgraded to Rs. 7,450/- and was revised to PB-2 with Grade Pay of Rs. 4,600/- as per Section II of the 1 st schedule of CCS (Revised Pay) Rules, 2008, a copy of which is marked as Annexure A3. As per the fitment table annexed to CCS (RP) Rules, 2008 the minimum pay in the pay band of Rs. 9,300-34,800/- with Grade Pay of Rs. 4,600/- is Rs.11,460/- and 50% of which is to be paid as pension i.e. Rs. 9,230/- with effect from 1.1.2006. A copy of the fitment table annexed to CCS (RP) Rules, 2008 is produced as Annexure A4. Applicant contends that as per the different orders of this Tribunal, it has been held that the pensioners mentioned in those orders are entitled to pension not lower than 50% of the minimum of the pay in the pay band plus Grade Pay corresponding to the pre-revised scale from which they retired. According to the applicant as per the decision of the High Court of Kerala in OP (CAT) No. 169/2015 the computation of pension in the matter of VIth CPC has to be 50% of the pay scale with respect to the scale of pay applicable to the post in question and not the corresponding scale of pay to the one at which the incumbent has retired and therefore the applicant is entitled to get revised pension taking into account the upgraded pre-revised pay scale of Rs. 7,450-11,500/- with Grade Pay of Rs 4,600/-. The relief sought by the applicant is as under:
(i) To declare that the applicant is entitled for revision of pension based on the' pay band plus grade pay applicable to HSG I w.e.f. 1.1.2006.
(ii) To direct the respondents to issue revised PPO to the applicant specifying the pension on the basis of 50% of the minimum of the pay in the pay band plus grade pay of Rs. 18,460/- i.e. Rs. 9,230/- w.e.f. 1.1.2006 and also the corresponding family pension and grant all consequential benefits including arrears of pension within a stipulated period.
(iii) To grant such other relief or reliefs that may be prayed for or that are found to be just and proper in the nature and circumstances of the case.
(iv) To grant cost of this OA.'
2. The OA was opposed by respondents 1 to 3 contending that the applicant retired from service when he was having a pay scale of Rs. 6,500-200-10,500/- and the VIth CPC revised pay scale corresponding to the post from which he retired was Rs. 9,300-34,800/- plus Grade Pay of Rs. 4,200/- and the pension payable to the applicant with effect from 1.1.2006 is only Rs. 6,750/- i.e. 50% of the sum of the minimum in the pay band plus Grade Pay Rs. 9,300/- + Rs. 4,200/- / 2. Respondents contend that paragraph 4.2 of the OM dated 1.9.2008 was invoked in the case of the applicant. They further state that on the implementation of the VIth CPC the three pre-revised pay scales of Rs. 6,500-200-10,500/-, Rs. 7,450-225-11,500/- and Rs. 7,500-250-12,000/- were merged together and were replaced by the revised pay structure with Grade Pay of Rs 4,600/- in the pay band PB-2 Rs. 9,300-34,800/-. The merger of pay scales and the resultant pay structure of Rs. 9,300-34,800/- with Grade Pay of Rs. 4,600/- is applicable only to the employees from 1.11.2006 and not to the applicant. Therefore, the corresponding revised pay for the purpose of calculating pension is the one corresponding to the pre-revised pay scale from which the pensioner had retired. According to the respondents as per OM dated 28.1.2013 pension is equivalent to the 50% of the sum of the minimum pay in the pay band and grade pay/minimum pay in the pay scale as per fitment table for the corresponding pre-revised pay scale of Rs. 6,500-200-10,500/- is Rs. 8,145/-. Respondents pray for rejecting the OA.
3. A rejoinder was filed by the applicant stating that the pre-revised pay scale of Rs. 6,500-10,500/- was revised originally to Rs. 9,300-34,800/- with Grade Pay of Rs. 4,200/-. Subsequently as per OM F. No. 1/1/2008-IC,dated 13.11.2009 the Grade Pay was increased to Rs. 4,600/- with effect from 1.1.2006. The pre-revised scales of Rs. 5,000-8,000/-, Rs. 5,500-9,000/- and Rs. 6,500-10,500/- were merged together with effect from 1.1.2006 and revised to Rs. 9,300-34,800/- with Grade Pay of Rs. 4,600/-and the pay scale of Rs. 7,500-12,000/- was revised to Rs. 9,300-34,800/- with Grade Pay of Rs. 4,800/- with effect from 1.1.2006.
4. MA No. 180/127/2017 filed for receiving the additional reply statement is allowed. In the additional reply statement respondents contend that the post which were in the pre-revised scale of Rs. 6,500-200-10,500/- as on 1.1.2006 was granted a normal replacement pay structure Grade Pay of Rs. 4,200/- in the pay band-2 will be granted grade pay of Rs. 4,600/- in the pay band PB-2 corresponding to the pre-revied scale of Rs. 7,450- 11,500/- with effect from 1.1.2006. As the applicant was not in service as on 1.1.2006 the aforesaid replacement pay structure is not applicable to him. As per paragraph 5 of OM F. No. 38/37/08-P&PW(A), dated 11.2.2009, the benefit of upgradation of posts subsequent to their retirement could not be admissible to pre-2006 pensioners and therefore, the claim of the applicant for pension at the rate of Rs. 9,230/- with effect from 1.1.2006 is not admissible.
5. Heard Mr. C.S.G. Nair, learned counsel appearing for the applicant and Mr. K. Kesavankutty, learned ACGSC appearing for the respondents. Perused the record.
6. The applicant is claiming revised pension based on the pay band and Grade Pay applicable to HSG-1 with effect from 1.1.2006. Annexure A2 clearly shows that the applicant was granted LSG with effect from 1.3.1983, HSG-II w.e.f. 19.6.1990 and HSG with effect from 19.4.1996. All these grades were given to the applicant as per the directions of this Tribunal in the order dated 4.1.2001 in OA No. 851/1998, the benefit of which was received by the applicant only after his superannuation on 30.9.1996.Therefore, undoubtedly, the revised pension of the applicant has to be based on the pay scale of HSG-I that was applicable as on the date of his superannuation on 30.9.1996.
7. Applicant states that on implementation of the VIth CPC the pay scale of HSG-1 was upgraded to Rs. 7,450-10,500/- in PB-2 with a Grade Pay of Rs. 4,600/- (vide Annexure A3 RP Rules, 2008). It has to be noted that as per the Government of India resolution dated 29.8.2008 on the recommendations of the VIth CPC the pension of the pensioners was fixed as 50% of the minimum of the pay in the pay band plus Grade Pay corresponding to the pay scale from which the pensioner has retired. Based on the Government of India resolution dated 29.8.2008 respondent No. 3 issued OM dated 1.9.2008. Paragraph 4.2 of OM dated 1.9.2008 reads:
'4.2. The fixation of pension will be subject to the provision that the revised pension, in no case, shall be lower than fifty per cent of the minimum of the pay in the pay band plus the grade pay corresponding to the pre-revised pay sale from which the pensioner had retired. In the case of HAG+ and above scales, this will be per cent of the minimum of the revised pay scale.'
8. As the aforequoted instructions in OM dated 1.9.2008 remains in tact without any executive or judicial interference, the pension sanctioning authorities are bound to follow the aforesaid paragraph 4.2 of the aforesaid OM while revising the pension of the pre-1-1-2006 pensioners. Since para 4.2 being the policy decision of the Government of India, the same has to be the guiding principle for determining the VIth CPC revised pension of pre- 1.1.2006 pensioners. In the case of the applicant, as observed earlier the pay scales from which he had retired has to be reckoned on the basis of the pay
scale of HSG-I prevailing at the time of his retirement. Referring toAnnexure A4 fitment table annexed to CCS (RP) Rules, 2008 applicant points out that the VIth CPC revised pay scale of Postmaster HSG-I is Rs.9,300-34,800/- with Grade Pay of Rs. 4,600/- with effect from 1.1.2006.Therefor, even though the applicant retired from service in the pay scale of Rs. 6,500-10,500/-, as he was given the HSG-I grade after his retirement by virtue of a court decision, the pay scale applicable to HSG-I at the time of his retirement should be his pay pre- revised pay in terms of paragraph 4.2 of OM dated 1.9.2008. Since the corresponding revised pay of Deputy Postmaster HSG-I after the VIth CPC was Rs. 9,300-34,800/- with Grade Pay of Rs. 4,600/- with effect from 1.1.2006, his pension has to be fixed as 50% of the minimum pay in the pay band of Rs. 9,300-34,800/- plus Grade Pay of Rs. 4,600/- or as per the minimum pay in the pay band of Rs. 9,300-34,800/- plus Grade Pay of Rs. 4,600/- as per the fitment table, which everis more beneficial to the pensioner.
9. Therefore, this Tribunal is of the view that applicant is entitled to a revised pension in terms of paragraph 4.2 of OM dated 1.9.2008 or 50% of the minimum pay in the pay band of Rs. 9,300-34,800/- with Grade Pay of Rs. 4,600/- or as per Annexure A4 fitment table, whichever is beneficial to the applicant. The respondents shall issue revised Pension Payment Order in terms of what is stated above, within a period of two months from the date of receipt of a copy of this order. Ordered accordingly.
10. OA is disposed of with the above direction. No order as to costs.
Fro original orders kindly refer to Web of Hon court