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Civil Appeal No. 1549 of 2011

Decided On: 05.09.2017

Appellants: The State of Punjab and Ors. Vs. Respondent: Dharam Pal

Hon'ble Judges/Coram:
Dipak Misra, C.J.I., A.M. Khanwilkar and Dr. D.Y. Chandrachud


Dipak Misra, C.J.I.

1. The present appeal, by special leave, calls in question the legal acceptability of the order dated 20.08.2008 passed by the High Court of Punjab and Haryana at Chandigarh in Civil Writ Petition No. 18843 of 2007 whereby the Division Bench placing reliance on the decision in Pritam Singh Dhaliwal v. State of Punjab and Anr. 2004 (4) RSJ 599 has acceded to the prayer made by the Respondent for getting the benefit of the pay scale for the post he was holding on officiating basis.

2. To appreciate the gravamen of the controversy, exposition of facts in brief is necessitous. The Respondent was appointed as a clerk on 22.05.1970 and promoted to the post of Senior Assistant on 22.09.1980. He was given the officiating charge of the Superintendent Grade II vide order dated 09.12.2004 and thereafter, he was directed to function as Superintendent Grade I vide Government Order dated 26.05.2007. As the factual narration would reveal, he stood superannuated from service on 31.03.2008.

3. Before the Respondent attained the age of superannuation, he approached the High Court in a Writ Petition as he was not granted the benefit of the pay scale for the posts of Superintendent Grade II and Superintendent Grade I despite having performed the duties of officiating current duty basis regularly. He sought the relief for grant of pay, the arrears of pay and other consequential allowances and benefits with 18% interest. As stated earlier, the High Court placed reliance on the authority in Pritam Singh Dhaliwal (supra) and opined that the controversy is covered by the said decision and disposed of the writ petition in terms of the said judgment. Hence, the present appeal.

4. We have heard Ms. Uttara Babbar, learned Counsel for the Appellants and Mr. Sudarshan Singh Rawat, learned Counsel for the Respondent.

5. Criticising the impugned order, it is submitted by Ms. Babbar that the High Court has committed gross illegality in granting the benefit to the Respondent totally ignoring the restrictions incorporated in the orders dated 09.12.2004 and 26.05.2007 which clearly stipulated that the Respondent official will work in his own pay scale and his officiating promotion would be subject to the recommendations of the Departmental Promotion Committee and on the approval of the Committee, he shall be given the financial benefits. She would further urge that the authority relied upon by the High Court does not hold good in view of what has been laid down by this Court in State of Haryana and Anr. v. Tilak Raj and Ors.   MANU/SC/0460/2003 : (2003) 6 SCC 123, S.C. Chandra and Ors. v. State of Jharkhand and Ors.