Tuesday, 12 February 2013
Government of India
Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions
Department of Personnel & Training
North Block, New Delhi - 110001
Dated : 11.2.2013
Subject: Timely intimation about payment of additional fee under RTI Act
It has been brought to the notice of the Central information
Commission that some CPIOs inform the information seeker about the
additional fee under sub section 7(3) of the RTI Act at the fag end of the thirty
days period prescribed for providing the information under sub-section 7(1) of
the RTI Act.
2. The Central Information Commission in one of its orders has mentioned
that while there cannot be any hard and fast rule about when exactly the
inti ation about the photocopying charges should be conveyed to the
infor ation seeker, it is implied in the prescribed time limit that the demand
for t e photocopying charges must be made soon after the RTI application is
received so that the information seeker has time to deposit the fees and
rec ive the information within the prescribed thirty days period. If the
information sought is not voluminous or is not dispersed over a large number
of fiilens , computation of the photocopying charges should not be a time
con uming task. As soon as the RTI application is received, the holder of the
infor ation should decide about how much information to disclose and then
calculate the photocopying charges so that the CPIO can immediately write
to the information seeker demanding such fees.
3. This may be brought to the notice of all concerned for compliance.
1. All the Ministries I Departments of the Government of India
2. Union Public Service Commission, Lok Sabha Sectt, Rajya Sabha
Secretariat, Cabinet Secretariat, Central Vigilance Commission,
President's Secretariat, Vice-President's Secretariat, Prime Minister's Office,
Planning Commission, Election Commission.
3. Central Information Commission/State Information Commissions.
4. Staff Selection Commission, CGO Complex, New Delhi
5. O/o the Comptroller & Auditor General of India, 10, Bahadur Shah Zafar
Marg, New Delhi.
6. All officers/Desks/Sections, DOP&T and Department of Pension &
Copy to :- Chief Secretaries of All the States/UTs
JUDGEMENT ON STEPPING UP OF PAY
Central Administrative Tribunal
Principal Bench, New Delhi.
Reserved on : 28.01.2013.
Pronounced on : 01.02.2013.
Honble Mr. G. George Paracken, Member (J)
Honble Mr. Shekhar Agarwal, Member (A)
1. All India Postal Accounts Employees
Association represented by S. Santosh Kumar,
President, R/o 13-B, DDA Flats, Type-IV,
New Mahavir Nagar, New Delhi-18.
2. E. Kanagraj, Senior Accountant
in O/o General Manager, Postal Accounts &
Finance, Tamilnadu Circle, Chennai-8. . Applicants
(through Sh. B.K. Berera, Advocate)
1. Union of India through
Department of Posts (Postal & Accounts Wing)
Ministry of Communication & Information
Technology, Dak Bhawan, Sansad Marg,
2. The Secretary,
Department of Personnel & Training,
Ministry of Public Grievances & Pensions,
North Block, New Delhi-1. . Respondents
(through Sh. S.M. Zulfiqar Alam, Advocate)
O R D E R
Mr. Shekhar Agarwal, Member (A)
The applicants have sought the following relief:-
(a) Direction from this Honble Tribunal to Respondents for grant of stepping up pay of all
Senior Accountants on par with Senior Accountants who are junior to the former in the cadre of
(b) Direction to the Respondents to pay compound interest on the arrears, compounded every
months, as the respondents caused serious prejudice to the Applicants every months when the
Applicants were not granted the financial upgradations by stepping up their pay.
(c) Direction from Honble Tribunal to declare the CLAUSE 8 of the condition for grant of
BENEFIT UNDER THE ACP SCHEME being uptra vires beyond the statute which provide The
financial upgradation under the ACP Scheme shall be purely personal to the employee and shall
have no relevance to his seniority position. As such, there, shall be no additional financial
upgradation for the senior employee on the ground that the junior employee in the grade has got
higher pay scale under the ACP Scheme.
(d) Direction to the respondents to pay cost of litigation to the Applicants as the Applicants
have been dragged to the Tribunal by the respondents.
(e) Any other order as this Honble Tribunal may deem fit under the present facts and
circumstances of the case.
2. Briefly undisputed facts of the case are that the applicants joined the Department of Posts
as LDCs and were promoted as Junior Accountant. Subsequently, on restructuring of the
Accounts Cadre, 80% of the Accountants were designated as Senior Accountants and were
placed in the pay scale of Rs.1400-2600 (revised Pay Scale Rs.5500-9000) w.e.f. 01.04.1987.
Government of India promulgated an Assured Career Progression (ACP) Scheme for Central
Government Civilian Employees vide their O.M. No. 35034/1/97-Estt(D) dated 09.08.1999
which provided for two financial upgradations to employees who had completed 12 and 24 years
of service but had not found regular promotion in their department. Financial upgradation under
the Scheme was to be given to the next higher grade in accordance with the existing hierarchy in
a cadre. Clause-8 of the Scheme by which the applicants are aggrieved reads as follows:-
The financial upgradation under the ACP Scheme shall be purely personal to the employee and
shall have no relevance to his seniority position. As such, there shall be no additional financial
upgradation for the senior employee on the ground that the junior employee in the grade has got
higher pay-scale under the ACP Scheme.
3. The grievance of the applicants is that they have been denied benefits under this Scheme
on the grounds that they had joined as LDC and had already found two promotions in their cadre,
namely, to the post of Junior Accountant and then as Senior Accountant whereas those who had
joined the department as direct recruits to the post of Junior Accountant and had found only one
promotion to the level of Senior Accountant were given benefit of the ACP Scheme and placed
in higher grade. The applicants have contended that due to denial of benefit of ACP Scheme to
them many of the direct recruits who are junior to them in the cadre have started drawing more
salary than their seniors. The applicants have further stated that all Senior Accountants
regardless of the fact whether they are promotees or direct recruits are placed in a single
gradation list and their seniority is determined on the basis of their date of appointment as Senior
Accountants. The applicants had represented before the respondents but their representations
had been rejected. Aggrieved by this, they have approached this Tribunal. Their main prayer is
that Clause-8 of the ACP Scheme be declared ultra vires beyond the statute and their pay be
stepped up to bring it at par with their juniors.
4. The respondents have in their reply stated that the ACP Scheme was enforced to deal
with the problem of stagnation in certain cadres. It provides for at least two financial
upgradations in service career of an employee even if he is not able to find regular promotions
due to unavailability of vacancies. According to them Clause-8 of the Scheme clearly states that
the financial upgradation under the Scheme is purely personal to the employee and shall have no
relevance to his seniority position and as such no additional financial upgradation will be given
to a senior employee on the ground that the junior employee has got higher pay scale under the
ACP Scheme. The respondents argued that there is no infirmity in the Clause-8 of the Scheme
placing reliance on the decisions of Honble Supreme Court in the case of UOI and Anr. Vs. V.R.
Swaminathan, JT 1997(8) SC 61 and State of U.P. & Ors. Vs. J.P. Chaurasia and Ors., JT 1988
(4) SC 53.
5. We have heard the learned counsel for both sides and perused the material placed on
6. During the course of arguments, the respondents made available judgment of Bombay
Bench at Nagpur of CAT in OA-2117/2005 (A.N. Pant & Ors. Vs. UOI & Ors.) dated
01.08.2012 between the same parties. By the aforesaid judgment, the claim of the applicants for
placement in higher pay scale on the ground that junior employee had got that grade on account
of ACP Scheme was rejected. However, learned counsel for the applicants pointed out that the
prayer of the applicants in the instant case was different. According to him, in the case decided
by the Bombay Bench at Nagpur, the prayer of the applicants was for grant of higher pay scale
whereas in the instant case the prayer is only for stepping up of pay.
7. We have seen the judgment of the Honble Supreme Court on which reliance has been
placed by the respondents and we find that the facts and circumstances of the two cases are
different. Thus, in the case of V.R. Swaminathan (supra) senior employees were demanding
stepping up of pay on account of the fact that juniors had got the benefit of higher pay because
they had officiated on higher post based on local/circle seniority. Further, in the other case of
J.P. Chaurasia (supra) two scales had been created in the cadre of Bench Secretaries of
Allahabad High Court that promotions from lower to higher scale taking place based on
seniority-cum-fitness. None of these two cases appears to be relevant.
8. On the other hand, the applicants have placed reliance on the judgment of Chandigarh
Bench of this Tribunal dated 19.01.2010 in OA-156-JK-2009(Ashok Kumar Vs. UOI & Ors.).
Relevant porition of this judgments reads as under:-
9. The issue raised in this case as to whether a senior person, though having received two
promotions, is entitled to stepping up of his pay at par with his junior, who has been granted
benefit under ACP Scheme and by virtue of this, is receiving higher pay than his senior, stands
clinched by various decisions of this Tribunal including in O.A. No. 842-JK-2007 decided on
17.11.2009 titled Madan Gopal Sharma & Others Vs. Union of India & Others. In that case
reliance was placed on decisions of Apex Court in the case of Ram Sarup Ganda (supra) and
(Gurmail Singh). Reliance was also placed on decision in the case of Harcharan Singh Sudan
(supra). It was held that seniors are entitled to step up their pay as a general rule as and when
any junior gets fixed in a pay scale higher to them on account of grant of ACP Scale. Para 14 of
the decision in the case of Harcharan Singh Sudan (supra) in Para 14 is reproduced as under:-
14. However, one aspect is to be seen. In the case decided by the Apex Court, the State
Government was the appellant and the challenge was against the High Court judgment, which
held that the higher pay scale be given to the respondents at par with their juniors whose pay
scale became higher on account of the benefit of ACP afforded to them. The appeal was not
dismissed but partly allowed and it was declared that the respondents were entitled to stepping
up of pay. In other words, there shall only be the stepping up of pay and not the pay scale. The
pay scale in respect of the applicants would remain the same as of date but the pay would be
fixed in appropriate stage, and if there is no stage to match the pay drawn by the junior, the
difference shall be treated as one of personal pay. The pay parity would be compared annually
and partly would be maintained in future
10. Finding that the facts of this case are covered by the decision in the case of Harcharan Singh
Sudans case as well as Madan Gopal Sharma and Others (supra), this Original Application is
allowed to the extent that annexure A-2 relating to rejection of claim of applicant is quashed and
11. With this O.A. stands disposed of and the respondents are directed to step up the pay of the
applicant at par with his junior aforesaid and in terms of the directions contained in the case of
Harcharan Singh Sudan (supra). It is made clear that the applicant shall be given stepping up of
pay only and not the pay scale, as explained above. The pay may be fixed accordingly and
arrears be also paid to him within a period of three months from the date of receipt of a copy of
this order. However, in the given facts and circumstances of the case, applicant is not entitled to
interest. Parties to bear their own costs.
9. In our opinion, the case of the applicants is covered by the aforesaid order of the
Tribunal, hence they are also entitled to the same benefits. Accordingly, the present O.A. is
allowed. Respondents are directed that the pay of the applicants be stepped up in terms of Para-9
of the aforesaid judgment. This shall be done within a period of three months from the date of
receipt of a copy of this order. There shall be no order as to costs.
(Shekhar Agarwal) (G. George Paracken)Member (A) ( Member)