Pay Fixation -Judgment of The Supreme Court of India on Re-Employed Armed Forces Personnel

Pay Fixation is long outstanding dues for Reemployed Exservicemen. In this Article we will know about the Supreme Court orders on the pay fixation of a reemployed Armed Forces Personnel. Supreme Court has Ordered on the civil appeal no. 4073 of 2022 in the matter of Union of India & Ors versus Major (Retd) Anil Prasad regarding Pay Fixation after his reemployment in CRPF as Asstt Comdt (MO) in the year 2009.

Major Anil Prasad was discharged from Indian Army on 15.07.2007. He was reemployed in the post of Assistant Commandant (Medical Officer) in the Central Reserve Police Force, in pay scale of Rs.15600 ­- 39100 with grade pay of Rs.5400. But Maj Prasad claimed that as on the date of his discharge from the Indian Army, he was drawing pay of Rs.28340 with grade pay of Rs.6600 and the same was entitled to be protected in terms of Para 8 of the Central Civil Services (fixation of Pay of Re­employed Pensioners) Order, 1986 (hereinafter referred to as ‘CCS Order’). Accordingly Maj (Retd) Prasad made a representation which came to be rejected by an order dated 24.04.2019. Thereafter he filed a case (writ petition) before the High Court claiming that he would be entitled to his basic pay being fixed at par with his last drawn pay. Maj Prasad own the case in Delhi High Court.

Feeling aggrieved and dissatisfied with the impugned judgment and order dated 05.10.2021 passed by the High Court of Delhi at New Delhi in Writ Petition (C) No.2135 of 2020 by which the High Court has allowed Maj Prasad to get his pay fixed on reemployment at par with last pay drawn in Army Service, filed a petition in the Supreme Court of India.

Ms. Aishwarya Bhati, learned ASG, appearing on behalf of Union of India – appellant herein has vehemently submitted that the impugned judgment and order passed by the High Court is on a misreading of Para 8 of CCS Orders.

We must know about the Para 8 of the CCS Fixation of pay of Reemployed Pensioners (RP) Order 1986. As per Para 8 of the order, on reappointment, an Emergency Commissioned Officer and Short Service Commissioned Officer who join the government service will be granted advance increments equal to the completed years of service rendered by him in Armed Forces on the basic pay scale which will be equal to or higher than the pay scale of the re­employed organization i.e. the civil post/the government post and not on the last drawn pay by the personnel in the Armed Forces.

Para 8 of the CCS Fixation of pay of Reemployed Pensioners (RP) Order 1986 does not speak about retaining of the last drawn basic pay or fixation at the rate of last drawn pay.

ASG of the Govt side has submitted that if the claim made by Maj Prasad is allowed and it is held that on re­employment his pay fixation should be the last drawn pay, in that case it violates the statutory provision of Para 8 of the CCS Pay Fixation Order 1986.

Making above submission, ASG of Govt of India prayed to allow the present appeal and was vehemently opposed by Shri Vinay Kumar Garg, learned Senior Advocate appearing on behalf of Maj (Retd) Anil Prasad.  

As per Para 8 of CCS Pay Fixation Order 1986, the appellants granted six increments i.e. for the number of years the respondent served in the Indian Army.  

Para 8 of CCS Order is as follows:

“8. Emergency Commissioned Officers and Short Service Commissioned Officers:

Emergency Commissioned Officers and Short Service Commissioned Officers who joined pre­ officers who joined pre­commissioned training or were commissioned after 10.01.1968 may, on their appointment in Government service to unreserved vacancies, may be granted advance increments equal to the completed years of service rendered by them in Armed Forces on a basic pay (inclusive of deferred pay but excluding other emoluments) equal to or higher than the minimum of the scale attached to the civil post in which they are employed. The pay so arrived at should not, however, exceed the basic pay (including the deferred pay but excluding other emoluments) last drawn by them in the Armed Forces.”

On a true interpretation of Para 8 on re­employment in the government service, an employee working with the Armed Forces, on re­ employment shall be entitled to advance increments equal to the completed years of service rendered by him in the Armed Forces on a basic pay equal to or higher than the minimum of the scale attached to the civil post in which he is employed. While computing the pay of the said officers who joined the civil posts their pay cannot exceed last drawn pay by them in the armed forces. In case it exceeds then it is capped to the last drawn pay in the armed forces. So, the Appex court has observed that a claim for the last drawn pay in the armed forces is not a matter of right.

Judgment of The Supreme Court of India on Pay Fixation of Re-Employed Armed Forces Personnel

Para 8 of the CCS Order there is no entitlement of pay protection under para 8 of the CCS. The manner of computation of pay as envisaged under para 8 also clearly stipulates that the pay so arrived at should not exceed the basic pay (including the deferred pay but excluding other emoluments) last drawn by the respondent in the armed force. That does not mean that the respondent is entitled to a pay equal to what was last drawn by him in the armed force.

          In the present case while serving in the Armed Forces respondent was in the pay scale of Rs.15600 – 39100. The post on which he was re­employed in the government service also carries the pay scale of Rs.15600 – 39100 and he has

been allowed advance increments of six years as he completed six years of service in the Armed Forces. However, his grade pay has been fixed at Rs.5400 being the grade pay which is available for the civil post.

Therefore, the apex court has observed that the pay fixation of the respondent in the government service was absolutely in consonance with para 8 of the CCS Order 1986. Para 8 does not provide that on re­ employment in Government Services a retired Armed Force personnel would be entitled to his basic pay being fixed at par with his last drawn pay. Holding so will violate para 8 of the CCS Order. The Supreme Court has also observed that the circumstances the High Court has committed a grave error in observing and holding that the retired Armed Forces personnel on re­appointment in the government service would be entitled to the last drawn pay as Armed Forces personnel. Therefore, they declared the impugned judgment and order passed by the High Court is unsustainable being contrary to para 8 of the CCS Order, 1986.

From the above discussion, it is revealed that the above case is for Short Service Commissioned Officer and not related to Reemployed Exserviceman. Modalities of Pay Fixation of Reemployed Exserviceman is regulated by Para 4 and 5 of CCS Fixation of Pay of Reemployed Pensioners (RP) Orders 1986. In other hand, Rule 8 of the CCS Order is not applicable to Reemployed Pensioners/ Exserviceman. The CCS Pay Fixation Order 1986 is under revision by DOP&T since long and it may be expected to be revised (finalised) soon.

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