Govt authorities increasing needless litigation: HC

  • Sanjeev Verma, Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
  • Updated: Nov 02, 2014 18:32 IST

Noticing that a large number of employees are forced by the government authorities to approach courts even in similarly placed cases already decided by the courts earlier, resulting in sheer wastage of court time, the Punjab and Haryana high court has ordered that authorities should look into such matters in light of the earlier precedents.

Justice Mahesh Grover said, “These are matters which should be looked into by the authorities themselves.” However, justice Grover cleared that it was needless to say that the competent authority would be well within its right to distinguish the applicability of the precedents to the cause of the claimant. But under no circumstances, such matters could be permitted to be left to the process of indecision.

The orders came while disposing of a petition filed by 20 assistant engineers of the department of water supply and sanitation. The petitioners had approached the HC claiming parity of pay with their counterparts working in the soil conservation department.The petitioners’ counsel informed the court that in a similar case with regard to the assistant engineers of soil conservation department, the high court had given them relief after deciding their case on July 2 by allowing them the pay parity with assistant engineers of the public works department.

It was averred that seeking similar relief, the petitioners had approached their department by placing before the authorities the high court’s July 2 judgment to take a decision on the similar pattern. But even after serving a legal notice on September 26, the department had failed to decide their representation.

The petitioners had sought directions to the authorities concerned to grant them a pay scale of Rs 2,000-3,500 with effect from January 1, 1986, and thereafter revise the same to Rs 2,200-4,000 with effect from January 1, 1991, and grant proficiency step-up of Rs 3,000-4,500 after eight years of service and pay scale of Rs 3,700-5,300 after completion of 18 years of service along with all consequential benefits.

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