If an employee, fulfiling the eligibility criteria for promotion to a particular post, works for a reasonable period on that post against a vacancy,, the government cannot deny him/her the actual promotion and accompanying financial benefits, the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) has held.
A Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) bench headed by Chairman Justice V.K. Bali held that in such a situation, it would be arbitrary to deny salary and other benefits of
the promoted post to the employee.
The bench ordered the Delhi Government to re-fix the salary and retirement benefits of six retired school teachers, who had been given notional promotion to the post of principal, albeit without any accruing financial benefits.
Rejecting the Delhi Government’s arguments that all promotions had to be prospective and retired employees had no right to actual promotion, the CAT allowed the petition filed by Gaurishankar Sharma, Budh Prakash Tyagi, Raj Kumar Uppal, Prabhu Dayal, Jagdish Prasad Sharma and Chintamani Mathur.
It directed the Delhi Government to fix the correct salary of the petitioners, from the dates each of them had been promoted notionally to principal and to fix par arrears of salary for the period they were in service.
The CAT also ordered payment of revised retirement benefits, with six per cent interest on arrears within four months. The petitioners had served as heads of schools over several years.
But the Departmental Promotion Committee (DPC), held after their retirement, recommended only notional promotion for them and accordingly, the government did not give them any financial benefit of promotion.
Aggrieved by the decision, they moved the CAT, seeking benefit of the pay scale of principal, from the date they were assumed charge of the post, plus the arrears of pay and allowances after proper pay fixation, with retrospective effect. They also demanded revision of their retirement benefits.
The government contended the DPC could not be convened due to procedural reasons while they were in service and making them principals was only a stopgap arrangement. It said petitioners were not eligible for revision of retirement benefits and back wages because their promotion was only notional.
But citing the Supreme Court’s rulings on the issue, the CAT rejected these arguments.
“By virtue of the fact that the Applicants have actually worked on the post of principal, they would …be eligible for payment of back wages also, besides salary for the post of principal, from the date they have been notionally promoted to that post,” it said.