No varying pay-scale if employees are in same posts: High Court
There cannot be different pay scales for employees holding same posts and doing similar work, unless one has higher qualifications, the Delhi High Court said. The court ruling came in an appeal filed by the Centre against an order by the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT). The tribunal,
allowing a batch of petitions filed a group of Prasar Bharati employees, had earlier said persons holding the same posts cannot have discriminating salaries.
Delhi high court bench, headed by Justice Pradeep Nandrajog, upheld the CAT order, saying: “... Where there is complete parity, it would be highly discriminatory to treat employees differently merely on account of the two coming from two different sources.”
The court, however, clarified that the pay scale can vary if one employee was better qualified than the others in the same cadre.
The bench said: “Employees in the same cadre can certainly be placed in different pay scales, but that would be if it is shown that one set of employees has higher technical or education qualifications or performs more onerous duties vis-à-vis the other or the like.”
The petitioners, alleging disparity in their pay scale, had said they were casual employees with the I&B ministry and were offered a pay between Rs 5,000 and Rs 8,000 after they were regularised under the Prasar Bharti, which was constituted in September 1997 under the Broadcasting Corporation of India Act.
They said their counterparts, who were regular employees of the ministry, were however offered a pay between Rs 6,500 and Rs 10,500 under the same corporation.
The petitioners had contended before the CAT that merely because their counterparts acquired the status of regular employees, was no ground to justify the lower pay scale.