JAMMU, Apr 2: Division Bench of State High Court comprising Chief Justice N Paul Vasanthakumar and Justice Tashi Rabstan has directed the Chief Secretary and others to implement the recommendations of the Shetty Commission with effect from April 1, 2003, which was agreed to by the Chief Minister in the minutes of meeting recorded on April 2, 2008, and as per the directions of the Supreme Court, within a period of three months.
The direction was issued in a petition filed by the employees borne on the cadre of Subordinate Courts. The case of the petitioners is that as per the Resolution of Ministry of Law and Justice, the 1st National Judicial Pay Commission was constituted by the Government of India on March 21, 1996 headed by Justice Jagannath Shetty, a former Judge of the Supreme Court.
The Commission submitted its report regarding the pay structure of the Judicial Officers of the Subordinate Judiciary during November 1999 and thereafter, considered the grievances of the Ministerial Staff of the Subordinate Judiciary as per the directions issued by the Supreme Court in All India Judicial Employees Confederation for broadening the scope of consideration of National Judicial Pay Commission for improving the conditions of the Ministerial Staffs of Subordinate Courts as they are at pivotal position so far as working of the Subordinate Courts is concerned.
The Commission finally submitted various recommendations in favour of the Ministerial Staff with regard to working conditions and restructuring, removal of pay anomalies and grant of higher pay scales and advance increments etc. The Supreme Court, thereafter, considered the recommendations and directed all State Governments to consider implementation.
As no steps were taken by the State Governments, the Supreme Court by order dated 07.10.2009 gave directions to all the High Courts to ensure implementation of the recommendations of Shetty Pay Commission by State Governments within reasonable period and preferably within one year and if the same is further delayed, the High Courts were granted liberty to entertain writ petitions/applications on Judicial and Administrative side, with a further directions that the High Courts shall see that the recommendations are implemented with effect from 01.04.2003.
According to the petitioners, High Court administratively took up the matter with the State Government for implementation of the recommendations of the Shetty Pay Commission in the meeting of the then Chief Justice with the then Chief Minister on 02.04.2008 and after deliberations, it was agreed by the State Government to implement the recommendations of the Shetty Pay Commission in a phased manner after ascertaining the financial implications.
In this meeting, several issues were discussed and the issue pertaining to implementation of Shetty Commission in respect of the Ministerial staff of the Subordinate Courts was discussed as Agenda No.10. A Monitoring committee was constituted under the chairmanship of Chief Secretary of which the Registrar General of High Court was a member and various meetings were held by the Monitoring committee. The High Court on 04.03.2010 requested the Commissioner/Secretary Law to implement the recommendations, but till date the recommendations are not implemented.
“It is evident that in spite of the receipt of the benefits under 6th Pay Commission, the employees of Subordinate Courts in all States are eligible to get the benefits as recommended by Shetty Commission if the same is beneficial. Hence, the State of J&K cannot deny the benefits which were ordered to be extended to the Ministerial Staff of the Subordinate Courts”, the DB observed, adding “in Paragraph 21 of the judgment Supreme Court has held that wherever any issue is raised by any of the employees working in different States, such grievances raised by way of representation or by moving appropriate petitions in the respective High Courts shall be examined and appropriate orders passed”.
“The State Government cannot deny the benefits by stating any reason much less the financial constraint as the recommendations were made to pay the benefit from 01.04.2003 which was agreed to be implemented by the State as early as in the year 2008”, the DB further observed.
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