I retired from CWC, a Central Public Sector Unit; In pursuance of the Supreme Court Judgement dated 3-5-1990, employees drawing CDA Pattern pay Scales were to be switched over to IDA Pattern Pay Scales w.e.f. 1-1-1989 after calling for options.
In respect of certain Central Public Sector Units like CWC, FCI, Government of India, did not follow that direction arbitrarily. FCI Officers approached Supreme Court, and as a result, thereof the FCI were issued directives to allow such switching and call for options within six months.
Such a decision was taken after a Contempt of Court petition filed by FCI Officers. Whereas CWC Officers did not approach Supreme Court; But it was incumbent upon CWC to have implemented the said directives of CWC; Had such an option been called for I could have opted for IDA pattern pay scales w.e.f. 1-1-1989; I took voluntary retirement from CWC on 31-3-1994;
I had approached CWC management to accept my option to switch over from CDA pattern pay scales to IDA pattern pay Scales w.e.f. 1-1-1989 and grant all arrears and consequential benefits therefrom.
When Hon’ble Supreme Court gave directives, can such facility of option be denied by the Department of Public Enterprises ARBITRARILY? When FCI extended such facility against a contempt of Court petition filed by FCI Officers, why DPE did not issue a circular extending similar benefits to the Officers of other CPSUs arbitrarily? The funny part is that both the CPSUs are under the Ministry of Food and Public Distribution. Please clarify the position.
Question from: Andhra Pradesh
The Hon’ble Supreme Court has directed Central Public Sector Units by its judgment/order dated 03-05-1990 to provide its employee an option to choose Industrial Dearness Allowance (IDA) instead of Central Dearness Allowance (CDA).
As per the question, the said judgment/order dated 03-05-1990 is still in force. It is still valid and enforceable. However, the employees of Food Corporation of India have implemented the said judgment by filing a contempt petition. Moreover, the employees of CWC refrained themselves from filing any contempt petition.
But it did not change any factual position of the beneficiaries. They are still standing on the same footing as they are on the date of judgment. Be that as it may, the legal implication of the said judgment is the same as it was on the time of judgment.
It is good that you have opted the choice to get IDA based payscale in pursuance of the said judgment. It is another matter that you never received that benefits along with consequential benefits.
In the meantime, you have retired from the service. As per the judgment, you are the beneficiaries and accrued the right on 03-05-1990 to opt IDA based pay scale. Hence, your retirement does not change the intrinsic position of beneficiaries. Furthermore, you are still entitled to get IDA based pay scale.
If the FCI has implemented the order dated 03-05-1990 and other CPSUs have never challenged the validity of that judgment/order, then CPSUs are bound to implement the decision rendered by the Supreme Court in the letter and spirit.
The limitation period for contempt of court has elapsed. Therefore, the contempt petition is not tenable. You may file a Writ Petition before the Supreme Court under Article 32 of the Constitution of India. You may seek a direction in the nature of mandamus from the Supreme Court, to direct the CWC to implement the said judgment.
When the CWC has never challenged the validity of the said judgment, then it’ll have no ground in defence for stalling the benefits of judgment from such a long period. You are entitled to avail a fundamental right, i.e. right to equality enshrined in Article 14 of the Constitution of India. If the same benefits have been granted to the employees of FCI, then as per Article 14, you are also entitled to receive it.
If the judgment dated 03-05-1990 was equally applicable to the employees of CPSUs, then CWC cannot make arbitrary classification and debar its employee from receiving that benefits. You may contact a good lawyer of Supreme Court and file a writ petition as soon as possible because time is running very fast in your case.