HC directives in contempt regarding Pay-Anamoly


Katra, Oct 9: In a contempt petition filed seeking implenting of judgment in which Court while allowing the petition observed issue sought to be raised in this petition has since been decided by this Court in SWP No.529/92 on 7.4.1996. In the aforementioned case petitioners who were members of the judicial service sought benefit of SRO 75 of 1992. This was allowed. In the present case same benefit is being sought by the petitioners who are holding civil posts on the executive side. Precise argument which was sought to be raised by the State was taken note of in the aforementioned writ petition. Same was negative.
Justice MK Hanjura of J&K High Court Jammu Wing after hearing Sr. Adv DC Raina with Adv Rajneesh Oswal for the applicant directed State to that they have to be treated on the same pedestal and have to be accorded the same treatment as has been bestowed unto the petitioners in SWP No.529/1992 in the matter of the grant of the pay scales. This exercise shall be undertaken and concluded by the respondents within a period of six weeks from the date the copy of this order is served on them. The compliance report shall be submitted on or before the next date of listing before the Bench.
While giving direction, Justice MK Hanjura observed that before looking into the consequence, magnitude and the significance of the judgment cited above, it needs to be said in an apparent digression that the work of the Courts, from the apex to the lowermost, is primarily to administer law and dispense justice. We must, however, not forget that justice is above law and any law which is to be administered has to be administered on the basic principle of justice. Says Voltaire, "The sentiment of justice is so natural and so universally acquired by all mankind, that it seems to be independent of all law, all party, all religion". I will only add to this what Jeremy Taylor said, "No obligation to justice does coerce a man to be cruel, or to use the sharpest sentence. A just man does justice to everyman and to everything; and he also knows that there is a debt of mercy and compassion that has to be paid. The case started on its odyssey some when in the year 1992 and winded its tortuous course by now for almost 25 years. In this journey, some of the interveners have entered in the eighth or ninth decades of their life tottering, or, rather doddering their way to register their claim in the Court and the pith and core of the judgment of the Division Bench, supra is that the case of the interveners cannot be treated as a sui generis case.
They have to be equated together and treated on par with the other similarly situated Superintending Engineers in the matter of the application of the SRO 75 of 1992 dated 30.03.1992 regulating the salary of this class of officers. They constitute a unique and a peculiar class of their own. The SRO detailed above will apply to the entire cadre of Superintending Engineers that includes the interveners as well who are similarly circumstanced with this class of officers and to whom alone the benefit of the SRO stated above has been accorded. The judgment of the Division Bench is lucid and clear. It states in unambiguous terms that failure on the part of the appellants (interveners) to get impleaded as co-petitioners /party respondents in SWP No.1608/1992 would be of no consequence.
It proceeds to state that once the pay scales are revised, the benefit is to flow to all the members of the cadre and it cannot be restricted to a few that are the petitioners before the Court. In the end, the Division Bench has concluded that the applicants are permitted to intervene in the Contempt (SWP) No.123/2013, meaning thereby that their grievance has to be redressed and that too in this contempt petition only. JNF

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