The court said any agitational path was not advisable for the government servants and hoped that better sense would prevail upon all the stakeholders. (DC)
Vijayawada: In an interim order, the Andhra Pradesh High Court has directed the state government not to recover any amount from the salary of any employee of the state government in the course of implementation of impugned GO-Ms1 for implementation of the revised scales of pay.
A division bench of Chief Justice Prashant Mishra and Justice Satyanarayana Murthy also ruled that it was no advisable for the employees to go on strike when the case is pending before the court.
The scales had been revised by the government as per the recommendations of the 11th Pay Revision Commission.
The division bench heard in virtual mode a petition challenging the GO, and issued the interim order on Tuesday.
Petitioner’s counsel Raviteja submitted to the court that the impugned GO issued on Jan. 17by the state government was in total violation of the principles of natural justice. The employees were not heard either by the PRC or by the committee of secretaries before the GO was issued.
He said the GO resulted in a reduction in emoluments including dearness allowance, house rent allowance and complete withdrawal of city compensatory allowance.
"The state government would make recoveries by invoking Clause 10 (of the impugned GO) as it mentioned that any pay fixation made contrary to the rules were liable for appropriate revision of the pay and the excess amount paid thereon shall be recovered from the salaries of the concerned DDOs/treasury officers without any notice.
However, advocate general Sriram informed the court that there was no recovery of salary from the employees. The pay slips along with the statement showed that there was no reducation in salary between December and January. Rather, there was a gross and net increase.
He said that the petitioner apprehended that due to downward revision of their HRA, the government would recover that amount from them. "All the aspects were so adjusted to ensure that there is no possibility of the salary drawn in January to be lower than that of December. All the 32 bands in the scale of pay indicated that all the categories of employees had a hike in the salary."
When the court pointed out that the petitioner’s pay slip showed a reduced amount of HRA in January against December, the AG submitted that it was because of a downward revision of HRA, but the total package had monetary benefits payable from April 1, 2020.
The court observed that when the matter was pending in the court, employees going for a strike was not advisable. It would put pressure on the court to grant relief referring to the Supreme Court observation that when the matter was pending in the court, there should not be any strike.
The court said any agitational path was not advisable for the government servants and hoped that better sense would prevail upon all the stakeholders.
The court directed the state government to file a counter affidavit within three weeks and posted the matter for next hearing on Feb. 23.