×Latest Case Laws on Income Tax by various High Courts of India
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05-11-2019, RAMESH DANG, Section 1(ii), HIGH COURT OF DELHI
1. The Directorate of Income Tax (Organisation & Management Services) [DIT (O&MS)], its Director General, its Director, the Secretaries to the Ministry of Finance, Department of Revenue and the Department of Personnel, Ministry of Personnel Grievances, Training and Pension, have filed this petition against an order dated 15th January, 2014 passed by the Principal Bench of the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) allowing OA No.2906/2011 filed by the six Respondents, who were all Technical Assistants in the DIT (O & MS) and directing the Petitioners to grant them the pay scale of Rs.6500-10500/- on par with Inspectors of Income Tax, with effect from 21st April, 2004 and also grant them grade pay of Rs.4600/- in the scale of Rs.9300-34800/- (PB-II) with effect from 1 st January, 2008. The arrears were restricted with effect from 1 st January, 2006.
2. On 21st August, 2005 the following order was passed by this Court: “Learned counsel for the petitioner submits that the respondents (Technical Assistants) were drawing higher salary than the Inspectors of Income Tax and Assistants of the Central Secretariat Service in the year 1972. Counsel further submits that this by itself could not have been one of the grounds to grant pay parity to the respondents for the period 2004 to 2006 onwards. It is further contended that the salaries of the Inspectors of Income Tax were upgraded in the year 2004 and salaries of Assistants of the Central Secretariat Service were upgraded in the year 2006 after detailed assessment and on account of their nature of duties and the degree of responsibility. It is contended that the respondents could not have been granted this benefit for the period 2004 to 2006 as their duties and responsibilities were not identical. Issue notice to the respondents to show cause as to why Rule nisi be not issued, returnable on 20.10.2015. Notice in the stay application as well for the date fixed.
We are also informed that a contempt petition has also been filed before the Tribunal. Till the next date of hearing, operation of the impugned order dated 15.1.2014 passed by Central Administrative Tribunal and further proceedings arising from the contempt proceedings shall remain stayed. DASTI to the petitioners.”
3. Subsequently, on 26th February, 2018 the Court was informed that the contempt petition filed by the Respondents had been disposed of by the CAT in view of the above interim order. The application for interim relief was accordingly disposed of.
4. The background facts are that the Respondents are working as Technical Assistants in the DIT (O & MS). Prior to 1st January, 1972 i.e. before the recommendations of the 3 rd Central Pay Commission (CPC) became effective, the pay scale of the Respondents was Rs.325-575, whereas that of the Inspectors of Income Tax and Assistants of Central Secretariat Services (CSS) was Rs.210-485. After the 3rd CPC recommendations were implemented, the pay scale of Respondents was revised to Rs.550-900 and that of the Inspectors of Income Tax to Rs.425-800.
5. In terms of the recommendations of the 4th CPC, which was given effect to from 1st January 1986, the pay scales of both the Respondents as well as Inspectors of Income Tax were brought on par at Rs.1640-2900. This parity was maintained even in the 5th CPC and the pay scales were revised for both with effect from 1 st January, 1996 to Rs.5500-9000. Even for Assistants of the CSS it was Rs.5500-9000.
6. On 21st April, 2004 the pay scale of the Inspectors was upgraded to Rs.6500-10500. This was the pay scale given to the Assistants of the CSS from 25th September, 2006. However, as far as the Respondents i.e. Technical Assistants were concerned, it continued to remain at Rs.5500- 9000.
7. It has been explained by the Petitioners that the above upgradation of the pay scale of Inspectors of Income Tax to Rs.6500-10500 came about on the recommendation of a High Power Committee to which the issue of revision of pay scale of Inspectors and Officers of the Department of Revenue to be brought on par with Inspectors and Superintendents of Customs and Central Excise was referred. The above change with effect from 21st April, 2004 in the pay scale of Inspectors brought them on par with officers of the CBI and the IB.
8. It has been pointed out by the Petitioners that one reason for the upward revision of the pay scales of Inspectors was that there was an element of direct recruitment to that post through an All India Competitive Examination. However, the mode of recruitment to the post of Technical Assistants as per the applicable Recruitment Rules (RRs) was by promotion, failing which by transfer on deputation. Also, the field of selection on deputation was not limited to Assistants of CSS and Inspectors of Income Tax but also to Head Clerks and UDCs in the lower cadre.
9. A representation was made by the Respondents in October, 2006 for removal of the disparity in the pay scales when compared to the Inspectors of Income Tax. This representation was forwarded to the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) for its consideration. However, by this time i.e. November, 2006, the 6th CPC already stood constituted. Consequently, by a communication dated 27th November, 2006, the CBDT informed the Respondents that since the 6th CPC already stood constituted, they should submit their memorandum directly to the CPC. However, it appears that the Respondents did not do so.