The Gujarat High Court Monday issued a final ultimatum to the state government to comply by July 4 with a Supreme Court directive and recommendations of the Shetty Commission on revised pay scales for judicial officers and Class III and IV employees working in the judiciary.
A bench comprising Chief justice S.J. Mukhopadhaya and Justice J.B. Pardiwala pulled up the secretaries of the finance, legal and general administration department, who were present in the court. The judges were "not inclined" to entertain the state's proposal offering "special pay" in the name of pay revision.
The state government has issued a notification that mentions that the employees/officers will be paid special pay but there shall not be any revision in the grade with regards to the pay commission's recommendations. Upon this proposal, the bench came down heavily on them while asking them as to what "special pay" meant.
The judges said that the special pay would be in addition to the pay that one receives in addition to the job he/she does apart from their normal duties. The court said that the government cannot pay the additional entitled amount in name of special pay without giving effect to the pay grade.
The bench told the secretaries that if the government would not comply with the orders, then 'strict' orders would be passed on the next date of hearing. The court has also asked the government to issue a new notification and withdraw the present one.
The court on May 6 directed the government to constitute a cell to deal with matters relating to courts and judicial officers. Earlier also, the court had summoned the secretaries of various departments to remain present before it.
The court had noted that the central government had revised the pay scale of judicial officers of the state by a notification on June 26, 2009. However, the benefits of revised pay scale were not given to the officers posted at labour courts or industrial courts though it was provided to the members of Gujarat state judicial service.
The Supreme Court had also directed the state to raise pay scales and allowances of the judicial officers with effect from Jan 1, 2006. Arrears were ordered to be paid, 60 percent by cash spread over in two financial years and 40 percent by depositing in their PF account.