Central Administrative Tribunal ERNAKULAM BENCH Original Application No.

759 of 2010 Tuesday, this the 15th day of May, 2012 CORAM: HON'BLE Mr. JUSTICE P.R. RAMAN, JUDICIAL MEMBER HON'BLE Mr. K. GEORGE JOSEPH, ADMINISTRATIVE MEMBER Sathyabhama T, Project Personal Secretary, P.M.O., GSLV Mk-III Project, V.S.S.C, Thiruvananthapuram - 695 022. - Applicant (By Advocate Mr. S. Ramesh Babu) Versus 1. Union of India represented by the Secretary, Department of Space, Antariksh Bhavan, New BEL Road, Bangalore - 560 094. 2. Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre Represented by Director, VSSC, I.S.R.O (P.O), Thiruvananthapuram - 695 022. - Respondents. (By Advocate Mr. Sunil Jacob Jose, SCGSC) This application having been heard on 04.04.2012, the Tribunal on 15.05.2012 delivered the following: ORDER By HON'BLE Mr. K. GEORGE JOSEPH, ADMINISTRATIVE MEMBER This O.A. has been filed by the applicant for a direction to the respondents to place her in the Grade Pay of Rs. 5400/- in Pay Band-3 with effect from 06.05.2010 with all consequential benefits. 2. The applicant is working as Project Personal Secretary in the ISRO, Department of Space. On completing regular service of 24 years, she was granted the 2nd financial upgradation to the Pay Band of Rs. 9300-34800 with Grade Pay of Rs. 4800/- with effect from 06.05.2006. She was promoted to the post of Project Personal Secretary with Grade Pay of Rs. 4800/- in the Pay Band of Rs. 9300-34800 with effect from 05.10.2009. On the basis of O.M. dated 24/26.12.2009, the applicant claims assignment of the Grade Pay of Rs. 5400/- in Pay Band-3 on completion of 4 years from the date of assigning the Grade Pay of Rs. 4800/-. 4. The respondents countered her claim as under. Since the applicant has not completed 4 years in the Grade Pay of Rs. 4800/- in the post of Project Personal Secretary, she is not eligible to get the Grade Pay of Rs. 5400/- as per the O.M. dated 24/26.12.2009. She completes 4 years of service in the post of Project Personal Secretary on 04.10.2013 only as she has been promoted as Project Personal Secretary on 05.10.2009. 5. Heard the learned counsel for the parties and perused the records. 6. For the sake of convenience, the O.M. dated 24/26.12.2009 (Annexure R-1) is reproduced as under:

No. E.29011/1/2008-V Government of India Department of Space Antarikah Bhavan, New BEL Road, Bangalore - 560 231. December 24/26, 2009. OFFICE MEMORANDUM Subject:- Revision of Pay Scales to the employees of DOS/ISRO - Assignment of Grade Pay of Rs. 5400/- in PB-3 in respect of certain categories of employees - reg. *** The undersigned is directed to refer to DOS OM of even number dated (i) September 12, 2008; (ii) September 28, 2008; and (iii) December 18, 2008 on the subject mentioned above. It was mentioned in the O.M (i) and (ii) referred to above that the assignment of Grade Pay of Rs. 5400/- in PB-3 to other categories of employees than Senior Personal Secretary in PR scale of Rs. 7500- 12000 would be examined and order issued separately. 2 The issue regarding assignment of Grade Pay of Rs. 5400/- has since been examined in detail in the Department. Taking all aspects into account, it has now been decided to assign the Grade Pay of Rs. 5400/in PB-3 to the following categories of employees, who were assigned with the Grade Pay of Rs. 4800/-, on completion of four years from the date of assigning the Grade Pay of Rs. 4800/- i.e., 01.01.2006:1. Personal Secretary 2 . Project Personal Secretary 3. Sr. Project Assistant 4. Asst. Catering Manager 5. Asst. Security Officer Accordingly, they shall be eligible for placement in PB-3 (Rs. 15600- 39100) with a Grade Pay of Rs. 5400/- on or after 1st January, 2010. However, there shall be no fixation benefits while placing them in PB- 3 with a Grade Pay of Rs. 5400/-. The procedure for granting the Grade Pay of Rs. 5400/- to the eligible employees will be subject to vigilance clearance and approval of the Competent Authority. 3. Centres/Units are requested to take necessary action in the matter. 4. This issues with the approval of Secretary, DOS,. 5. Hindi version is enclosed. Sd/(A.K. Somasekharan) Deputy Secretary To: The Director, VSS/SDSC-SHAR/ISAC/SAC/LPSC/NRSC/MCF/ ISTRAC/ ADRIN/IISU/DECU/LEOS .. This O.M. is to be read with the relevant extract of the revised pay structure in respect of Stenographic staff in the ISRO as contained in DOS O.M. No. E29011/1/08-V dated 12.09.2008 (Annexure A-4), which is extracted as under: PART-B INDIAN SPACE RESEARCH ORGANISATION ANNEXURE-3B-16 STENOGRAPHIC STAFF Sl. Present Scale Revised Pay Structure No. Designation Post/ Scale of Name Corresponding Pay Corresp Grade Pay of the Band onding Pay Grade

Band Pay 1 Jr. Stenographer/ S-7 4000-6000 PB-1 5200-20200 2400 Jr. Personal Assistant 2 Personal Assistant A/ PB-2 9300-34800 4200 Personal Assistant S-10 5500-9000 3 Personal Assistant C/ PB-2 (a) 9300-34800 4800 Personal Secretary/ (b) 15600-39100 (PB- 5400 Proj.Stenographic Asst./ S-12 6500-10500 Proj.Personal Secretary 3) on completion of 4 years. 4 Personal Asst. D/ 7500-12000 PB-2 (a) 9300-34800 4800 Sr. Personal Secretary S-14 (b) 1560039100 5400 (PB-3) on completion of 4 years. 7. There is nothing in Annexure R-1 or Annexure A-4 to suggest that the period of 4 years should be reckoned from the date of actual promotion for claiming the Grade Pay of Rs. 5400/- by the stenographic staff. Completion of 4 years from the date of assigning the Grade Pay of Rs. 4800/- makes a Personal Secretary / Project Personal Secretary and so on, eligible for the Grade Pay of Rs. 5400/-. It is not the completion of 4 years from the date of promotion as Personal Secretary / Project Personal Secretary, but completion of 4 years from the date of assigning the Grade Pay of Rs. 4800/-, that is a pre-condition for granting the Grade Pay of Rs. 5400/-. Any other interpretation is mischevious, far fetched and hyper technical and illegal. With the introduction of new pay structure with Pay Band plus Grade Pay, what determines the rank and status of an officer in the lower echelons of officialdom is not the designation but the Grade Pay. It is absurd to hold that the Grade Pay of Rs. 4800/- granted under the ACP Scheme is in any way inferior to the Grade Pay of Rs. 4800/- granted on promotion as Project Personal Secretary. On 06.05.2006, the applicant was granted the financial upgradation with Grade Pay of Rs. 4800/- as she was eligible to be promoted as Project Personal Secretary but could not be promoted for want of vacancy. The ACP Scheme granted her financial upgradation in Pay Band3 with Grade Pay of Rs. 4800/- of the Project Personal Secretary. The applicant being a Project Personal Secretary who has completed 4 years from the date of assigning the Grade Pay of Rs. 4800/- on 06.05.2006 is eligible to be granted the Grade Pay of Rs. 5400/- on 06.05.2010 in terms of Annexure R-1. 8. In view of the above, the O.A. is allowed. Annexure A-7 dated 25.06.2010 is quashed. The respondents are directed to place the applicant in the Grade Pay of Rs. 5400/- in PB-3 with effect from 06.05.2010 with all consequential benefits within a period of 60 days from the date of receipt of a copy of this order. No costs. (Dated, the 15th May, 2012) K. GEORGE JOSEPH JUSTICE P.R. RAMAN ADMINISTRATIVE MEMBER JUDICIAL MEMBER