Andhra Pradesh

HC directs plea against PRC to be listed before appropriate Bench

A view of the Andhra Pradesh High Court building at Nelapadu village.

A view of the Andhra Pradesh High Court building at Nelapadu village.

A Division Bench (DB) of the High Court comprising Justices Ahsanuddin Amanullah and B.S. Bhanumathi directed the registry to list the petition filed by AP Gazetted Officers’ JAC chairman K.V. Krishnaiah, challenging the revised pay scales for government employees, before an appropriate Bench with due permission of the Chief Justice, by citing technical grounds.

Justice Amanullah said that the DB had no jurisdiction over the petition as it appeared to be a service matter owing to the personal nature of the grievance, and even if it was to be considered as a PIL, it was beyond their roster, while pointing out that it has nothing to do with the AP Reorganisation Act, 2014 (APRA) to which a reference was made by the aggrieved employee.

During the course of the arguments, Principal Secretary (HR & General Administration) Shashi Bhushan Kumar and Mr. Krishnaiah deposed before the court in virtual mode upon being summoned to present the respective views. Leaders of the government employees’ steering committee were also asked to make their points clear virtually but they did not turn up due to paucity of time due to their scheduled appointment with the Chief Secretary.

Appearing for the State, Advocate-General S. Sriram argued that the government took many things into consideration while fixing the pay scales and the amounts drawn on different heads of pay such as HRA, CCA etc. cannot be made the basis for figuring out how a gross package had been worked out.

He stated that the method of fixation of pay scales was elucidated in the impugned G.O.s and enhancement of the retirement age, increasing the gratuity to pensioners and 20% rebate in the plots ought to be seen as a part of the holistic view taken by the government.

Strike is prohibited under No.4 of AP Civil Services Conduct Rules and ‘government employee’ is a status and not a contract. Therefore, the government servants do not have the option of keeping the sword of strike hanging over the government’s head that too in COVID-19 times, Mr. Sriram said, adding that in spite of a drastic fall in the State earnings due to the pandemic, the government tried its best to make it a win-win situation for the employees based on parity with the Central government’s 7th Pay Revision Commission (PRC).

The petitioner’s counsel P. Ravi Teja said the government did not follow a transparent process of formulating the PRC and the report was not furnished to the employees. Besides, he alleged that the PRC finalisation was affecting the service conditions of employees who moved from Telangana, which was in contravention of Section 78 of APRA.


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Printable version | May 20, 2022 1:59:44 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/hc-directs-plea-against-prc-to-be-listed-before-appropriate-bench/article38321021.ece