Sunday, January 10, 2010

MAT bench upholds salary hike for APPs

AURANGABAD: About 350 assistant public prosecutors (APPs) in the state, selected through the Maharashtra Public Service Commission (MPSC), have got a financial boost after the Maharashtra Administrative Tribunal (MAT) bench at Aurangabad upheld their claim for a reasonable hike in pay. On Thursday, the MAT directed the government that the APPs be placed in the scale of Rs 8,000-13,500, with effect from January 1, 1996, in accordance with the Fifth Pay Commission recommendation. With this judgement, the APPs are set to receive consequential benefits of both the Fifth and the Sixth Pay Commission recommendations. According to Avinash S Deshmukh, the lawyer for the APPs, following the implementation of the Fifth Pay Commission recommendations in 1998 (that came into effect from January 1, 1996), the APPs had approached the MAT (in 1999) seeking directives to the government for treating them on par with other equal ranking officials working in departments like animal husbandry, accounts and treasury and directorate of education, who were being in a pay scale of Rs 8,000-13,500. Then, the APPs were placed in the pay scale of Rs 7,450 to 11,500. The tribunal had then directed the government to consider their demand and, subsequently, the government appointed the Lagwankar Committee to look into the issue. The APPs were asked to submit their grievances before the committee. "The APPs pointed out to the committee that the recommendation of Sukhtankar Committee has recommended a grant of Rs 8,000 to Rs 13,500 scale to such posts which required minimum qualification of graduation and were being filled through the MPSC. The APPs were double graduates and had also been selected through the MPSC. But, the Lagwankar Committee chose to reject the APPs' demand and the state government took the same stand," Deshmukh said on Friday. The APPs again approached the MAT by filing a second application in 2002. During the course of hearing, MAT member S B Dhatrak told the principal secretary (home) to file an affidavit to clarify the government's stand. Following subsequent arguments, Dhatrak upheld the contention of APPs' lawyer, Deshmukh, and said, "Pay scale of the post of APP filled through the MPSC is re-fixed as revised pay scale from January 1, 1996, as Rs 8,000-13,500 with consequential financial benefits. The respondents, i.e. the government, secretary (finance) and secretary (home), have also been directed to issue necessary orders within two months from the communication of this order to them and should pay arrears, if any, within two months thereafter to all the beneficiaries". Avinash Deshmukh was assisted by lawyer Preeti Wankhede.
bY Syed Rizwanullah, TNN, 9 January 2010, 12:04am IST

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