SUPREME COURT: PAY HIKE BENEFITS NOT APPLICABLE DURING SUSPENSION PERIOD

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The Supreme Court has held that an employee cannot claim the benefits of pay hike if the scales were revised by the government during the period of suspension.

A bench comprising Justices R V Raveendran and K S Radhakrishnan, while allowing the appeal of the Centre noted, ‘The benefits of pay revision and the consequent revision of subsistence allowance stand postponed till the conclusion of the departmental proceedings, if the pay revision has come into effect while the government servant is under suspension.’ R K Chopra was a desk officer in the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion under the Ministry of Commerce and Industries and a case of corruption was registered against him by the CBI and he was suspended on June 5, 1989.

Subsequently, he was dismissed from service on August 4, 2005.

He claimed the benefits of the fifth pay commission pay scales which came into force with effect from January 1, 1996.

He was dismissed from service after his conviction under the prevention of corruption case by a trial court.

Justice Radhakrishnan writing 20-page judgement for the bench noted, ‘It is clear that if the revision of pay takes effect from a date prior to the date of suspension of a government servant then he would be entitled to the benefit of increment in pay and in the subsistence allowance for the period of suspension, but if the revised scale of pay takes effect from a date falling within the period of suspension then the benefit of revision of pay and the subsistence allowances will accrue to him only after reinstatement depending on the fact whether the period of suspension is treated as duty or not.’ The apex court also directed that the disciplinary authority in this case would take appropriate decision on the respondents claim for revised pay scale and the subsistence allowance in accordance with law subject to the outcome of his appeal against his conviction.

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