Thursday, January 17, 2008

President salary raise dims babu’s hopes !

For those bureaucrats who score a Perfect Ten on integrity index, government’s decision to fix the President’s salary at Rs. 1 lakh a month will come as a rude jolt. This is because babus who don’t depend on a “upri (extras)” to supplement their incomes, the presidential salary could be a bar for their pay hikes in the 6th Pay Commission.
The salary of the cabinet Secretary, India’s highest paid officer can surely not cross Rs. 1 lakh. This is because of the convention that since government officers service on presidential pleasure; their salary cannot exceed that of the occupant of Rashtrapati Bhawan. So the cabinet secretary who now draws a gross of Rs.65, 000 can only expect a modest raise. The top bureaucrat’s present basis is Rs.30, 000. Add to it, 50% merged dearness pay, 31% additional DA, Rs.300 city compensatory allowance, and the total comes to a little under Rs.65, 000.Theoretically, the cabinet secretary’s maximum possible revised salary can now be Rs.99, 999 but that’s the limit. To begin with, there would no DA. “that’s only a manner of saying it. If we consider a hefty 40% hike, the highest basic would be around Rs.90, 000. But 40% sounds heavenly, “said a customs officer who has served in finance ministry. “A 30% hike would peg the highest around Rs. 85, 000,” he added. A totally new regime of perks and allowances is, however, not ruled out. Speculation has run wild on the pay panel recommending a dream hike for officers and employees, considering how corporate salaries have shot up. Some guesstimates put the maximum beyond Rs.1 lakh
A fresh IAS recruit draws am average Rs...17,000) gross) now. A 30% increase would take his monthly salary to Ts.22, 000, while a 40% hike would peg it around Rs.24, 000. Going by tradition, the scale for officers from other services would be less and the employees’ compensation even lower. “Money is crucial but a comparison with the corporate sector is unfair as the government is not a profit making firm. A more realistic comparison would be with the country’s per capita income as officials serve the people. We should keep in mind the government’s fiscal position,” the officer said.
A pay panel source admitted the President’s salary revision has roughly fixed the “benchmark” for “what is in store”.
(Source: The Times of India dt. 15.1.08)

See how bureaucracy violates Rules !

Only Disciplinary Authority is competent to dispose of the bias petition.
CAT, Hyderabad
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IN THE CENTRAL ADMINISTRATIVE TRIBUNAL; HYDERABD BENCH
HYDERABAD
O.A. No. 60 of 2007
Date of Order: 12.03.2007

Between:
G. Jumlal, s/o Narsimha
Presently working as Postal Assistant,
Trimulgherry Head Post Office under
Secunderabad Postal Division, Secunderabad Applicant
And
The Director General (Posts), (rep. UOI)
M/O Communications, Dept. of Posts,
New Delhi 110001.
2. The Principal Chief Postmaster General,
A.P. Circle, Hyderabad 500 001
3. The Director of Postal Services,
Hyderabad City Division, Hyderabad 500 001
4. The Sr.Superintendent of Post Offices,
Secunderabad Division, Hyderabad
5. Sri. T.V.V.Satyanarayana (Inquiry Officer)
Working as Office Superintendent, O/o Sr.
Superintendent of Post Offices, SecunderabadDivision, Hyderabad Respondents
Counsel for the Applicant Mr. S. Ramakrishna Rao
Counsel for the Respondents Mr. K. Siva Reddy
CORAM
The Hon’ble Mr. Justice P.Lakshmana Reddy Vice Chairman

The Hon’ble Mr. M. Jayaraman Member (Admn.)
ORAL ORDER
(As per Hon’ble Mr.Justice P.Lakshmana Reddy, Vice Chairman)

Heard learned Counsel Mr.S.Ramakrishna for the Applicant as well as learned Standing Counsel Mr. K. Siva Reddy for the Respondents.
2. The grievance of the applicant is that though he filed an application before the disciplinary authority to change the inquiry officer on the ground of bias, the disciplinary authority did not pass any orders and instead forwarded the same to the higher authorities, who disposed of the same rejecting the application.
3. The learned Counsel for Applicant contended that the applicant is denied the opportunity of preferring an appeal against the orders of disciplinary authority and that it is the disciplinary authority, who is competent to pass orders on the bias petition and not the reviewing authority. On the other-hand, the learned Standing Counsel for the Respondents submitted that the reviewing authority is the appellate authority competent to dispose of the bias petition and that, in this case, the reviewing authority dismissed the application filed by the applicant, and, therefore, the said orders are valid.
4. The question of orders to be passed by the reviewing authority arises only when an appeal is filed against the original orders passed by the disciplinary authority. As, admittedly, the applicant filed bias application before the disciplinary authority to change the inquiry officer, it is for the disciplinary authority, who has to decide the said application. In case, such an application is not favorably disposed of, the applicant shall have an opportunity to challenge the rejection order before the appellate authority. In that context, it is clarified that the reviewing authority is the appellate authority. But merely because, in the instant case, the reviewing authority straightaway is the authority, who rejected the bias petition, it cannot be said that the applicant is not prejudiced. As, admittedly, the disciplinary authority did not pass any orders on the bias application, the applicant lost an opportunity of preferring an appeal against the orders of disciplinary authority. The disciplinary authority, who appointed the inquiry officer, is the competent authority to dispose of the application filed for change of inquiry officer and not the appellate authority. The disciplinary authority has to exercise his mind to the apprehensions expressed by the delinquent official and pass necessary orders. Thereupon, if the applicant is aggrieved, he shall have an opportunity to file appeal or review before the reviewing authority or the appellate authority. The original authority did not at all apply its mind to the grounds mentioned in the bias application. The appellate authority or the review authority cannot decide the matter as an original authority and thereby deprive the chance of appeal to the applicant. Therefore, we are of the considered view that the disciplinary authority erred in forwarding the bias application to the higher authorities without passing orders on merits in the application. Hence, the said orders are liable to be set aside and the disciplinary authority is to be directed to dispose of the application filed by the delinquent official for change of inquiry officer on merits.
Till then, the inquiry shall be stayed. It is made clear that we have not expressed any opinion regarding the necessity to change the inquiry officer and it is for the disciplinary authority to look into the facts of the case with open mind and decide whether it is a fit case to change the inquiry officer or not. The disciplinary authority is directed to pass necessary orders on the bias application without being prejudiced by the opinion expressed by the reviewing authority or the appellate authority within one month from the date of receipt of the said order.

5. In the result, the application is allowed. The orders passed by the appellate/reviewing authority are set aside and the disciplinary authority is directed to dispose of the application filed by the applicant for change of the inquiry officer independently without being prejudiced by any of the observations made in the impugned order dated 19.12.2006 within one month from the date of receipt of a copy of this order. The inquiry shall be stayed pending disposal of the bias application filed by the applicant before the disciplinary authority. There shall, however, be no Order as to cost.