Tuesday, December 8, 2015
A detailed letter has been submitted by PJCA today to the Department of Posts on the following subject, in which GDS issue has also been submitted.
Sub: - Process to examine the recommendations made in the report of 7th CPC report – Modifications sought for –
Ref: - Your No. 7-1/2015-PCC dated 26.11.2015.
The relevant para graph is reproduced here :
19. Gramin Dak Sevaks (GDS)
Eventhough the Government repeatedly refused to include the Gramin Dak Sevaks under the purview of 7th CPC, the 7th CPC suo-moto reviewed the case of Gramin Dak Sevaks (GDS) and made the following most damaging and retrograde recommendations regarding Gramin Dak Sevaks.
Para 11.8.50 - Government of India has so far held that the GDS is outside the civil services of the Union and shall not claim to be at par with the Central Government employees. The Supreme Court Judgment also states that GDS are only holders of civil posts but not civilian employees. The Commission endorses this view and therefore has no recommnedations with regard to GDS.
We strongly disagree with the above observations of the 7th CPC. In Chapter XXXVIII of our memorandum submitted to 7th CPC, we have explained all the legal points regarding grant of Civil Servant status to GDS.
We furnish below, the observation made in the fourth CPC Report by Hon’ble Justice (Retd.) Supreme Court, Shri. P. N. Singhal, who was the Chairman of the fourth Central Pay Commission, regarding the status of GDS:
“A letter was received from the Ministry of Communications (P&T Board) for exclusion of the Extra Departmental Employees (Now called GDS), numbering about three lakhs, from the purview of our inquiry. It was stated that the system of Extra-Departmental Agents was peculiar to the P&T organsation and was designed to extend postal facilities in rural and backward areas where opening of regular departmental post offices was not justified due to inadequate workload. The remuneration and conditions of service of Extra Departmental Agents were also different from those of regular employees. The third pay commission accepted the view that the Extra-Departmental agents were not holders of civil posts and decided to exclude them from its purview. The matter is, however, beyond controversy after the decision of the Supreme Court in Gokulnandas’ case where it has been declared that the Extra Departmental Agents is not a casual workers, but “holds” a post under the administrative control of the state” and that while such a post is outside the regular civil services, there is no doubt that it a post under the “state”. In view of this pronouncement, we are unable to accept the contention that Extra- Departmental employees were outside the purview of the terms of our commission” From the above observation it is clear that fourth CPC was in conclusion that the ED Agents (now GDS) are Civil Servants and therefore they are to be brought under the purview of Pay Commission.
Now the recommendations made by Justice Ashok Kumar Mathur, Chairman 7th CPC, who is also a Retired Justice of the Supreme Court is quite contradictory to the observation made by Justice (Retd) Supreme Court Shri P. N. Singhal, chairman, Fourth CPC.
Further Justice Charanjit Talwar Committee headed by Retired Justice Shri Charanjit Talwar of Delhi High Court, who was the Chairman of the One-man Committee which examined the wages and Service Conditions of Gramin Dak Sevaks (then EDAs) has made the following recommendations in its report submitted to Government.
“Extra Departmental Agents have to be included within the overall class of Civil Servants being holders of civil posts. They can be grouped as “additional” to the departmental employees, but they cannot be classified as a class apart from the Civil Servants. At any rate they cannot be classified with the sole object of not granting them benefits which accrue to departmental employee………………………………. The plea taken by the Department before the second and third Pay Commissions and also before various learned Tribunals that ED Agents are a class apart is entirely misconceived. It is violative of Article 14 and 16 of the constitution…………. They have been held by the Supreme Court to be Civil Servants. Therefore, these employees are required in future to be included within the purview of the Pay Commission…………. It is therefore recommended that whenever it is required to review the service conditions and wage structure of the employees of the Department of Posts, ED Agents be bracketed along with the departmental employees. There is no need to set up a separate committee or commission for ED Agents.”
Here again the recommendations made by Chairman 7th CPC is contradictory to the recommendations of another Judge Shri. Charanjit Talwar.
Thus it can be safely concluded that the 7th CPC has not examined the case of GDS in a fair and judicial manner, but simply repeated the often – repeated arguments of the Postal Board and Government of India to deny Justice to the three lakhs Gramin Dak Sevaks.
We urge upon the Government of India and Department of Post to reject the retrograde recommendations of the 7th CPC relating to GDS and treat the GDS as Civil Servants and extend all the benefits of the departmental employees on pro-rata basis to Gramin Dak Sevaks also.