09 Sep 2121

The legal entitlement of the post of Assistant Fire Officer is not equivalent to the post of Assistant Station Officer - Bombay High Court

Case : Roshan P. Baste and Ors. v. Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai and Ors. Writ Petition No. 248 of 2016

Court : Bombay High Court

Bench : Justice Smt. Sadhana S. Jadhav and Justice Sarang V. Kotwal

Decided on : 09 Sep 2121

Relevant Statutes

Articles 14,16,19, 21 and 226 of the Indian Constitution

The Maharashtra Fire Prevention and Life Safety Measures Act, 2006

Brief Facts and Procedural History

1. The Petitioners are in the employment of the Respondent No.1 Municipal Corporation of Greater Bombay as Assistant Station Officers in the Fire Brigade Department.

2. The disputed fact is that there is a disparity in the salary drawn by the petitioners as against the Assistant (Fire) Officers working in the other district in the State of Maharashtra.

3. The Petitioners are aggrieved by the fact they are drawing the Grade pay in Pay Band I to the tune of Rs.2800/- since 2009 (with effect from 2006) although they are entitled to payment in Pay Band II with payment of 9300-34800 and the Grade Pay of Rs. 4300/-.

4. The Petitioners came to the Honourable High Court of Bombay for placing them in Pay Band II; Grade Pay 4,300/- with effect from 2006 with all consequential benefits.

The Issues of the Case

Whether the criteria, qualification for recruitment to that particular post is necessary?

Whether the nature of duties and responsibilities assigned to the said post is Valid?

The Observations of the Court

1. The Honourable High Court of Bombay observes that the post of Assistant Station Officers is provided in the Municipal Corporation of Mumbai, Nagpur, Navi Mumbai and Mira Bhainder. There are Municipal Corporations where instead of Assistant Station Officer, there is a post of “Assistant Fire Officer” i.e., Akola, Nanded, Jalgaon, Dhule, etc.

2. The Honourable High Court of Bombay has also observed that the notification dated 21st August 2018 issued by the Industry, Energy and Labour Department has mentioned the post of Assistant Station Officer. It is pertinent to note that in the said notification, the salary prescribed for the post of Assistant Station Officer is 9,300/-34,800/- and Grade Pay 4,300/-. 

3. The Honourable High Court of Bombay observed that there is no post of Assistant Station Officer in the State Government that deserves to be rejected. The Grade Pay and payment for the Assistant Station Officer in the adjoining Municipal Corporation of Mira Bhayender and New Mumbai Municipal Corporation is 9,300-34,800 with Grade Pay of 4,300/-.

4. The Honourable High Court of Bombay observed that the petitioners are entitled to exercise their fundamental right under Article 14 of the Indian Constitution and seek the Grade Pay in Pay Band II with the payment of 9,300-34,800 with Grade Pay of Rs.4,300/- and denial of the same amounts to a violation of Article 14 of the Constitution of India. Hence, the petition deserves to be succeeded.

The Decision Held by the Court

1. The Honourable High Court of Bombay directs the respondents to place the petitioners in Pay Band II with Grade Pay 4,300/- with effect from 2006 with all consequential benefits of fitment, increments, etc.

2. The Writ Petition is disposed of.

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