30 November 2004
Supreme Court


Case number: W.P.(C) No.-000427-000427 / 1999
Diary number: 14165 / 1999



CASE NO.: Writ Petition (civil)  427 of 1999

PETITIONER: National Confederation of Officers’ Asson. of Central Public Sector Undertakings & Ors.

RESPONDENT: U.O.I. & Ors.          

DATE OF JUDGMENT: 30/11/2004

BENCH: Ashok Bhan & Dr. AR. Lakshmanan


Dr. AR. Lakshmanan, J.

The present writ petition under Article 32 of the Constitution of  India is concerning release of revised IDA pay scale in respect of the  British India Corporation ( a Government Undertaking) and its two  units situated at Cawnpore Woollen Mills, Kanpur and New Egerton  Woollen Mills, Dhariwal (Punjab).  The employees of the Cawnpore   Woollen Mills, Kanpur and New Egerton Woollen Mills, Dhariwal have  authorised the National Confederation of Officers’ Association of  the  Central Public Sector Undertaking to submit this petition on their  behalf in this Court and, therefore, the petitioners are jointly  submitting this petition. The brief controversy involved in this matter is that by order  dated 19.7.1995, the Central Government has denied the benefit of  revised IDA pay scale to those sick public sector undertakings which  are registered with the BIFR.  This Court  on dated 7.5.1999 in  S.L.P.(C) No. 16732/1997  ordered that the National Textile  Corporation and its subsidiaries be given benefits under O.M. dated  19.7.1995, at least from 1.1.1999.  The said order reads thus: "S.L.P.(C)No.16732 of 1997 & I.As. No.1-9 in  S.L.P.(C) No.16732 of 1997 We heard learned counsel for the parties.  In our  view till these matters are finally decided, interest of  justice requires that the officers/employees of the N.T.C.  and its subsidiaries whose cases have been cleared by  the Board for Industrial and Financial Reconstruction by  order dated 21/28th April, 1998 and which would cover  518 employees of the I.D.A. Pattern working in N.T.C.  and its subsidiaries should be given without prejudice to  the rights and contentions of all the contesting parties in  these proceedings, and purely on ad hoc basis benefits  under O.M. dated 19th July, 1995 at least from Ist  January, 1999.

All arrears on the basis of that O.M. will be worked  out and paid over to the aforesaid employees only w.e.f.  Ist January, 1999 and in future during the pendency of  these proceedings the monthly payments will also be  continued to be made on the enhanced rate till the final  disposal of these proceedings.

The aforesaid arrears shall be computed and paid  w.e.f. Ist January, 1999 within eight weeks from today.

It is made clear that the aforesaid order is passed  subject to the ultimate decision in these proceedings and



subject to the adjustment, if any, as directed by this Court  ultimately and all such employees shall have no objection  to such adjustment to be made from their future salaries  or other retrial benefits, if any.

For compliance of the aforesaid order, the Central  Government will make available necessary funds to the  N.T.C., if required.

The S.L.P. along with the other matters will stand  over to 17th August, 1999.  In the meantime, counter  affidavit and the rejoinder affidavit, if any, are to be filed  by the concerned parties are permitted to be filed."  

The above order was passed in the petition filed by the N.T.C.  (IDA) Employees Association. According to the petitioners,  the British India Corporation and  its two units referred to above are also sick undertakings and they are  also entitled to the release of revised IDA pay pattern in compliance  of the order dated 19.7.1995 and the benefits given by this Court in  order dated 7.5.1999 in S.L.P.(C) 16732/1997  should also be given  to the petitioners and the employees of Cawnpore Woollen Mills and  New Egerton Woollen Mills, Dhariwal and the employees of the  British India Corporation.  Thus petitioner Nos. 1 & 2 have submitted  this writ petition in representative capacity for looking after the  employees of the said units.  Mr. Sanjiv Sen, learned counsel appearing for the petitioners,  submitted that the revision of pay scales of IDA pattern to the  petitioners is a clear violation of Art. 14 of the Constitution of India as  the employees of other public sector undertakings including  employees of British India Corporation should have been given the  benefit of revised pay scales on IDA pattern, but the petitioners were  denied.  After the order dated 7.5.1999 passed by this Court in  S.L.P.(C) No. 16732 of 1997, the petitioners submitted a  representation through their President on 31.5.1999 which is  marked   as Annexure P-4 in this writ petition on which the Chairman of  British  India Corporation Ltd. (respondent No.3) Suggested by letter dated  2.6.1999 marked as Annexure P-5 in this writ petition, to the Central  government for granting the benefit of IDA pay pattern to the  employees of  British  India Corporation Ltd. (respondent No.3) also  but the Central Government has not accepted the  representation of  the petitioners and neither any reply has been given nor granted any  relief to the petitioners.  It is important to note that the Company was  nationalised for securing proper management and for development of  production, modernization of plant and machinery and to protect  thousands of employees for their employment.  The company is at  present  under the control of the Ministry of Textiles and is an  undertaking of the Central Government and that the Company is a  Government Company under the Companies Act.  Since in an  identical matter, this Court by order dated 7.5.1999 , passed in  S.L.P.(C) No.16732 of 1997 (NTC (IDA) Employees Association vs.  Union of India), granted the benefit of revised pay scale to the N.T.C.  and its subsidiaries, the petitioners are also claiming the same relief  for the employees of the British India Corporation and for its  employees working in the Cawnpore Woollen Mills and New Egerton  Woollen Mills, Dhariwal. It is pertinent to notice that in an identical matter when the  employees of NTC (IDA pattern) Employees’ Association, submitted a  writ petition before the  High Court of Bombay, registered as W.P.No.  43 of 1997, the High Court dismissed the petition observing that if the  directions issued by this Court have not been complied with, remedy  does not lie before the High Court.  Aggrieved by that order, the said  Association filed S.L.P.(C) No. 16732 of 1997 before this Court.         This Court by order dated 27.9.2002 passed  the following  order:



"Petition for Special Leave to appeal (Civil) No. 16732/1997  (From the judgment & order dated  24/06/1997 in WP 43/97  of the High Court of Bombay)

N.T.C. (IDA) Emp. Association     \005..Petitioner


U.O.I. & Ors.  With T.P.(C) No. 409/1997, T.P.(C) No.490/1997

Date : 27/09/2002   These petitions were called on for hearing                                today

CORAM :                Hon’ble Mr. Justice U.C. Banerjee                Hon’ble Mr. Justice B.N. Agrawal

       UPON hearing counsel the Court made the following

               O R D E R                

       Intervention application is  dismissed.

       We have been informed that BIFR has already formulated eight  schemes which stand approved by all concerned and agencies.  Let  the scheme as sanctioned by BIFR be implemented.  The special  leave petition and the transfer petitions stand disposed of  accordingly."                            

       The respective respondents filed their counter affidavits.   According to them, the Department of Public Enterprises has, vide its  order No. 2(50)/86-DPE(WC) dated 19.7.1995 denied the benefit of  revised IDA pay scales to those Public Sector Undertakings, which  are referred to BIFR.  It was submitted  that the British India  Corporation Limited and its two units is a sick public sector  undertaking and had been referred to BIFR and BIFR had issued  winding-up of these units vide its order dated 31.10.1994.  The  appeal preferred by the Company in AAIFR was also dismissed and  the AAIFR confirmed the order of winding-up of these units.  It was,  therefore, submitted that as per the Department of Public  Enterprises  order dated 19.7.1995, the petitioners are not entitled to the benefit of  revised pay scales w.e.f. 1.1.1992.         It was further argued that an  interim order dated 7.5.1999 in  S.L.P.(C) No. 16732 of 1997   was passed directing that the eight sick  subsidiary Corporation of National Textile Corporation Ltd. be given  the benefits under revised pay scales w.e.f. 1.1.1999, purely on ad  hoc basis, subject  to ultimate decision and adjustment, if any, as  directed by the Court ultimately and all such employees shall have no  objection to such adjustment to be made from their future salaries or  other retrial benefits and this decision of the Court was applicable to  only these eight subsidiary Corporations of NTC and not to British  India Corporation, especially because British India Corporation  was  ordered to be wound up and its case was pending before the High  Court of Allahabad for liquidation.  At present, the case of British India  Corporation has been remanded to BIFR for consideration of revival  package, which also does not include any revision of pay scales.   Hence, no revision of IDA  pay scales is possible or admissible.         We heard Mr. Sanjiv Sen, learned counsel appearing for the  petitioners and Mr. N.N. Goswami, learned senior counsel appearing  for the respondents.  At the time of hearing, our attention was drawn  to the order passed by the BIFR in Reconstruction Case No. 518/92  Re : British India Corporation Ltd. dated 18.6.2002.  It is seen from  the said order that the British India Corporation filed application with



BIFR on January 24,2001 along with revival proposal and Techno- Economic viability Plan of 1998.  BIFR at its hearing held on  13.6.2001 appointed IDBI as the operating agency under Section  17(3) of the Act and directed the Company to submit a revival  proposal within one month.  The revival proposal was submitted by  the BICL in July, 2001.  The proposal envisaging onetime settlement  of dues of institutions and SBI was discussed at a joint meeting of  involved agencies on January 4, 2002.  On 15.2.2002, IDBI (OA)  submitted its final report along with rehabilitation scheme conveying  consensus of all present in the joint meeting.  On the basis of the  aforesaid report received from the operating agency, a Draft Revival  Scheme of the Company was circulated to all concerned for getting  consent as required under Section 19(2) read with Section 19(1) of  the Sick Industrial Companies (Special Provisions) Act, 1985.  The  matter was adjourned for hearing objections/suggestions at the  subsequent hearing.         It is seen from the above proceedings that the Government of  India had given approval for the revival proposal.  After considering  the representation of all concerned and the suggestions made in the  Draft Revised Proposal, the BIFR approved the Scheme to be  circulated as sanctioned Scheme under Section 18 of the Act.  Now  that the revival proposal  has been approved by the BIFR, the  petitioners in the present writ petition, in our opinion,  would also be  entitled for the same benefits as given to the N.T.C. (IDA)  employees  Association in S.L.P.(C) No.16732 of 1997 dated 27.9.2002.           We, therefore, dispose of the writ petition by directing the  implementation of the Scheme as sanctioned Scheme by the BIFR in  so far as the petitioners are concerned.  We place on record the  statement made by the respondents in their counter affidavits and the  submission made by Mr. N.N. Goswami, learned senior counsel  appearing for the respondents, that the scheme sanctioned by BIFR  would be completed by March, 2005 and further talks regarding  fixation of pay would be held thereafter.   There shall be no order as  to costs.