CHENNAI:Madras High Court has directed the Tamil Nadu government to extend benefits of a Government Order dated March 22, 1993, to secondary grade teachers in government high schools and higher secondary schools, too.
The GO granted selection grade and special grade pay of a primary school headmaster to them (the appellants) on completion of 10 and 20 years of service with effect from June 1, 1988.
A Division Bench of Justices V Dhanapalan and Justice Pushpa Sathyanarayana gave the direction on Wednesday while allowing a batch of writ appeals from G Easwaran and 26 others, challenging the orders of a single Judge and consequently directed the government to extend benefits of the 1993 GO in the light of the July 14, 2009 orders of a Division Bench, confirmed by the Supreme Court on April 23, 2010 and accordingly award selection/special grade scale of pay with effect from June 1, 1988 and revise the pensionary benefits and pay the arrears.
The Bench, however, refused to pass any order with regard to payment of arrears, taking into consideration the position of the State exchequer. It left the issue open to the government to take a decision on the period of entitlement.
Accepting the arguments of senior advocate P Wilson, the Bench observed that when a policy has been taken by the government to extend certain benefits, the same has to be extended to the eligible persons as per the scheme. Such extension of benefits may be an automatic process by the government itself or at times in deserving cases the beneficiaries also may approach this Court and seek relief. Mere technical laches on the part of the appellants would not deprive them of the benefits they deserved as per the scheme, the Bench said.
The appellants claimed that they are entitled to selection grade and special grade pay as that of Primary School Headmasters as per the 1993 GO. In this regard, when they approached this Court, a single Judge, dismissed the writ petition. Hence, the present appeal.