-Report by Saloni Agarwal

The Supreme Court in Union of India vs Indian Navy Civilian Design Officers Association and Anr., decided the rights and rules of the judiciary in interfering with the functioning of the executive and decided the parameter for the same.


The appellant challenged the decision of the tribunal court regarding the pay scale of Junior Design Officers (JDOs). The respondent had filed before the tribunal court regarding the pay scale of JDOs to be equal to that of Civilian Technical Officers (CTOs) i.e. Rs 7500-12000. The pay scale was fixed by the Fifth Pay Commission. But the plea to equate the pay from Rs 7450-11500 to that of CTOs was rejected by the Finance Minister. The respondent filed another case before the tribunal and the tribunal was directed to grant the pay scale equal to that of CTOs. The appellant was aggrieved by this filled before the High Court and the decision of the tribunal was dismissed by it. The question which arises is the tribunal and High Court are justified in deciding the pay scale and post of the JDOs and CTOs.

Appellant’s Contention:

The plaintiff claimed that the JDOs and CTOs are governed by different sets of Rules and the release period is also longer in the case of CTOs. The UOI also said that the duties and responsibilities of the CTOs are more complex than the JDOs. The post of CTOs exists in different fields and the Pay Scale was fixed based on a recommendation given by Fifth Pay Commission and the Tribunal and High Courts had committed errors by upgrading it. The pay scale was fixed according to the working and requirements of the JDOs.

Respondent’s Contention:

The respondent claimed that the Commission ignored that from the very start, the pay scale of JDOs and CTOs is the same. The responsibilities and duties of both are somewhat similar. Till the Fourth Commission, the pay scale was the same for both. All the essential qualifications and rules followed were more or less equal. Equal Pay for Equal Work should be given.


The court said the Tribunal and High Court has committed gross error in interfering with the post and pay scale and upgrading the same. The decision of the post lies with the executive and it requires an exclusive framework and careful observation. The judiciary cannot interfere ordinarily unless there is something unfair and injustice done in matters regarding finance. The court said the rules, responsibilities and duties performed by the CTOs were different from JDOs. The court quashed the decision of the Tribunal and High Court and the appeal stands true and the appellant was held correct.

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