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  • In the case of State of MP vs. RD Sharma the Hon’ble SC has held that ‘Equal Pay for Equal Work’ is not a fundamental right vested in any employee, but is certainly a constitutional goal which is to be achieved by the Government.
  • In the instant case, a writ petition was filed before the Delhi HC by the retired Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (PCCF). The Government of India had rejected his application seeking to revise his pension from Rs37,750 to Rs.40,000 as per the new rulers. This application was rejected by the Central Administrative Tribunal.
  • Aggrieved, he moved the HC, where his writ petition was allowed and it was held that he would be eligible for the grant of Rs.40,000 as pension at par with other officers.
  • An appeal was filed against this order by the State, the Apex Court thus noted that the HC had gravely misinterpreted the judgements of the Apex Court in State of Punjab vs Jagjit Singh and ors. (2017) SCC which did not apply to the case at hand.
  • The Apex Court observed that the equation of posts and the determination of pay scales was the primary function of the executive and not the judiciary, thus the Courts will not enter into the task of job evaluation which is left generally to bodies like the pay commissions.
  • The Court also observed that unless there occurs a grave error while fixing a pay scale for a given post, and that the Court’s interference was absolutely necessary to rectify the injustice done, the Courts would not interfere in such complex matters.
  • The Court also referred to the decision of the Apex Court in State of Haryana and anr. vs. Haryana Civil Secretariat Personal Staff Association (2002) SCC wherein it was held that equal pay for equal work is not a fundamental right vested in any employee, but is a constitutional goal to be achieved by the State.
  • Thus, keeping in mind the aforesaid contention, the SC observed that the Tribunal was right in rejecting the claim made by the appellant. Since there was no miscarriage of justice, and neither had the Tribunal made any grave error, the interference by the HC in the order made by the Tribunal was unnecessary and thus, the appeal was allowed.
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