Monday, August 27, 2007


No. GDS/CHQ/40/1/2006 Dated: 22-08-07

The Hon'ble Speaker,
Lok Sabha,
New Delhi.

Respected Sir,

We venture to draw your benign attention and through you the kind attention of the parliament, the highest temple of democracy, towards the plight of the Gramin Dak Sevaks of the Department of posts, by way of this memorandum. These Gramin Dak Sevaks who were earlier known as E.D.Agents are responsible for providing and maintaining the postal services to Rural India, more than two thirds of the total population. But these employees have been subjected to serious neglect and exploitation. The Government of India have not only kept these employees out of the purview of the sixth pay commission, but have also refused to appoint a separate Pay Commission for them under a retired judge of a High Court. The plea of the Government that the Gramin Dak Sevaks or the E.D.Agents, as they were previously known, are not government employees does not hold any water in view of the judgement of the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India in Gokulnanda Das’s case delivered on 22.04.77. The Hon’ble Supreme Court of India has declared that the E.D.Agents are holders of civil post under the union of India which means that they are Government employees.

Since last several decades Government have been confusing the issue of legal status of GDS as Government servants and taking ambiguous stand on their service conditions. Out of 1, 55,000 Post offices in the country, 1, 25,000 post offices are run by GDS. After sustained agitation, a Committee headed by justice Talwar was constituted by the Government in 1997. The committee came to the conclusion that GDS are Central Government employees and recommended accordingly.

The GDS have always been counted and treated as part and parcel of total work force of the Department of posts. According to Justice Talwar Committee their earlier designation of “Extra Departmental Agent” does not imply that they are a category distinct from departmental employees. The GDS are doing same work which the departmental employees are doing. In fact they are doing it in Rural India and therefore facing much greater hazards than others. The Talwar Committee also observed that the word "Extra" does not mean that they are not departmental employees. The most important recommendation which Justice Talwar Committee made was that in future these employees should be included within the purview of the Pay Commissions, keeping in view their number, their work profile, effectiveness to the postal system and the services rendered to the public.

The staff side of the National council (JCM) also demanded the inclusion of the GDS in the terms of reference of the Sixth Pay Commission which was not agreed to. These employees were therefore left with no option but to organise strike. When they decided to go on strike in April 2007, the Postal authorities held out an assurance that their claims would be referred to Sixth Pay Commission with the approval of the Government. This was eventually denied. Finally, the Government have appointed a committee headed by a retired bureaucrat known for his anti GDS bias. Nothing could be more contemptuous.

At the time of Fifth CPC, the GDS were given a separate committee which was headed by a retired Judge of Delhi High Court. There is, therefore, strong resentment against appointment of the GDS Committee under a retired bureaucrat. We demand that at least a separate committee headed by a Judge of a High Court as was done on last occasion. If a judge is appointed as head of the committee, he will take an unbiased and impartial view unlike a bureaucrat who will be influenced by the Government by his own anti GDS bias held all along during his service.

Our humble demand is that if the service conditions of the GDS have not been included in the terms of reference, a one man committee under a retired High Court Judge be appointed. This will be a great step towards justice to the Gramin Dak Sevaks and will ensure more congenial and tranquil atmosphere and satisfaction to the Gramin Dak Sevaks.

We, therefore, most respectfully solicit your kind intervention and advice to Government to accept our genuine demand.

With profound regards,
Yours faithfully,

(S.S. Mahadevaiah)
General Secretary.