Friday, December 12, 2008


GDS/CHQ/41/1/2008 Dated: 10-12-2008

Ms. Radhika Doraiswamy,
Department of Posts,
New Delhi – 110007

Subject: - Negative and retrograde report of one men Gramin Dak Sevak Committee under Sri R.S. Nataraja Murti leading to Strike decision by this union.


Despite all our protests the Department constituted an one-man G.D.S. committee under Sri R.S. Nataraja Murti who retired recently as Member Postal Service Board. The said Sri Nataraja Murti has submitted the worst ever and most negative and retrograde report which has created so much resentment and frustration amongst the G.D.S. employees. We furnish below a sequence of our efforts to get justice before we served the strike notice:

i) We submitted our first hand view indicating the negativities and seeking necessary action to correct the same vide our letter of even no. dated 3.11.2008. Copy of the same is enclosed vide Annexure-I. Nothing was heard in this connection.
ii) In the mean time a Group of officers (GoO) was constituted by the Directorate vide letter no. 6-1/2008-PE II dated 7.11.2008 to examine implementation of the report. The letter and spirit of this letter explicitly indicated that the implementation of the report was emphasised. The Group of officers was asked to submit its report by the first week of December, 2008.
iii) Vide our letter of even no dated 14.11.2008 we requested your good self to ensure suitable amendment in the terms of reference of the constitution of the GoO. A copy of the letter is enclosed marked as Annexure-II. This letter also did not envoke any response.
iv) Mean while we prepared a detailed note seeking appropriate improvement and correction in the report of the one-man G.D.S. Committee of Sri Nataraja Murti. We forwarded the note to you vide our letter of even no. dated 10.11.2008. A copy of the letter and the note is annexed herewith marked collectively as Annexure-III. This letter also did not cause any response.
v) We addressed Sri P.K. Gopinath Chief Postmaster General Delhi Circle and Chairman of the GoO vide our letter of even no dated 15.11.2008 requesting him to give an opportunity to us be heard in person. We had forwarded with our letter a copy of the note prepared by us, a summary of the suggestions in the note and a copy of our letter dated 14.10.2008 addressed to you. We enclosed a copy of our letter to each member of the GoO. A copy of the same is endorsed marked as Annexure-IV. Nothing was heard from him by the time the GoO was required to submit its report.
vi) Naturally all these efforts failing to elicit any response-not even an acknowledgement – a grave sense of disappointment and resentment over took the G.D.S. employees that all our efforts were proving to be a cry in the wilderness. We were left with no option but to take to trade union action to find justice and under compelling circumstances, we had to serve notice for an indefinite strike to commence form 17.12.2008.
vii) We have learnt that the GoO has already met and is finalising its report. Only today we have received a fax message dated 5.12.2008 from Sri P.K. Gopinath Chief Postmaster General Delhi intimating that a meeting will be held on 18.12.2008. We feel that by that time the committee would have finalised its report and if so. the proposed meeting with us is going to prove to be a mere formality.

However, we have an open mind and shall have meeting/negotiation with any authority and hope that the meeting should be a transparent one and not a mere eye-wash. We very strongly feel that we should have been given an opportunity to present our views before the GoO met or began preparing its report.
2. Now we shall submit solid grounds in support of our demands and also discuss the naked negativities of the report of the said one-man committee under Sri R.S. Nataraja Murti.


i) The Hon'ble supreme court of India in its judgment in superintendent of Post offices v.P.K. Rajamma (1977) (3) SCC has ruled that an E.D. Agent (as the Gramin Dak Sevaks were then called) holds a post under the administrative control of the state and is holder of a civil post. A copy of the Judgment is enclosed marked as Annexure-V.
ii) The Hon'ble Supreme Court of India in its decision in Inspector of Post offices Vaikam v. Theyyam Joseph (1996) 8 SCC 489 has ruled that "It is (sic) now settled law of this court that these employees (E.D. Agents) are civil servants regulated by these Conduct Rules [ P&T E.D. Agents (Conduct and Service) Rules, 1964]. Therefore, by necessary implication they do not belong to the category of workmen attracting the provisions of the Act" (Industrial Dispute Act, 1947). A copy of the Judgment is enclosed marked as Annexure-VI.

iii) A three Judge Bench of the Hon'ble Supreme Court of India in General Manager Telecom v. A Srinivasa Rao and others (1997) 8 SCC 767 while deciding 'whether the Telecom Department of the Union of India is an industry within the meaning of the definition of "industry" in section 2(j) of the Industrial Dispute Act 1947" referred to a decision of the Court in Bangalore water supply case (1978) 2 SCC 213: 1978 SCC (L&S) 215 and Para 143 there of which lays down principles to decide whatever a particular department is an industry. The Hon'ble Court ruled in that Connection that the "decision in Theyyam Joseph and Bombay Canteen employees Assn. cannot be treated as laying down Correct law". However, the Hon'ble Court did not Comment in any way on the decision that E.D. Agents are Civil Servants. A copy of the Judgment is enclosed marked as Annexure-VII.

iv) The Hon'ble Supreme Court of India in Judgment dated 22.10.2008 in Chet Ram V. Jit Singh JT 2008(12) SC 1 has ruled that " the Extra Departmental Agents are government servants holding a Civil Post and are entitled to protection Article of 311(2) of the Constitution.

v) Thus it has been held by the highest Temple of Justice: the Supreme Court of India that the E.D. Agent (or G.D.S. employees as they are now called are central civil servants though not employed for full time. A copy of the Judgment is enclosed marked as Annexure-IX.


vi) The one-man G.D.S. Committee under Sri Nataraja Murti in Para 2.8 to 2.10 has not only misrepresented and misinterpreted the Judgments of the Hon'ble Supreme Court of India but has also Committed contempt of the Supreme Court by giving wrong twists and presenting wrong meaning to the Judgments. An extract of Para 2.8 to 2.10 is enclosed marked as Annexure-VIII for Consideration vis-à-vis the Judgments.

vii) Justice Talwar Committee on Postal Extra Departmental system April 1997 (under the chairmanship of Justice Charanjit Talwar, retired Judge of Delhi High Court) thus observed that E.D. Agents are Central Civil Servants and are covered within the purview of article 309 of the Constitution and recommended pay-scales for different hours of work on pro-rata basis of payment to the whole time departmental employees of the category.

Our 10 point charter of demands thus has a Judicial foundation of Judgments of the Hon'ble Supreme Court of India and has got every Justification for being accepted. The charter of demands is as:

1. In view of judicial pronouncements, the G.D.S. employees be declared as Central Civil Servants for all purposes.
2. Consequently, all rules and regulations applicable to Central Civil Servants be made applicable to G.D.S. employees (scrapping the discriminatory separate rules).
3. No curtailment of rural Postal facility and rejection of impractable and ridiculous norms suggested by Sri. Nataraja Murti. The work hours of Branch Post Masters should be between 4 to 6 hours (i.e the Post office should kept be open for 4 hours at least and upto 6 hours).
4. E.D.S.O's should be kept open for 5 to 7 hours.
5. Duty of all other outdoor staff should be for 5 to 7 hours.
6. In keeping with recommendations of 6th C.P.C. Pay bands with grade Pay corresponding to departmental counterparts be prescribed.
7. Annual increment of 3% as suggested by 6th C.P.C.
8. All Allowances/benefits at par with full time employees.
9. All retirement benefits as are due to Central Civil Servants.
10. P.L.B as per formula and no curtailment.

B. Now we would discuss some of the negativities, suggestions of curtailment of rural Postal Services and existing benefits. On the left side are the recommendations of Justice Talwar Committee/existing facilities against which the recommendation of Sri Nataraja Murti:

Recommendations of Justice Talwar Committee/existing facilities.
Recommendations of Sri Nataraja Murti Curtailing the facilities/over-ruling Justice Talwar Committee
1. Justice Talwar Committee recommended that Branch Post Offices are kept open for a minimum of 3 hours and up to 7.30 hours. However Govt. accepted that the Branch Post Offices should be kept open for 3.00 hours and up to 5.00 hours and this has always been the practice.
Sri Nataraja Murti recommends that Branch Office should be kept open even for less then 3.00 hours. A contempt and curtailment of rural postal services and a hard hit at Gramin Dak Seva and Sevaks.
2. Justice Talwar Committee recommended that E.D. Staff other than BPMs/ED SPMs should be kept on duty for a minimum of 3 hrs 45 minutes and up to 7.30 hours. Govt. accepted that such staff should be on duty for minimum of 3 hours 45 minutes and up to 5 hours.
Sri Nataraja Murti recommends that such staff should be kept on duty even for less than 3 hours and thus recommends curtailment of existing rural postal serves and existing benefits.
3. Justice Talwar Committee based the pay-scales recommended by it on pro rata bases to the scales of whole time departmental counter-parts.
Sri Nataraja Murti recommends pay-scales arbitrarily and without any basis. Arbitrariness in against all norms of Justice.
4. The Sixth CPC has recommended 3% annual increment to the full time employees. Accordingly 3 percent increment is due to G.D.S. employees.
Sri Nataraja Murti recommends arbitrarily an annual increment of 1.6 percent.

5. Justice Talwar Committee had recommended higher fitment benefit of 3.25 times against 2.99 times for whole time departmental employees because some benefits were not given to the EDAs. It was accepted by Govt. similarly we have demanded 1.98 times fitment benefit against 1.86 recommended by 6th CPC because some benefits of improvement in pay scales were not given to G.D.S.

Sri Nataraja Murti recommends an arbitrary fitment formula of 1.74 times. Yet another example of biases and arbitrariness.
6. Justice Talwar Committee recommended all retirement benefits-Pensions, Gratuity and GPF.
Sri Nataraja Murti recommends contemptuous benifits and terms it as "discharge" benifits.
7. Justice Talwar Committee recommended HRA, CCA, Medical facilities and all other allowances.
Sri Nataraja Murti Committee recommends none.
8. Justice Talwar Committee recommended bonus to EDAs employees on equal basis as the whole time employees.
Sri Nataraja Murti recommends that half of the ceiling amount should be taken into account for G.D.S. employees. yet another hard hit.


Sum & Substance.

1. Sri Nataraja Murti has misinterpreted, misplaced and misquoted Judicial
Pronouncements. His recommendations in Paras 2.8 to Para 2.10 are Judicial misadventures and should be totally rejected.

2. Based on Judicial pronouncements our charter of demands based on our note has got to be accepted.

We, therefore, request you kindly to take suitable action to accept our charter of demands.

We make it plain that we are prepared to discuses negotiate in persons and hope that negotiations will start for amicable settlement.

With regards,
Yours faithfully

(S.S. Mahadevaiah)
General Secretary