Friday, February 14, 2014

CHQ Letter to Regional Labour Commissioner(Central),

                                                                                                                         Tele-Fax: 23697701
(Central Head Quarter)
First Floor, Post Office Building, Padamnagar, Delhi 110007
President:                       D.N. Giri
General Secretary           S.S. Mahadevaiah

Letter No.GDS/CHQ/52/1/2013                                     Dated: 14.02.2014


Sri S.K. Das,
Regional Labour Commissioner(Central),
Jeevan Deep Building,
New Delhi-110001

Sub:-  All India Gramin Dak Sevaks Union proposed Indefinite strike from 18-02-2014 settlement of the justified demands of Gramin Dak Sevaks.  

Respected Sir,

          This is with reference to your letter No. 8(2)2014-PA Dated 13.02.2014 Regarding programme of Indefinite strike. Most respectfully we request the Department of Posts to consider the following demands positively.   

I.)     Civil Servant status to Gramin Dak Sevaks

          It is not irrelevant to mention EDA(Conduct & Service) Rules, 1964: Supreme Court ruling that EDA are holders of Civil Posts.
          “The question whether Extra Departmental agents are holders of Civil Posts under the Government of India has been the subject matter of contention for a long time. The Department has always held the view that EDAs are part time employees, who are expected to have independent source of income Generally school teachers, small shop keepers, farmers, village headman, employees of local Government’s etc. Work as EDAs. The EDAs are not work for full time and as such are not eligible for concessions and privileges admissible to regular Government servants. This view of the Department and as such entitled to protection under article 311(2) of the constitution. Not satisfied with the judgement of the learned High Court, the department went in appeal against their judgement to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court in their judgement delivered of civil posts under the Government and protection available to regular Government servants under provisional of article 311(2) of the constitution. After examining the relevant features of the EDA(Conduct & Service) Rules, 1964, which according to the Supreme Court, contained elaborate provision controlling the Payment, leave, termination of service, nature of Penalties, Procedure for imposing penalties, right of appeal etc. The Supreme Court hold that.

          “It is thus clear that an Extra Departmental Agents is not a casual worker but he holds a post under the administrative control of the state. It is apparent from the rules that the employment of Extra Departmental Agent is in a post which “exists apart from” the   person who happens to fill it at any particular time. Though such a post is outside the regular Civil Services, there is no doubt it is a post under the state. The tests of Civil Post laiddown by this court in Rana Chandra Dutta’s case (Suprav) are clearly satisfied in the case of Extra Departmental Agents.”

The rules make it clear these Extra Departmental agents work under the direct control and supervision of the authorities who obviously have the right to control the manner in which they must carry out their duties. There can be no doubt therefore that the relationship between the postal authorities and the extra departmental agents is one of master and servant.

The implication of the judgement of the Supreme Court is that EDAs who have till now been not regarded as holders of Civil Post will hence forth be entitled to be treated as holders of Civil Post and as such safeguards available to regular Government servants under Article 309 and 311(2) of the constitution will also have to be extended to them.

It time factors for all the work performed by the GDS is formulated, certainly it will pave way for the regularization of many GDS who are actually working for more than six hours but not availed the benefits of departmentalization. We don’t want any incentives or perks denying our regularization.

The present Minister of Communications & IT Sri Kapil Sibal has sought recently to the department about the regularization of all the GDS for which the department has furnished that it will cost around 4000 crores. If new norms are fixed for the work and taking consideration of providing computers at BOs to expand the services to the public, We should not mind about the cost involved.

II)     Inclusion of GDS wage structure & service conditions in the purview of 7th Central Pay Commission.

          Except Justice Talwar Committee, all the Committees appointed by the Government for revision of the wage structure and other service conditions of Gramin Dak Sevaks made so many retrograde recommendations done injustice to the low paid employees. Though the GDS system is unique to the Department of posts, it is not falling under any of the classified group, EDAs were included within the purview of First Central Pay Commission for revision of the wage structure and other service conditions. The GDS system will really be an invaluable asset to the department of posts, if the department utilizes properly.

2)     The 4th Central Pay Commission have categorically observed and held in Para 1.18 of their report thus:

The matter is however beyond controversy after the decision of the supreme court in Gokalnanda’s case where it has been declared that the extra departmental agent is not a causal worker but holds a post under the administrative control of the State” and that there is no doubt that it is a post under the “State”. In view of this pronouncement we are unable to accept the contention that the extra departmental employees were outside the purview of the terms of our commission.

          Thus the 4th Central Pay Commission were not inclined to exclude the ED agents from the terms of their purview and have termed the ED Agents as Central government employees.

3)     The Central Administrative Tribunal Ernakulam Bench has rejected the arguement that by the Judgement dated 22.4.1977 of the Supreme Court ED agents have been declared holders of Civil Post only for the purpose of protection and safeguards in article 311(2). The Bench in O.A No. 584/95 decided on 23.1.1996 observed:

We find no warrant for reading the restriction into the declaration of law in the Rajamma’s case and limiting it to article 311 the declaration is that extra departmental agents are holders of Civil Post.

        Justice Talwar Committee has entirely agreed with this observation.

4)     The sum total is that by the observation and declaration of experts and Judiciary, the Gramin Dak Sevaks fulfill the requirement of being included in the purview and terms of the Central Pay Commission.

Hence you are requested to consider this demand positively.

III)   Provide cent percent compassionate appointments to the wards of deceased GDS employees.

          The declaration of Justice Talwar that 95-70% GDS are solely depending upon their wages for their livelihood. In rural areas, nobody can get any income from small hut or thatched house. It is pity that GDS who is having small hut or thatched house in a Village and owned 20 or 25 percents of land allocating ‘o’ points. We cannot understand now can they get sufficient income on the small portion of land. The procedure has been reviewed.

The Department has held the view that the job profile, working hours, working conditions, applicability of rules for the regular Departmental Employees and that of the GDSs are all together different so it is not correct to compare GDS compassionate appointments with departmental compassionate appointment.

Hence it is requested to review the procedure and reduce the points fixed for deserving cases from 50 to 35. Kindly modify the conditions regarding the term dependents. Married son and the old parents of deceased employee may be considered as dependents.

IV)    With the hope of departmentalization at one day, GDS are prolonging their life with more expectation of their future.

If unfilled Gr-D quota vacancies are offered to the open market recruitment, it will be adversely affected the promotional chances of senior group-D staff and GDS. We would like to point out that young and energetic and highly educated are being appointed as GDS in the Department. They are capable of doing any kind of work. There is no need to offer for young blood to the open market. Due to the high standard or the question papers beyond 10th standard, so many posts in Postman & MTS Cadre are left unfilled. So a special examination may be conducted on the basis of 10th standard to fill up the unfilled posts. 25% vacancies of Postman may be filled up with senior GDS officials on the basis of seniority cum-fitness.
More over the Department did not discuss to the AIPEDEU before introducing the R.R. rules. Our views are not taken into consideration unilaterally the R.R. rules were implemented.

          We have already submitted our views on our justified demands to the Department of Posts. Unfortunately there is no positive response from the Department after the five days countrywide relay hunger fast from 20-24 January, 2014. We are compelled to go on Indefinite strike.

Hence your kind intervention is requested to settle our justified demands positively.

  With regards.

Yours faithfully,

 (S.S. Mahadevaiah)
  General Secretary