The Supreme Court recently held that an employee can neither argue regarding the scale of salary nor compare it with another employee due to similarity in selection or in the amount of work.

“The doctrine of equal pay for equal work could only be invoked when the employees were similarly circumstanced in every way. Mere similarity of designation or similarity or quantum of work was not determinative of equality in the matter of pay scales. The Court had to consider all the relevant factors such as the mode of recruitment, qualifications for the post, the nature of work, the value of work, responsibilities involved and various other factors”, the Court quoted in one of its proceedings.

According to the Court, it can only intervene in matters of fixation of pay scales if the matter is an exceptional one, it cannot declare its judgement in normal cases.

The bench of Justices Indira Banerjee and JK Maheshwari of Madhya Pradesh regarding this case further stated that, “This Court cannot interfere with the policy decision taken by the Government merely because it feels that another decision would have been fairer; or wiser as held by this Court in State of Madhya Pradesh vs. Narmada Bachao Andolan reported in (2011) 7 SCC 639 and relied upon and re-affirmed in Sudhir Budakoti & Others (supra).”

The Madhya Pradesh High Court ordered the State Authorities to pay UGC scale of pay as paid to the Librarians of colleges under the scheme of Higher Education Department to a Librarian who had claimed the said relief.

In this matter, Seema Sharma was appointed as Librarian-cum-Museum Assistant of Government Dhanvantri Ayurvedic College, Ujjain had claimed that the UGC scale of pay was paid to the persons in the senior scale of Librarian in colleges under the Higher Education Department. The State Authorities did not accept her request, due to which she had approached the High Court.

While granting her the relief, The Madhya Pradesh High Court has ordered to pay Sharma, the UGC scale of pay as paid to the Librarians of colleges under the Higher Education Department.

She further claimed before the Top Court that the 1990 Rules were never applicable to the Respondent. Sharma was not appointed under the Higher Education Department where the 1990 Rules were applicable but was appointed under the Ayush Department.

The Supreme Court stated that the single and division bench of the High Court had rested on the judgement in the State of Madhya Pradesh and Anr. vs. M.K. Verma and four Ors. which did not apply in the mentioned case as it was related to librarians of Engineering Colleges and Medical Colleges.

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