Merely because an employee is given a temporary charge to do a particular work of a particular post, it cannot be said that in fact he has been promoted to the said post. At this stage, it is required to be noted that subsequently when the respondent was transferred in the year 2005 from Noida Office (Electrician) to Kanpur DCO (Electrician), the respondent opposed the said transfer contending, inter alia, that there is no post of an Electrician at Kanpur and therefore he should be continued at Noida (Electrician). Therefore, even on 04.03.2005, the respondent himself claimed to 19 be the Electrician. Therefore, now it is not open to the respondent that he was already promoted to the post of Section Officer in the year 1996. Therefore also, the High Court has committed a grave error in directing the appellant to promote the respondent to the post of Section Officer under the TBPS.

1
REPORTABLE
IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
CIVIL APPEAL NO. 200 OF 2020
The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India .. Appellant
Versus
J.R. William Singh .. Respondent
J U D G M E N T
M. R. Shah, J.
Feeling aggrieved and dissatisfied with the impugned
judgment and order dated 05.02.2019 passed by the Division
Bench of the High Court of Delhi in LPA No. 245 of 2018, by which
the Division Bench of the High Court has allowed the said appeal
preferred by the respondent herein and has quashed and set aside
the judgment and order dated 02.04.2018 passed by the learned
Single Judge of the High Court and consequently has directed the
appellant herein to grant the respondent herein­original appellant
the pay scale and designation of a Section Officer with effect from
2
05.03.1993 and the pay scale and designation of an Executive
Officer with effect from 05.03.2002 under the Time­Bound
Promotion Scheme (hereinafter referred to as the TBPS) on notional
basis since the respondent had already superannuated, the original
respondent­ Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (for short
“ICAI”) has preferred the present appeal. By the impugned
judgment and order, the Division Bench of the High Court has also
directed the appellant to pay the arrears of salary and emoluments
to the respondent, as revised for the aforesaid scales from time to
time.

  1. The facts leading to the present appeal in nutshell are as
    follows:
    That the respondent herein was appointed as an ‘Electrician’
    on terms and conditions mentioned in the order of
    appointment/letter dated 26.02.1974. That, by the office
    memorandum dated 01.05.1976, the respondent was confirmed in
    the permanent post of ‘Electrician’ with effect from 16.04.1976.
    That the respondent was also released the increments from time to
    time. That a settlement dated 10.01.1984 was reached between the
    3
    appellant­Institute and its Employees’ Association with respect to
    time bound promotions/change to the next grade. The said
    settlement was to take effect from 01.01.1984. According to the
    appellant, the said TBPS was applicable to only two categories of
    employees, namely, Peons/Chowkidars/Sweepers (Class IV) and
    LDC to Executive Officers Grade (Class III). In the said settlement,
    under Clause 1(v) it was further provided that the decision in
    respect of cases not falling under the two broad categories referred
    to hereinabove, e.g. Jamadar, Drivers, Gestetner Operators,
    Electricians, Electrical Foreman and Library Attendant will be taken
    up by the President. It appears that thereafter and in light of
    Clause 1(v) of the memorandum of settlement dated 10.01.1984, a
    decision was taken by the President of the appellant Institute on
    25.02.1984, by which it was provided that Jamadar, Drivers,
    Gestetner Operators, Electricians etc., as mentioned in Clause 1(v)
    of the memorandum of settlement dated 10.01.1984 shall only be
    entitled to get the next grade. That thereafter, vide office
    memorandum dated 13.03.1984, the respondent was informed that
    his basic pay was fixed at Rs.370/­ with effect from 01.01.1984. He
    4
    was further informed with respect to the next increment.
    According to the appellant, as per the settlement dated 10.01.1984
    and the subsequent decision of the President dated 25.02.1984, the
    respondent was given the benefit of enhancement in the salary in
    the next grade. That thereafter vide office memorandum dated
    08.07.1986, the appellant informed the respondent that on his
    completion of 12 years of service on 04.03.1986, his pay scale has
    been revised from 330­10­180­EB­12­500­EB­15­560 to the higher
    scale of 425­15­500­EB­15­560­20­700­EB­25­800 with effect from
    05.03.1986 and that his basic pay has been fixed at Rs.425/­ in
    that grade. He was also informed with respect to the next
    increment to fall due on 05.03.1987. It appears that thereafter
    upon acceptance of the recommendations of the Fourth Pay
    Commission and in accordance with the option exercised by the
    respondent, the pay scale of the respondent was revised to Rs.1200­
    30­1560­EB­40­2040 with retrospective effect from 01.01.1986 and
    that his pay in that grade was fixed at Rs.1320/­. It appears that
    thereafter in the year 1987­88, the Employees’ Association raised
    certain demands. With respect to the demands raised, a
    5
    memorandum of settlement dated 02.08.1988 was reached between
    the appellant Institute and its Employees’ Association. It appears
    that, in terms of the aforesaid settlement dated 02.08.1988, the
    time span provided in the TBPS as mentioned in the settlement
    dated 10.01.1984 came to be reduced. It appears that thereafter
    the Employees’ Association raised several demands in the year
  2. With respect to the fresh demands, a memorandum of
    settlement dated 15.06.1991 was reached. It appears that
    thereafter the respondent vide his letter dated 12.05.1995 made a
    request for promotion under the TBPS provided under the
    settlement dated 02.08.1988 as well as the settlement dated
    15.06.1991. According to the respondent, he was entitled to get the
    promotion after expiry of seven years’ period and that his promotion
    became due on 05.03.1993. Pending such representation, vide
    office order dated 20.03.1996, the respondent was transferred to
    Diary/Dispatch Section. He was asked to look after the work of
    Diary/Dispatch Section. However, his designation came to be
    continued as Electrician. That vide representation dated
    15.11.1999 the respondent requested the Secretary of the appellant
    6
    Institute for promoting him to the post of Section Officer. It was the
    case of behalf of the respondent that he was appointed on
    05.03.1974 and that he was given the higher pay scale from time to
    time and that he was also given the pay scale of Assistant and
    therefore he is entitled to promotion to the next promotional post
    i.e. Section Officer with retrospective effect from 05.03.1993.
    Thereafter, a number of representations were made. Thereafter, in
    the year 2004, the respondent was transferred from the
    Diary/Dispatch Section (Head Office) to HRD (Noida). In the order
    dated 28.04.2004 also, the designation of the respondent was
    mentioned as Electrician. The prayer of the respondent to promote
    him to the post of Section Officer under the TBPS came to be
    rejected on the ground that as per the settlement dated 10.01.1984
    and, more particularly, Clause 1(v) read with the decision of the
    President dated 25.02.1984, the respondent shall not be entitled to
    the promotion being an Electrician and shall only be entitled to the
    next grade which has been given to him. That vide office order
    dated 14.02.2005, the respondent was transferred from Noida Office
    (Electrician) to Kanpur DCO (Electrician). The said transfer was
    7
    opposed by the respondent. That thereafter the respondent filed a
    Writ Petition (C) No. 8681 of 2005 before the High Court of Delhi,
    inter alia, praying to grant him the higher scale and designation of
    Section Officer and from Section Officer to the post of an Executive
    Officer. He also prayed to quash and set aside the transfer orders
    dated 28.04.2004 and 14.02.2005. That, during pendency of the
    said petition, the respondent retired on attaining the age of
    superannuation. That by the judgment and order dated
    02.04.2018, the learned Single Judge of the High Court dismissed
    the aforesaid writ petition. That thereafter the respondent preferred
    the Letters Patent Appeal before the Division Bench of the High
    Court and by the impugned judgment and order, the Division
    Bench of the High Court has allowed the said appeal and has
    quashed and set aside the judgment and order passed by the
    learned Single Judge of the High Court and has directed the
    appellant to grant the respondent the pay scale and designation of
    Section Officer with effect from 05.03.1993 and the pay scale and
    designation of an Executive Officer with effect from 05.03.2002
    8
    under the TBPS along with the arrears of salary and emoluments,
    as revised for those scales from time to time.
    2.1 Feeling aggrieved and dissatisfied with the impugned
    judgment and order passed by the Division Bench of the High
    Court, the Institute­ICAI has preferred the present appeal.
  3. Learned counsel appearing on behalf of the appellant has
    vehemently submitted that the High Court has materially erred in
    directing the appellant to promote the respondent to the post of
    Section Officer and designation of an Executive Officer under the
    TBPS. It is further submitted by the learned counsel appearing on
    behalf of the appellant that the High Court has failed to appreciate
    and consider the fact that the respondent being Electrician was not
    entitled to the time­bound promotion in view of the
    settlement/agreement dated 01.10.1984 and, more particularly,
    Clause 1(v) and the decision of the President dated 25.02.1984.
    3.1 Learned counsel appearing for the appellant has further
    submitted that in fact in the promotional channel there was no
    promotion from the post of Electrician to that of the Section Officer
    and therefore there was no question of granting promotion to the
    9
    respondent to the post of Section Officer under the TBPS. It is
    further submitted by the learned counsel appearing on behalf of the
    appellant that the High Court has materially erred in directing the
    appellant to promote the respondent to the post of Section Officer
    under the TBPS relying and/or considering the subsequent
    settlements dated 02.08.1988 and 15.06.1991. It is further
    submitted by the learned counsel appearing on behalf of the
    appellant that the High Court has materially erred in observing that
    in the subsequent settlements dated 02.08.1988 and 15.06.1991
    there was no specific exclusion, as provided in the earlier settlement
    dated 10.01.1984. It is submitted that in the settlement dated
    02.8.1988 it has been specifically provided that the earlier
    settlement dated 10.01.1984 shall be continued and/or applicable.
    It is submitted that, in fact, by the subsequent settlement dated
    02.08.1988, only the time gap was reduced. It is submitted that
    therefore the case of the respondent was specifically covered by the
    earlier settlement dated 10.01.1984 and the subsequent decision of
    the President dated 25.02.1984 which was in terms of Clause 1(v) of
    the said settlement.
    10
    3.2 It is further submitted by the learned counsel appearing on
    behalf of the appellant that, as such, the respondent was entitled to
    only the next higher scale which was/were being paid to the
    respondent from time to time.
    3.3 It is further submitted by the learned counsel appearing on
    behalf of the appellant that merely because for some time the
    respondent was directed to look after the work in Diary/Dispatch
    Section as a Section Officer, it cannot be said that he was
    appointed/promoted as Section Officer. It is submitted that all
    throughout he was continued to be an Electrician and therefore,
    being an Electrician, he was not entitled to the time­bound
    promotion.
    3.4 It is further submitted by the learned counsel appearing on
    behalf of the appellant that the High Court has materially erred in
    not appreciating the fact that there was a clear distinction with
    regard to the policies applicable to the employees falling in Class­III
    and Class­IV categories and other employees such as Jamadars,
    Electricians, Drivers etc. who fall under a special category. It is
    further submitted that the employees of the aforesaid category,
    11
    including the Electricians, were squarely excluded from the terms of
    the agreement dated 10.01.1984. It is submitted that therefore the
    Division Bench of the High Court has materially erred in allowing
    the petition and in quashing and setting aside a well­reasoned
    judgment and order passed by the learned Single Judge.
  4. The present appeal is vehemently opposed by Ms. Tamali Wad,
    learned counsel appearing on behalf of the respondent.
    4.1 It is submitted by the learned counsel appearing on behalf of
    the respondent that, in the facts and circumstances of the case, the
    Division Bench of the High Court has not committed any error in
    directing the appellant to grant promotion to the respondent under
    the TBPS.
    4.2 It is further submitted by the learned counsel appearing on
    behalf of the respondent that, as such, the order of the President
    dated 25.02.1984 was not communicated to the respondent and
    therefore the same was not binding to the respondent.
    4.3 It is further submitted that, even otherwise, as rightly
    observed by the Division Bench of the High Court, in the
    subsequent settlements dated 02.08.1988 and 15.06.1991, there
    12
    was no specific exclusion with respect to the post of Electrician,
    from granting the time bound promotions.
    4.4 It is further submitted by the learned counsel appearing on
    behalf of the respondent that, even subsequently, the respondent
    was appointed as a Section Officer in the Diary/Dispatch Section
    and therefore it cannot be said that the respondent continued to
    serve as an Electrician. It is submitted that even the respondent
    was also given the pay scale of Assistant with effect from
    05.03.1996 and therefore was entitled to promotion to the next post
    of Section Officer under the TBPS.
    4.5 It is further submitted by the learned counsel appearing on
    behalf of the respondent that if the submission/contention on
    behalf of the appellant is accepted, in that case, there will be
    stagnation and the respondent would never get any chance of
    promotion under the TBPS, which shall be against the policy of
    granting time bound promotion.
    4.6 Making the above submissions, it is prayed to dismiss the
    present appeal.
  5. Heard learned counsel appearing for the parties at length.
    13
  6. At the outset, it is required to be noted that the dispute is with
    respect to the promotion under the TBPS. An employee is entitled
    to the promotion under the TBPS only in accordance with the
    scheme and the promotion to the next higher post is provided under
    the TBPS. It is to be noted that, in the present case, the terms and
    conditions of the service of the employees of the appellant­ICAI were
    governed by the settlements/agreements arrived at from time to
    time between ICAI and its Employees’ Association. The first
    settlement/agreement was arrived at on 10.01.1984 which, inter
    alia, provided for Time­bound promotions/change to the next grade
    for its Class III and Class IV employees. It provided that if any LDC
    had already completed five years in the pay­scale of Rs.260­400 he
    is to be placed in the pay­scale of UDC­Steno Typist i.e. Rs.330­560
    and so on. Under Clause 1(v) of the said settlement/agreement, it
    was specifically provided that in respect of cases not falling under
    the two broad categories i.e. Clause III and Class IV, the decision
    was to be taken by the President of ICAI. This included the cases
    of Jamadar, Driver and Electrician. The respondent was an
    Electrician and therefore he was governed under Clause 1(v) of the
    14
    settlement dated 10.01.1984. In terms of Clause 1(v) of the
    settlement/agreement dated 10.10.1984 which was arrived at
    between ICAI and its Employees’ Association, the President of ICAI
    took a decision on 25.02.1984, by which it was provided that
    Jamadars, Drivers, Electricians etc., as mentioned in Clause 1(v) of
    the memorandum of settlement dated 10.01.1984, shall only be
    entitled to get the next grade. Accordingly, the respondent herein
    was put in the pay scale of Rs.330­560 and his basic pay was fixed
    at Rs.370/­ with retrospective effect from 01.01.1984. At this
    stage, it is required to be noted that the said fixation was in
    accordance with the decision taken by the President of ICAI dated
    25.02.1984. That, thereafter the respondent was granted the next
    higher pay­scale of the grade of Assistant i.e. Rs.425­800. That,
    thereafter the next settlement between ICAI and its Employees’
    Association was arrived at on 02.08.1988 and thereafter in the year
  7. On a bare reading of the subsequent settlements dated
    02.08.1988 and 15.06.1991 it appears that only the time gap for
    promotion under the TBPS came to be reduced. According to the
    respondent, there was no such clarification/clause like Clause 1(v)
    15
    of the settlement/agreement dated 10.01.1984 excluding the post of
    Jamadar, Electrician etc. in the subsequent settlements dated
    02.08.1988 and 15.06.1991 and therefore he was entitled to
    promotion to the post of Assistant and thereafter to the post of
    Section Officer. The High Court in paragraph 17 has accepted the
    same and has observed and held that in the subsequent
    settlements dated 02.08.1988 and 15.06.1991 it was not clarified
    that such of those who had earlier been covered under Clause 1(v)
    of the settlement dated 10.01.1984 and who had been granted the
    scale of an Assistant, would not be entitled to any further timebound promotion under the settlement dated 02.08.1988, or for
    that matter, of the further settlement dated 15.06.1991 and
    therefore in the absence of any exclusion of such of those who had
    been granted the pay­scale of an Assistant, would be entitled to the
    next higher pay­scale of the Section Officer on completion of
    requisite years of service in terms of settlements dated 02.08.1988
    and 15.06.1991. However, the High Court has not properly
    considered the subsequent settlement dated 02.08.1988. The High
    Court has absolutely mis­read and mis­interpreted the settlement
    16
    dated 02.08.1988 when it has come to the conclusion, so stated in
    paragraph 17 of the impugned judgment and order, that in the
    subsequent settlement dated 02.08.1988 there is no specific
    exclusion which was there under the special Clause 1(v) of the
    settlement dated 10.01.1984. In the memorandum of settlement
    dated 02.08.1988, the only change was with respect to the time gap
    for promotion under the TBPS as per the earlier settlement dated
    10.01.1984 and the period for getting the promotion under the
    TBPS came to be reduced. That was the only change/modification.
    In the memorandum of settlement dated 02.08.1988 it has been
    specifically provided and so stated that except for and subject to the
    changes made by the said settlement, namely, reduction of time
    period for getting the promotion under the TBPS, all other terms
    and conditions relating to the TBPS, as contained in the
    settlement/agreement dated 10.01.1984, shall remain in force and
    be applicable during the period of the said agreement. By a
    subsequent settlement dated 15.06.1991 the period was further
    reduced. Therefore, whatever was stated/provided in the
    settlement/agreement dated 10.01.1984, more particularly, Clause
    17
    1(v) and the subsequent decision of the President dated 25.02.1984
    continued to be in operation. Therefore, those employees like the
    respondent herein serving as Electricians etc. were not entitled to
    any promotion under the TBPS, as contained in the
    settlement/agreement dated 10.01.1984 and/or such subsequent
    memorandum of settlements dated 02.08.1988 and 15.06.1991.
    Being an Electrician, the respondent was already given the payscale of an Assistant as per the decision of the President dated
    25.02.1984, which was as per Clause 1(v) of the memorandum of
    settlement dated 10.01.1984. Therefore, the High Court has
    committed a grave error in observing and holding that the
    respondent shall be entitled to promotion under the TBPS as per
    the memorandum of settlements dated 02.08.1988 and 15.06.1991.
    At the cost of repetition, it is to be noted that the employees of ICAI
    were governed by the memorandum of settlement dated 10.1.1984
    so far as the time­bound promotion is concerned and the
    subsequent settlements dated 02.08.1988 and 15.06.1991 were in
    continuation of the same. No new rights of promotion under the
    18
    TBPS were conferred under the memorandum of settlements dated
    02.08.1988 and 15.06.1991.
  8. Now, so far as the submission on behalf of the respondent that
    subsequently even the respondent was working as a Section Officer
    and, therefore, shall be entitled to promotion under the TBPS to the
    post of Section Officer is concerned, it is required to be noted that
    as such there was no specific order of promotion promoting the
    respondent to the post of Section Officer. For some time, the
    respondent was directed to look after the work of Diary/Dispatch
    Section. However, his designation came to be continued as
    Electrician. Merely because an employee is given a temporary
    charge to do a particular work of a particular post, it cannot be said
    that in fact he has been promoted to the said post. At this stage, it
    is required to be noted that subsequently when the respondent was
    transferred in the year 2005 from Noida Office (Electrician) to
    Kanpur DCO (Electrician), the respondent opposed the said transfer
    contending, inter alia, that there is no post of an Electrician at
    Kanpur and therefore he should be continued at Noida (Electrician).
    Therefore, even on 04.03.2005, the respondent himself claimed to
    19
    be the Electrician. Therefore, now it is not open to the respondent
    that he was already promoted to the post of Section Officer in the
    year 1996. Therefore also, the High Court has committed a grave
    error in directing the appellant to promote the respondent to the
    post of Section Officer under the TBPS. However, at the same time,
    the respondent shall be entitled to the same salary of Section
    Officer for the period during which he worked as a Section Officer
    either on officiating basis and/or he was given the charge, if not
    paid so far.
  9. Now, so far as the submission on behalf of the respondent that
    if the respondent is not promoted to the post of Section Officer
    under the TBPS, in that case, the object and purpose of providing
    the promotion under the TBPS, namely, to remove the stagnation at
    the work place shall be frustrated is concerned, it is true that the
    TBPS is intended to remove the stagnation at the work place.
    However, at the same time, one cannot lose sight of the fact that the
    promotion shall be governed as per the promotion scheme only. At
    no point of time, Clause 1(v) of the main settlement dated
    10.01.1984 and the decision of the President dated 25.02.1984 not
    20
    providing any promotion under the TBPS so far as Electrician etc.
    are concerned, has been challenged. It is not that there is a
    complete stagnation so far as the respondent is concerned. He has
    been granted the next higher grade as per the decision of the
    President dated 25.02.1984 which was as per Clause 1(v) of the
    main settlement dated 10.01.1984. It is to be noted that, being an
    employee and the member of the Employees’ Association, the
    settlement arrived at between the management and its Employees’
    Association was binding on the respondent.
  10. In view of the above and for the reasons stated above, we are
    of the firm opinion that the impugned judgment and order passed
    by Division Bench of the High Court directing the appellant to
    promote the respondent to the post of Assistant and thereafter to
    the post of Section Officer under the TBPS as per the memorandum
    of settlements dated 02.08.1988 and 15.06.1991 cannot be
    sustained and the same deserves to be quashed and set aside.
    Accordingly, the impugned judgment and order passed by the
    Division Bench of the High Court is quashed and set aside.
    However, it is observed and directed that the respondent shall be
    21
    entitled to the same salary which was being paid to the Section
    Officers for the period during which he worked as a Section Officer
    either on officiating basis and/or he was given the charge and the
    appellant is directed to pay the same, if not paid so far. The appeal
    is allowed accordingly. No costs.
    ………………………..J.
    (ASHOK BHUSHAN)
    …………………………..J.
    (M. R. SHAH)
    New Delhi;
    January 24, 2020.