whether “the association formed on the basis of job description such as drivers etc. which has been classified in group ‘C’ constitute a ‘distinct category of Government servants’ under Rule 5 (c) of Rules 1993”. = the literal interpretation in isolation of the term ‘distinct category’ made by the Division Bench of the High Court in the impugned judgment granting permission to each group of employees based on job description/trade to claim recognition and form their service association would not only defeat the primary object of the scheme of Rules 1993 but the purpose as well with which the Joint Consultative Machinery has been formed to watch albeit the common service interest of its members/Government servants.

REPORTABLE
IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
CIVIL APPEAL NO(S). 7138 OF 2010
GOVERNMENT OF INDIA & ORS. .….APPELLANT(S)
VERSUS
ISRO DRIVERS ASSOCIATION ….RESPONDENT(S)
J U D G M E N T
Rastogi, J.

  1. The instant appeal is directed against the order and judgment
    dated 22nd September, 2008 passed by the Division Bench of the
    High Court of Andhra Pradesh at Hyderabad holding the association
    formed by the drivers based on job description as a ‘distinct
    category’ laid down under Rule 5 (c) of Central Civil Services
    (Recognition of Service Association) Rules, 1993 (hereinafter being
    1
    referred to as “Rules 1993”) overruling the view expressed by the
    Single Bench of the High Court dated 9th October, 2001.
  2. The seminal facts in brief which are relevant for the present
    purpose are that the respondent approached the High Court by
    filing a writ petition seeking a declaration in treating their
    association comprising of drivers operating in appellant no. 4­Shar
    Centre a Unit of ISRO, Nellore District, Andhra Pradesh eligible to
    participate in the verification process by according recognition and
    rejection of their application by order dated 29th June, 1999 on the
    premise that association formed by a group of employees based on
    job description will not qualify for recognition under Rules 1993 is
    in contravention to Rule 5 (c) which is not sustainable in law.
  3. Learned Single Judge of the High Court taking note of the
    scheme of Rules 1993 and R5(c) & R10 in particular with later
    Office Memorandum dated 22nd April, 1994 of the Government of
    India, Ministry of Personnel P.G. & Pension read with decision of
    the Department of Space dated 30th May, 1996 arrived at the
    conclusion that the object of the scheme is to protect the common
    interest of the employees of the establishment and the respondent
    2
    represents only the interests of drivers but the association must
    have a collective voice of all the groups for the purpose of
    recognition and after the expression ‘distinct category’ as referred to
    under R5(c) being explicitly clarified by the Department of Personnel
    and Training(DOPT) and Department of Space, any association
    formed on the basis of job description or trade will not qualify to
    accord recognition and later communication dated 22nd April, 1994
    is supplementing the scheme of Rules 1993 for its proper
    implementation in fulfilment of the object with which the scheme
    has been framed and there appears no apparent error in the
    decision of the authority rejecting their claim seeking recognition in
    forming the association representing interest of the drivers based on
    job description not being covered under the scheme of Rules 1993
    dismissed the writ petition by its judgment and order dated 9th
    October, 2001 which came to be challenged by the respondent in
    writ appeal.
  4. While revisiting the indisputed facts on record, the Division
    Bench was of the view that the term ‘distinct category’ defined
    under Rule 5 (c) is not open to be clarified by the DOPT and with its
    3
    literal interpretation held the association of drivers as a ‘distinct
    category’ and accordingly directed the appellants to examine
    whether the respondent satisfy other pre­conditions of the scheme
    and, thereafter, take a decision subjected to the verification process
    for being accorded recognition under the Rules 1993. The
    appellants being aggrieved by the order and judgment of the
    Division Bench impugned dated 22nd September, 2008 came up in
    appeal before us.
  5. Mr. Vikramjeet Banerjee, learned Additional Solicitor General
    submits that the expression ‘distinct category’ as referred to under
    Rule 5 (c ) of the Rules 1993 has not been defined and that was the
    reason the rule making authority visited the scheme and by its
    clarificatory memo dated 22nd April, 1994, had entrusted this
    responsibility to concerned Ministry/Department to take a decision
    keeping in view the functional, administrative and organizational
    set up. In furtherance thereof, the Department of Space held its
    meeting in April 1994 with all the service associations and except
    the respondent, other associations agreed that all the employees
    covered by the Joint Consultative Machinery scheme of the
    4
    Department should be treated as single category and any
    association/Union exclusively formed by certain group of employees
    based on job description in the organization such as drivers,
    stenographers, tradesmen, etc. would not qualify for recognition
    under the Rules 1993. Taking note of the overall view of the
    functional, administrative and organizational set up of the
    Department, a letter was issued to the centres/units on 30th May,
    1996 to call for application of service association who wished to be
    recognized under the scheme of Rules and it was clarified by the
    Department that the term ‘distinct category’ as defined under Rule
    5(c) will constitute all the employees in the particular region and
    not a cluster of employees based on job or trade description like the
    members of the respondent, all of whom were drivers, did not
    constitute a ‘distinct category’ of government servants and were
    rightly held not entitled for recognition.
  6. Learned counsel further submits that while the rules are
    framed under proviso to Article 309 read with clause 5 of Article
    148 of the Constitution which indeed cannot be supplanted but the
    administrative circulars could, nonetheless, be issued to
    5
    supplement the Rules and the unoccupied gaps of the Rules could
    be filled, the expression ‘distinct category’ not being defined in the
    Rules has been clarified by the Department of Personnel by its
    clarificatory memo dated 22nd April, 1994 to promote harmonious
    relations and securing cooperation between the Government and its
    employees in matters of common concern and with the object of
    promoting common service interest of its employees being the
    primary object with which the scheme of Rules 1993 were framed.
  7. Learned counsel further submits that once a clarification was
    made of the expression ‘distinct category’ as referred to under Rule
    5 (c ) by the rule making authority taking recourse to Rule 10 of
    Rules 1993, the manner in which the expression ‘distinct category’
    has been examined by the Division Bench of the High Court by
    taking its literary meaning borrowed from the Dictionary is not
    legally sustainable and deserves to be interfered by this Court.
  8. Per contra, Mr. Shekhar G. Devasa, learned counsel for the
    respondent, on the other hand, while supporting the finding
    recorded in the impugned judgment submits that as long as the
    respondent fulfil the pre­conditions for recognition as envisaged
    6
    under the scheme of Rules 1993, it was not open for the appellants
    to take aid or assistance and place reliance on the Office
    Memorandum dated 22nd April, 1994 or 30th May, 1996 to deny
    their claim which has been conferred on them under the statutory
    rules framed under proviso to Article 309 read with clause 5 of
    Article 148 of the Constitution of India.
  9. Learned counsel further submits that they had formed their
    association with the object of common service interest of the
    drivers employed in Unit ISRO and remain restricted to a ‘distinct
    category’ of Government servants, i.e., drivers all of whom had a
    common interest and were eligible to be members of their
    association and representing 120 out of 150 drivers of ISRO Unit
    and more than 35% of the membership required and nature of
    duties discharged by the drivers in ISRO being distinct from the
    duties discharged by employees working in other categories of
    posts, were rightly held to be eligible for recognition under Rules
    1. Learned counsel further submits that the test to determine a
      ‘distinct category of government servants’ was homogeneity and
      7
      commonality of interest which is being fulfilled by the association of
      drivers which had a commonality of interest, and was a
      homogenous group and entitled for recognition as an association
      exclusively of drivers and this what has been examined by the
      Division Bench of the High Court in the impugned judgment
      extensively taking note of the scheme and in the absence of any
      express prohibition under the scheme in having a number of
      associations, it would justify claim of the first respondent of their
      right to be recognized as a service association under the scheme of
      Rules 1993 and needs no interference of this Court.
  10. We have heard learned counsel for the parties and with their
    assistance perused the material available on record.
  11. The question that emerges is whether “the association formed
    on the basis of job description such as drivers etc. which has been
    classified in group ‘C’ constitute a ‘distinct category of Government
    servants’ under Rule 5 (c) of Rules 1993”.
  12. With the object of promoting harmonious relations and
    securing cooperation between the Government and its employees in
    the matters of common concern and to increase efficiency of public
    8
    service, the Government of India established in 1966 the Machinery
    for Joint Consultation and Arbitration. The Joint Consultative
    Machinery Scheme was introduced at the national level and at two
    lower levels, namely, departmental and regional/office level. The
    Joint Councils operate with the official members and staff
    members. The staff members are represented by recognized service
    association of Government servants belonging to Group C & Group
    D and Group B (non­gazetted staff). Recognition of service
    associations for the purpose of representation in the Joint Councils
    of JCM is to be carried out in accordance with the Central Civil
    Services (Recognition of Service Association) Rules, 1959 which
    were superseded by the Rules 1993 by a notification dated 5th
    November, 1993.
  13. The Department of Space under the Government of India
    (Allocation of Business) Rules, 1961 formulated its own scheme of
    JCM in 1977 with the object of promoting harmonious relations and
    securing cooperation between the Department and its employees.
    As per the scheme of JCM, all Group C & D employees and Group B
    (non­gazetted staff) working in the Department of Space are eligible
    9
    for participation in the scheme. After the notification of the Rules
    1993, the Department of Space decided to implement these rules in
    respect of the JCM Scheme.
  14. In exercise of the powers conferred by the proviso to Article
    309 and clause (5) of Article 148 of the Constitution and in
    supersession of the Central Civil Services (Recognition of Service
    Associations) Rules, 1959, Rules 1993 have been framed. The rules
    relevant for the purpose are extracted hereunder:­
    “In exercise of the powers conferred by the proviso to
    article 309 and clause (5) of article 148 of the Constitution,
    after consultation with the Comptroller and Auditor General
    in relation to persons serving in the Indian Audit and
    Accounts Department, and in supersession of the Central
    Civil Services (Recognition of Service Associations) Rules,
    1959 except as respects things done or omitted to be done
    before such supersession, the President hereby makes the
    following rules, namely:
  15. ……..
  16. ………
  17. Application : These rules shall apply to Service
    Associations of all Government servants including
    civilian Government servants in the Defence
    Services but shall not apply to industrial
    employees of the Ministry of Railways and workers
    employed in Defence Installations of Ministry of
    Defence for whom separate Rules of Recognition
    exist.
  18. ……..
    10
  19. Conditions for recognition of Service
    Associations:
    A Service Association which fulfills the following
    conditions may be recognised by the Government,
    namely:­
    (a) An application for recognition of Service
    Association has been made to the
    Government containing Memorandum of
    Association, Constitution, Bye­laws of the
    Association, Names of Office­Bearers, total
    membership and any other information as
    may be required by the Government;
    b) the Service Association has been formed
    primarily with the object of promoting the
    common service interest of its members;
    (c) membership of the Service Association has
    been restricted to a distinct category of
    Government servants having common
    interest, all such Government servants’ being
    eligible for membership of the Service
    Association;
    d) (i) The Association represents minimum
    35 per cent of total number of a category
    of employees provided that where there is
    only one Association which commands
    more than 35 per cent membership,
    another Association with second highest
    membership, although less than 35 per
    cent may be recognised if it commands at
    least 15 per cent membership;
    (ii) The membership of the
    Government servant shall be
    automatically discontinued on his
    ceasing to belong to such category;
    11
    (e) Government employees who are in service
    shall be members or office bearers of the
    service Association;
    (f)­(h)…..
    6­9 …..
  20. Interpretation:
    If any question arises as to the
    interpretation of any of the provisions of these
    rules or if there is any dispute relating to
    fulfilment of conditions for recognition it shall be
    referred to the Government, whose decision
    thereon shall be final.
    (J.C. Mathur)
    Joint Secretary to the Govt of India”
  21. These rules apply to service associations of all Government
    servants referred to under Rule 3 to be formed primarily with an
    object of promoting the common service interest of its members and
    it may be noticed that the expression ‘distinct category’ referred to
    under clause (c) of Rule 5 has not been defined under the scheme of
    Rules 1993.
  22. R5(d)(i) defines the membership of service association who can
    be granted recognition has been restricted to a ‘distinct category of
    Government servants’ having common service interest and
    represents 35% of total number of category of employees with a
    12
    proviso that where there is only one association which commands
    more than 35% membership, another association may be
    recognized if it commands at least 15% membership and this clearly
    indicates that the rule making authority intended to avoid plurality
    of service associations with an object to promote the common
    service interest of all the group of employees/Government servants.
  23. Since certain doubts were raised by the persons for
    implementation of the scheme of Rules 1993, Ministry of Personnel
    P.G. & Pension(Department of Personnel & Training), Government
    of India vide Office Memorandum dated 22nd April, 1994 (Annexure
    P­2) made a clarification and invited attention to all the
    Ministries/Departments and so far as expression ‘distinct category’
    as referred to under Rule 5(c) is concerned, the doubt was whether
    the term ‘distinct category’ means group wise categorization i.e.
    group ‘A’, ‘B’, ‘C’ and ‘D’ or cadre­wise categorization and what will
    be the effect of 35% of minimum membership of employees as
    referred to under 5(d) and the clarification was made by the DOPT
    for implementation of the Rules 1993 in granting recognition to the
    service association.
    13
  24. Relevant part of the Office Memorandum dated 22nd April,
    1994 is as follows:­
    “No. 2/2/94­JCA
    Government of India
    Ministry of Personnel P.G. & Pension
    (Department of Personnel & Training)
    New Delhi the 22nd April 1994
    OFFICE MEMORANDUM
    Subject: Clarification regarding Central Civil Service (Recognition
    of Service Associations) Rule 1993
    The undersigned is directed to invite attention of all
    Ministries/Departments to the Central Civil Services (Recognition of
    Service Associations) Rules, 1992, (hereinafter referred to as the Rules),
    which were notified in November, 1993 and to this Department’s O.M. of
    even number dated 31st January 1994 and to say that a large number of
    references’ are being received in this Department seeking clarification
    concerning the above­mentioned Recognition Rules. With a view to avoid
    further references and to expedite matters, the common points of doubt
    have been compiled and clarified below for information of all Ministries/
    Departments.
    POINTS OF DOUBT CLARIFICATION
  25. Whether the Rules are applicable to
    casual labourers, extraDepartmental agents, Contingent
    paid staff, industrial employees
    working in Telecom factories.
    No. The Rules are applicable
    only to those Central
    Government employees to
    whom the CCS (Conduct)
    Rules, 1964 apply.
  26. Whether a Federation or
    Confederation of Associations can
    be recognised under the Rules.
    These Rules do not relate to a
    Federation/Confederation of
    Associations and as such, they
    cannot be recognised under the
    14
    present Rules.
  27. Whether the term “distinct
    category” used in Rule 5(c)
    means group wise categorization
    i.e. group ‘A’, ‘B’, ‘C’ or ‘D’ or
    cadrewise categorization.
    BY a distinct category is
    meant an Association whose
    members have a
    commonality of interest and
    function as homogenous
    group. The responsibility for
    defining a distinct category”
    has been left to the
    concerned
    Ministry/Department.
  28. Whether the first two
    associations are to be recognized
    even in neither of them fulfills
    the conditions of having the
    minimum membership of 35%.
    No filment of the condition
    prescribed in Rule 5 (d) (i)
    _ before. In other words,
    one association, that is the
    first association, must have
    35% membership between
    the second association with
    minimum of 15%
    membership can be
    recognized.
  29. Whether Association are to be
    recognized centrally or
    zone/circle/region wise.
    The Associations are to be
    recognized centrally on all
    ministry/Department basis
    such associations may have
    their branches in the
    subordinate formulations.
  30. Whether the minimum
    membership prescribed in Rule
    5(d)(i) is for the entire
    Department or
    zone/circle/regionwise etc.
    The condition of minimum
    membership as laid down in
    Rule 5(d)(i) is for the entire
    Department. In other words,
    an Associations must have
    the minimum percentage of
    members amongst all
    employees in that distinct
    category in that Department.
  31. Whether an Association having
    fulfilled the conditions of Rules 5(d)
    No
    15
    (i) in the entire Department must
    also have the minimum
    membership as prescribed in Rule
    5(d)(i) in each of its branches.
  32. Whether vacant posts will be
    taken into account for the
    purpose of calculating minimum
    membership.
    Percentage of membership is
    to be determined on the
    number of employees in each
    distinct category and not on
    the number of posts.
    9­12 …………
    (BIR DATT)
    Director (JCA)”
    (Emphasis supplied)
  33. The Department of Space, taking assistance from the
    clarification made by the DOPT vide OM dated 22nd April, 1994 held
    its meeting with all the service associations except the respondent
    agreed that all the employees covered by the JCM scheme of the
    Department should be treated as single category and any
    association or Union exclusively formed by certain group of
    employees based on job description in the organization such as
    drivers, stenographers, tradesmen, etc. would not qualify for
    recognition under the Rules 1993 in the Department of Space.
  34. In furtherance thereof, Department of Space issued Office
    Memorandum dated 30th May, 1996 to implement the scheme of
    16
    Rules 1993 for recognition of service association under the JCM
    Scheme.
    “3. Condition for recognition of Service Associations for
    Recognition
  35. 1 A Service Association, which following conditions, will be
    considered for recognition under DOS JCM Scheme:
    (a) An application for recognition of Service Association has
    been made to the Government containing Memorandum
    of Association, Constitution, Bye­laws of the Association,
    Names of Office­Bearers, total membership and any other
    information as may be required by the Government;
    (b) The Service Association has been formed primarily with
    the object of promoting the common service interest of its
    members;
    (c)(i) Membership of the Service Association has been
    restricted to a distinct/category of Government servants
    having common interest, all such Government servants
    being eligible for membership of the Service Association;
    (ii) So far as Department of space is concerned, all groups of
    employees covered under the existing JCM scheme shall be
    treated as a single category in each region.
    (d) Only Government employees who are in service shall be
    members or office bearers of the Service Association;
    ….”
    3.2 An Association to be recognised should have a minimum
    representation of 351 of the total number of eligible
    employees in the region, provided that where there is only
    one Association which commands more than 35%
    membership, another Association with second highest
    membership, although less than 35% may be recognised, if
    it commands at least 15% membership. Percentage of
    membership has to be determined on the number of eligible
    employees in the region and not on the number of posts.”
    17
  36. The application submitted by the first respondent seeking
    recognition of association based on job description of drivers came
    to be rejected by the 4th appellant by communication dated 21st
    June, 1999 on the premise that the association has been
    exclusively formed by a group of employees comprising of drivers on
    job description would not qualify for recognition under Rules 1993.
  37. As per the scheme of Rules 1993, it is applicable to such
    Government servants to whom the Central Civil Services (Conduct)
    Rules, 1964 are applicable. The Department of Space framed its
    own disciplinary rules regarding alleged misconduct being
    committed by the employees for holding disciplinary inquiries under
    proviso to Article 309 of the Constitution, namely, the Department
    of Space (Classification, Control & Appeal) Rules, 1976 was further
    amended in the year 2013. Annexed thereto, schedule has been
    appended to Rule 30 prescribing the classification of Civil Posts
    under the Department of Space broadly in four Groups ‘A’, ‘B’, ‘C’
    and ‘D’. The employees who are working in SDSC SHAR i.e.
    technical attendants, nursing attendants, technicians, office
    18
    attendants, gardeners, safaiwalas, security guards, canteen
    attendants, radiographers, pharmacists, lab technicians, nurses,
    agricultural supervisors, drivers, stenographers etc. are falling in
    different groups based on their pay scales and job description etc.
  38. That apart, two different set of recruitment rules have been
    placed for perusal. One set of recruitment rules have been framed
    by Department of Space for drivers in exercise of powers conferred
    under proviso to Article 309 of the Constitution called as
    Department of Space (Staff Car Drivers/Light Vehicle Drivers)
    Recruitment Rules, 2001 classified drivers in Group ‘C’ post. For
    the other category of posts of Assistant, Senior Project Assistant,
    Personnel Assistant and Private Secretary, their recruitment is
    regulated by the Rules called the Department of Space (Group ‘B’
    Posts) Recruitment Rules, 2009 and with partial modification, the
    method of recruitment and designation to the post of Assistant
    (Group ‘B’ non­gazetted) called the Department of Space (Assistant)
    Recruitment Rules, 2016. At some stages, for other purposes,
    categorization of posts have been made indicating ministerial, nonministerial, industrial and non­industrial, tenure posts but broadly
    19
    under the scheme of recruitment rules, the service conditions of
    employees have been broadly classified in four groups A,B,C & D of
    which a reference has been made supra.
  39. In compliance of the scheme of Rules, applications were
    invited from various associations in SDSC, SHAR for according
    recognition. It has come on record that four associations/Unions
    who represent combination of group of employees and who fulfil the
    requirement to participate in the verification process for recognition
    under the rules submitted their applications:­
  40. SHAR Employees Association (SEA)
  41. SHAR Employees Trade Union (SETU)
  42. SHAR Employees Union (SEU)
  43. SHAR Antariksh Staff Association (SASA)
  44. Out of the above four Associations/Unions, three participated
    in the process of verification held on 10th January, 2002. The
    results of verification of membership in SHAR Centre is as follows:­
  45. Total number of employees eligible to participate in the
    verification process in SHAR Centre 1207
  46. Number of employees who actually participate in the
    verification process 1105
    20
  47. The breakup of the numbers of letters of Authorization (i.e.
    number of employees who subscribed for each association) received
    on 10th January, 2002 as a result of the verification of membership
    is given below :­
  48. SHAR Employees Association (SEA) 651
  49. SHAR Employees Trade Union (SETU) 327
  50. SHAR Antariksh Staff Association (SASA) 124
  51. As per the scheme of Rules 1993, service associations – SEA
    and SETU got the required membership and accordingly recognition
    was accorded.
  52. The primary object of forming service association is to promote
    the common service interest of its members and the membership of
    the service association remain restricted to such Government
    servants having common interest and all group of employees
    covered under the existing JCM scheme were categorized as a
    ‘distinct category’ for forming their association. At the same time, if
    association/Union is being exclusively permitted to be formed by
    21
    the group of employees based on job description in the organization
    such as drivers, stenographers, etc. apart from various category of
    employees who are working in SDSC SHAR i.e. technical
    attendants, nursing attendants, technicians, office attendants,
    radiographers, etc. for the purpose of recognition under the scheme
    of Rules 1993 treating them to be a ‘distinct category’ as considered
    by the Division Bench in the impugned judgment, there is a greater
    probability that the employees of each of the above mentioned
    trades/jobs would form into association in each of the
    centres/units qualifying themselves into ‘distinct category’ and seek
    representation in JCM that would not only defeat the purpose of
    JCM but would lead to groupism obstructing the working
    atmosphere and neither joint consultation nor consensus would
    prevail and that will jeopardize the service interest of the
    government servants.
  53. It has come on record that presently the strength of the staff
    working in various groups is over 16,000. In the given situation, if
    any group of employees based on their job description is permitted
    to form an association under the guise of ‘distinct category’ as
    22
    prayed, it will indeed have an adverse consequential effect which
    would never be the intention of the rule making authority while
    framing the scheme of Rules 1993. Our view is being strengthened
    noticing Rule 5 (d) which lays down that subsequent association
    with less than 35% of total number of categories can be recognized
    if it commands at least 15% of the membership. The respondent
    confining itself to drivers as members cannot command 15% of the
    total number of employees covered by the scheme in SDSC SHAR as
    the sanctioned strength of the drivers (around 160) is less than 15%
    of the members under the scheme, as a distinct category
    considering the Group of employees (A,B,C & D) respectively.
  54. The Latin maxim ‘noscitur a socilis’ states this contextual
    principle, whereby a word or phrase is not to be construed as if it
    stood alone but in the light of its surroundings – Bennion on
    Statutory Interpretation, Fifth Edition A­G Prince Ernest Augustus
    of Hanover [1957] AC 436, Viscount Simonds has opined that “a
    word or phrase in an enactment must always be construed in the
    light of the surrounding text. “…words and particular general
    23
    words, cannot be read in isolation, their colour and their content
    are derived from their context.”
  55. Adverting to the facts of the instant case, the scheme of Rules
    1993 clearly manifests that the primary object of the scheme is to
    promote the common service interest of its members and service
    association which intends to accord recognition must represent
    minimum 35% of the total category of employees with a rider that
    where there is only one association which commands more than
    35% membership and another association with second highest
    membership must be recognized if it commands at least 15%
    membership. The intention appears to be to avoid plurality of
    associations which indeed may not be in the overall interest of the
    Government servants in forming service association on their job
    description. In this context, the expression ‘distinct category of
    government servants’ referred under Rule 5 (c) with its due
    emphasis in furtherance of the clarification which has been made
    by the rule making authority is, in fact, supplementing the scheme
    of rules for its effective and proper implementation which is
    permissible under the law unless held to the contrary and that was
    24
    never the case of the respondent at any stage in grouping the
    classification of posts in group ‘A’, ‘B’, ‘C’ and ‘D’ as a ‘distinct
    category’, is in contravention to Rule 5 (c ) of Rules 1993 and any
    further sub­classification of posts based on job description is not
    permissible under the recruitment and conduct rules if permitted
    under the guise of expression ‘distinct category’ to form service
    association, it would defeat the purpose and object with which the
    scheme of Rules 1993 have been framed according recognition to
    service association which has been primarily formed with an object
    of promoting the common service interests of its members at large
    and the literal interpretation in isolation of the term ‘distinct
    category’ made by the Division Bench of the High Court in the
    impugned judgment granting permission to each group of
    employees based on job description/trade to claim recognition and
    form their service association would not only defeat the primary
    object of the scheme of Rules 1993 but the purpose as well with
    which the Joint Consultative Machinery has been formed to watch
    albeit the common service interest of its members/Government
    servants.
    25
  56. On the overall analysis, the appeal deserves to succeed. The
    impugned judgment passed by the Division Bench of the High Court
    dated 22nd September, 2008 is unsustainable and accordingly set
    aside.
  57. The appeal is allowed. No costs.
  58. Pending application(s), if any, stand disposed of.
    ……………………………………J.
    (SANJAY KISHAN KAUL)
    …………………………………….J.
    (AJAY RASTOGI)
    ……………………………………J.
    (ANIRUDDHA BOSE)
    NEW DELHI
    AUGUST 10, 2020
    26