Facts on Recognition of Service Associations

Trade Union movement started in India in 19th Century itself with textile workers in western parts, jute workers in Eastern part, thereafter postal & Railway workers all over India. The first statutory recognition of the rights of the workers to organize themselves into unions came in the late twenties by the way of Indian Trade Union Act – 1926.
Dr.B.R.Ambedkar, the architect if Indian Constitution, provided the right to form Association, vide Article 19(1) of the Constitution of the country.
It was the first government of the Independent India, under the leadership of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, brought the Central Civil Service (Recognition of Service Associations) Rules 1959 to recognise the major Associations, representing Central Government Employees to whom CCS Rules are applicable. The concept was to have a representative body for negotiations between the government employees and the government. The Associations/unions existed as well as formed later were recognised as per these rules. The nine recognised Associations of AIR & DD have been mentioned in AIR Manual published from time to time.     Copy of concerned page of AIR manual.
With a concept to maintain a healthy employees- employer environment, the Union Govt started the Scheme for Joint Consultative Machinery and Compulsory Arbitration in the year 1964 to settle the matters related to the Central Govt employees through negotiations in a time bound manner. The representatives of the recognised Associations are only allowed to be members from staff side in various councils under this scheme. Accordingly the nine Associations of AIR & Doordarshan, recognised as per the Central Civil Service (Recognition of Service Associations) Rules 1959 were entertained for these councils from Local Informal Staff Consultative Council (LISCC) – chaired by Head of Office, Office Councils of AIR & Doordarshan – chaired by DGs of AIR & DD respectively and Departmental Council- chaired by Secretary, Ministry of I&B.
Meanwhile Govt of India notified Central Civil Service (Recognition of Service Associations) Rules 1993, on 5th November 1993and circulated along with OM dated 09th November 1993. The new rule which superseded the CCS(RSA) Rules 1959 proposed a check off system to verify the membership of an Association on the basis of deduction of subscription from the pay-rolls. 
Section 4 of the CCS (RSA) Rules says that A Service Association or a federation which has been recognized by the Government before the commencement or these rules and in respect of which the recognition is subsisting at such commencement, shall continue to be so recognized for a period of one year form such commencement or till the date on which the recognition is withdrawn, whichever is earlier.  Later DOP&T has extended this date upto 31st May 1997.
Para 4 of the OM says that “Recognition will be accorded by the Ministry / Department of an Association on fulfilling the conditions prescribed in Rule 5 (d)  ( i )  of the rules in respect of the entire Ministry / Department. The Association so recognized at the Central level may have branches in the lower formation.”
Since there was total confusion in the process, it could not be implemented in any department within the stipulated time. As per our information one of the first department to complete the process was Income Tax department in June 2001.
On the other side, the Prasar Bharati Act 1990 was notified on 15th September 1997, creating a dispute since the CCS (RSA) Rules cannot be implemented on the employees of a corporation. Accordingly we (ARTEE) have written to DOP&T on  21.08.1998 seeking details on the process of recognition on our Association to which DOP&T vide their letter dated 27th August 1998, advised Ministry of I&B, being the administrative Ministry for our cadres, to process the case and inform us accordingly.                                                  Letter from DOP&T dated 27/8/1998
Meanwhile, after continuous pressure from Associations including ARTEE, O/o DG:AIR  on 12th October 1998, submitted a detailed report stating the status of various Associations in following the RSA Rules. They have mentioned that “Fresh Recognition is under consideration for six Associations, including ARTEE”. For remaining 11 Associations existing at that time, O/o DG: AIR commented that some Associations not applied, for some Associations, the documents incomplete etc. In this letter they wrote that the process is held up due to notification of Prasar Bharati Act and verdict of Hon’ble Supreme Court (on particular issue) declaring AIR&DD as industry.
                                                                                    Letter from DG:AIR to MIB dated 12/10/1998
Hon’ble Minister for I&B, in her written reply to Hon’ble members of Parliament states that “ The Ministry kept the matter of recognition of Associations pending till a final decision on the service condition of Prasar Bharati employees is taken”
                                                                                    Reply from Hon’ble Minister
Again from 2007 onwards, DG:AIR, on demand of Associations, requested Ministry with nine remainders to start the process. It is clearly stated in almost all letters that the Associations are pressing hard for completion of the process.
Copy of the letter dated 05.03.2007 from DG:AIR to MIB & Reminders dated 13.03.2007, 01.04.2007, 24.04.2007, 30.05.2007, 20.06.2007, 20.08.2007, 03.12.2008, 21.10.2009.
The recognized Associations wrote to the Ministry requesting to settle the issue of recognition, by highlighting the above facts.
Copy of the letter written by recognised Associations.
                                                                        Copy of  2nd letter written by recognised Associations

Ultimately, in reply to repeated letters, Ministry of I&B intimated ARTEE that the matter of recognition to all service Associations under the new CCS (RSA) rules 1993 is under process.
Copy of the letter from Ministry
The DG, AIR issued an order on 22nd February 2010, stating that since the matter regarding recognition of Associations/Unions of AIR is under process with Ministry of I&B.it has been decided to maintain status quo in this regard and interact with those Associations/Unions which are figuring in AIR manual, pending finalization of the case,.
                                                                                    Copy of the order dated 22.2.2010 by DG:AIR
Whenever we, the Associations approached Ministry, Prasar Bharati & DG:AIR all authorities were used to entertain the Associations as recognised ones.
The management was always irritated with the united strength of Associations and always looking for any option to destroy the strength of employees. Ultimately the management succeeded in issuing the order dated 08/09/2011 stating that “no Associations in AIR & DD are recognised.”.It was also stated that no office bearer of these Associations will be given any special privileges.” Accordingly transfer orders were issued for 26 senior office bearers of three major Associations.
We have immediately approached Ministry, DG:AIR & Prasar Bharati pointing out the above said facts. When the repeated requests were ignored by the authorities, we filed a case in Hon’ble High Court Delhi with the following prayer:

  1. To issue a writ, order or direction in the nature of CERTIORARI  quashing the impugned office order no. 120/2011-PPC dated 08.09.2011(Annexure P-19).
  2. To issue a writ of mandamus or a writ, order or direction in the nature of mandamus directing the respondents to grant  recognition to the petitioners according to the Central Civil Services(Recognition of service Associations) Rules, 1993, in a time bound manner.
  3. To issue a writ, order or direction in the nature of CERTIORARI  quashing the impugned office order no 112/2010-PPC dated 19.08.2011, 116/2011-PPC dated 02.09.2011, 117/2011-PPC dated 02.09.2011, , 122/2011-PPC dated 08.09.2011, 121/2011-PPC dated 08.09.2011 (Annexure no. P 20(Colly.),.
  4. To issue a writ, order or direction in the nature of CERTIORARI or any other appropriate writ, order or direction for quashing the Office orders of Transfer nos. 36/2011 dated 12.09.2011, 37/2011 dated 12.09.2011, 38/2011 dated 12.09.2011, 70/2011-S-I(B) dated 12.09.2011, CEW/EA-TRANSFER/2011/PCELL dated 14.09.2011 and 40/2011 dated 15.09.2011, Office orders no. 32015/3/P.CELL/CEW/2011 dated 13.09.2011, order no. CEW/EA-TRANSFER/2011/PCELL dated 14.09.2011 issued by western zone office of Respondent no. 2., Office Orders no. 28/2011-12 and 30/2011-12 dated 14.09.2011  passed by South Zone office of respondent no. 2, Office order no. CE(NEZ)/1(27)/2011-S/SEA dated 14.09.2011 for the posts of Engineering Assistants and Senior Engineering Assistants issued by North East zone office of Respondent no. 2 issued at the instance of Respondents no. 2 and 3.(Annexure P22(Colly.) and P-23)
  5. To issue any other or further orders as this Hon’ble Court may deem fit and proper in the interest of justice and in the facts and circumstances of the case.

We have approached the Hon’ble High Court since Hon’ble CAT Lucknow some time back in case of recognition of Postal employees directed the applicants to approach High Court since it is link with the constitutional rights.
While on argument, the counsel for the Govt & Prasar Bharati pointed that after the decision of Hon’ble GOM, & Cabinet, the employees joined upto 05.10.2007 are Central Govt employees and they are  thereby covered under CCS Rules so the case should be considered as service matter. Hence the case was referred to Hon’ble CAT.
We have informed Hon’ble CAT that we are basically demanding for the time bound completion of the process of recognition of Associations to restore the staff reddressal system in the department. Accordingly we filed OA in Hon’ble CAT Delhi of which the case is disposed off on 6th January directing the Govt & PB to complete the recognition process before 29th June 2012 (within four months from 29th February 2012).  
Hon’ble CAT observed in its verdict that “Even though it is clear from the records that applicant associations had applied for recognition way back and there applications were pending for consideration but the fact remains that till date no order has been passed by the respondents recognizing them as an association. Now that respondents have issued notice dated 22.11.2011, it gives right to other group of employees also to form an association and seek recognition. Since applications have been called vide notice dated 22.11.2011 and the last date for receiving applications is stated to be 29.02.2012 naturally respondents have to wait till 29.2.2012. Simply because applicants had given their applications in 1993, it does not mean that other groups would have no right to give applications and form association or seek recognition. Processing of applications, including those of the applicants would take place only after 29.2.2012 by following due process as mentioned in the rules. We cannot give any finding whether the requirements as mentioned in the rules has been fulfilled by the applicant associations or not. These facts would have to be ascertained by the respondents after scrutinizing each and every application.
10. We, therefore, dispose of this OA with a direction to the respondents to scrutinize the applications received by them either already or fresh applications which are received pursuant to the notice dated 22.11.2011 and pass appropriate orders in those applications within a period of 4 months from the last date of receiving the applications i.e. after 29.02.2012. In case, official respondents find the applications submitted by the applicants associations are deficient to some extent or they are required to fulfill some more conditions as mentioned in the rules, they should point out those deficiencies to the applicants associations within a reasonable time so that they may fulfill those requirements before the last date of receiving the applications, i.e. by 29.02.2012. Once final orders are passed by the respondents with regard to the recognition of Association, law will take its own course. No costs.” Verdict is already available in our website.

Meanwhile the matter was raised by Hon’ble Members of Parliament and senior leaders of various political parties inside and outside the Parliament. Various senior trade union leaders including Dr. Sanjeeva Reddy, Hon’ble MP & President, Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC), Shri. Rudra Narayan Pani,Hon’ble MP & General Secretary Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS), Shri. Tapan Kumar Sen, hon’ble MP & General Secretary, Centre for Indian Trade Unions (CITU) took up the matter seriously with the Ministry. Dr. Sanjeeva Reddy had meeting with Hon’ble Minister for I&B in this regard. Lot of our members might have watched the proceedings of Hon’ble Rajya Sabha on 08th December 2011 & Hon’ble Lok Sabha on 20th December 2011 in which Hon’ble Members of Parliament, cutting across political affiliations, raised their voice for the democratic and constitutional rights of the employees of AIR & Doordarshan. We are particularly grateful to Hon’ble MPs - Shri. Tathagatha Satpaty, Shri. Ram Chandra Khuntia & Shri. Rudra Narayan Pani of Odisha, Shri. Pralhad Joshi of Karnataka, Shri. Saidul Haque, Shri.Prasanta Banerjee & Shri.Prasanta Chatterjee from West Bengal,Shri. E.T.Mohammed Basheer from Kerala for raising the issue of recognition of Association. More than 50 Hon’ble MPs written letters to Hon’ble Minister to settle the issue of recognition of Associations at the earliest.
In response to the unstarred question on 05/12/2011, Hon’ble Minister of State for I&B stated that:
(b) The CCS (Recognition of Service Association) Rules are applicable to government servants. In Prasar Bharati, it would be applicable to those employees who were regularly recruited upto 05.10.2007.
(c) Department of Personnel and Training on 31.7.2003 clarified that CCS(RSA) Rules 1993 apply to all employees to whom CCS (Conduct ) Rules apply.
(d) In pursuance of Department of Personnel and Training’s clarifications referred to in reply to part (c) of the Question, Prasar Bharati was directed to initiate the process of recognition of employees associations as per specified procedure.                                   Copy of Question &Ans
It was assured in the Hon’ble Rajya Sabha on 05.12.2011 that “As and when Associations are recognized in terms of the notification, constitution of JCM will be considered.”
                                                                                                            Copy of Question & Answer
Hon’ble Minister for I&B replied in Rajya Sbha on 08/12/2011 & in Lok Sabha on 20/12/2011 that Ministry is ready to accord recognition, if the Associations complete the formalities. But the fact is that the Ministry of I&B is not ready to issue directive to the Head of Offices to start the deduction from the salary of employees inspite of repeated requests not only from Associations but even from the Head of Department – Director General, All India Radio.           
Meanwhile Ministry advised Prasar Bharati & DG:AIR, vide their letter No.B-12017/1/99 – Admin III (Vol.IV) dated 14/11/2011,  to obtain applications for recognition of their service Associations along with the following requisite documents:
(a) Memorandum of Association,
(b) Constitution/ Bye- Laws of the Association,
(c) Names of the Office bearers of the Association,
(d) List of members of the Association
(e) Copies of written declaration addressed to DDOs concerned, by members of the Association for deductions of subscriptions in favour of the Association.
It was also advised to PB to confirm the fulfilments of the conditions under Rule 5,6 & 7 of the notification No.2/10/80—JCA (Vol.IV) dated 05.9.1993 issued by DOP&T. It was also directed to PB that on receipt of the details from the concerned Associations, the case of recognition of their Associations may be processed.
Accordingly, PB issued circular dated  22/11/2011 directing the Associations to submit the details and the Head of offices to display in notice board for starting of the recognition process. The cut off dates for report back to PB on display in notice boards was 01.12.2011 and submit applications complete in all respects in accordance with DOPT’s OM dated 05/11/1993 ( all aspects include submission of authorisation forms to DDOs – as mentioned in the letter from Ministry also- and thereby accepting the forms is mandatory for DDO/HOO as per the rules) is specified as 29th February 2012.  The counsel on behalf of Prasar Bharati & Ministry re asserted it in the Hon’ble CAT and the Hon’ble Court taken it into record also.
Meanwhile Prasar Bharati issued another circular on 21/12/2011 directing subordinate offices tthat PB’s letter dated 22 Nov 2011 has to be acted upon seriously. It further stated that “those offices that have still not taken any action on the instructions given therein, have to comply with the directions given it immediately, failing which heads of any such defaulting office will be held personally responsible for the delay in implementing the directions conveyed therein”.  
Members/office bearers are requested to these circulars, especially of 21/12/2011, to the notice of Head of office wherever the HOO/DD refusing to accept the authorisation form from members, which is a precondition for the process as mentioned in RSA Rules as well as in the directives from Ministry.
It may kindly be noted that the circular issued by Prasar Bharati on 22/11/2011 reproduced the necessary conditions for recognition of Associations as per CCS(RSA) Rules 1993. Those points are:.  
5.            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 ,  Bye-laws of the Association , Names of Office-Bearers ,  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 percent 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 atleast 15 per cent membership ;

( ii ) The membership of the Government Servant shall be automatically discontinued on his ceasing to belong to such category ;

( e )    Government employees who are in service shall be members or office bearers of the Service Association ;

( f )   the service Association shall not be formed to represent the interests ,  or on the basis ,  of any caste ,  tribe or religious denomination or of any group within or section of such caste ,  tribe or religious denomination ;

( g )      the Executive of the Service Association has been appointed from amongst the members only ;  and

( h )      the funds of the Service Association consist exclusively of subscriptions from members and grants ,  if any made by the Government ,  and are applied only for the furtherance of the objects of the Service Association.

(Note 1: it may kindly be noted that as per the Sub section (f) of the Section 5 of the CCS(RSA) Rules 1993, Association formed to represent the interest of any caste, tribe or religious denomination or of any group within or section of such caste, tribe or religious denomination will not be eligible for recognition. Hence any member of such association if any has to submit their authorisation in favour of the cadre/official category such as Engg, Prog, Admin, Gr.D, Steno, Driver etc if they look for protection from a recognised Association.  
Note 2: as per the CCS(RSA) Rules 1993, one employees can submit authorisation for one Association only. If he/she submits more than one application, all his applications will be rejected and thereby he will not get the protection of the recognised Association.
Members are requested to kindly take care of these points while submitting the authorisation forms.)

The broad guide lines issued by DOP&T along with its letter dated 11th February 1994, it states that “ simultaneously the work of ascertaining the choice of the staff and obtaining their consent for deduction of subscription from the pay roll in the performa should begin”

Copy of the OM dated 31/1/1994 & 09.11.1993 along with notification dtd 05.11.1993.

The Controller General of Accounts vide their OM No.9(4)/93/TA/1006 dated 2nd December 1993 issued the procedure for deductions towards membership subscriptions to Service Associations of Central Govt Employees from salary bills:

  1. Every employee wanting to be member of a service Association would have to give it in writing to the DDO in the performa ,his consent for deduction of subscription from his pay bill. The consent is to be send through the concerned service Association, to which the membership is sought.
  2. The consent letter given by the employee will be grouped category wise and filed securely in guard files. The details of the consent will be noted in a register by the DDO.
  3. The recovery shall be made at such intervals as prescribed by DOP&T*
  4. An extract from this register, in duplicate, will be given to the cashier for making necessary entries in the acquittance roll GFR 24 of the month concerned. A suitable column in the acquittance roll may be opened to record the deductions separately. The deductions made by the cashier, through acquittance roll will be outside the transactions of the Govt account.
  5. The DDO, after making deductions will remit the account to concerned Association, indicating the total deductions and the total number of persons covered by the amount remitted. The amount may be remitted to the functionaries as may be authorised by the Association to receive the subscription.
  6. The DDO shall also reconcile the total deductions with the details of total membership of different Associations as per his records. Suitable endorsement in the register mentioned in para (2) above shall also be made by the DDO.
  7. The DDO shall report to such authority and at such intervals as may be prescribed by the Ministry/ Department, details with regard to the total number of persons belonging to each of the service Associations.

( * Note: the initial decision of DOP&T was for deduction of subscription annually, but later the Associations were granted option for annually or monthly)   

Dear Comrades,
This is the high time for us to react. Kindly follow up not only with your stations but with other stations wherever you can contact also to ensure that the authorisation forms are submitted immediately, wherever it is pending, with a copy to the Central Office. Kindly request your HOO to send a detailed report along with list of members submitted authorisation forms,  to the Manager (P), Prasar Bharati immediately so that they will not be held personally responsible as warned in the circular dated 21/12/2011 by Prasar Bharati. Kindly tell the members very clearly that the first recognition process is for two years and thereafter for every three years. So if they miss the opportunity now they will lose the protection from recognised Association for two years.
Some of the officers also confused that the deduction will start only after recognition process is over. Kindly tell them that, as per RSA rules, the recognition will be granted only after the check off system since they can find out the strength of Association only after deduction from salary.

So, kindly speed up the process from our side, try to ensure that each and every employee participating the process within the ambit of the CCS(RSA) Rules 1993.

Let us make a more strong and  powerful ARTEE. Long live ARTEE.

Your own Anilkumar S