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Grant of paid leave to the Gramin Dak Sevaks (GDS)


Ministry of Communications & IT Department  of Posts

Dak Bhawan,

Sansad Marg, New Delhi-110 001

Dated: April     24,   2003

Sub.    Grant of paid leave to the Gramin Dak Sevaks.

Ref:     Directorate   OM   No.   26-1/97-PC&ED   Cell   dated   17.12.1998,   OM   No.   14-2/99- PCC/PAP dated 5.3.1999, OM No.17-115/2001-GDS, dated 21.10.2002  & OM No.17- 136/2001-GDS,  dated 10.1.2003

I  am  directed  to invite  your  kind  attention  to  this  office  letter  No.17-115/2001-GDS, dated  21.10.2002  regulating  the  substitute  and  provisional  arrangements   made  in  place  of regular Gramin Dak Sevaks. Para 8 (i) of the said instructions read:

*8.         As per extant  orders,  a regular  GDS  is  required  to provide  a substitute  at his own risk and responsibility but subject  to approval by the appointing authority.  Hence it is  the duty of the appointing  authority  to ensure  that  any  ineligible  person is not  approved  as a substitute  and any “substitute”  arrangement  is not  allowed  to continue  for long periods.  

Accordingly  the following guidelines  may  inevitably   be  kept  in  view  while  dealing  with  matters  relating  to  “substitute arrangements”  or their continuance:

(i)       Before resorting to substitute arrangement the following options may be explored:

(a)       In case of short-term arrangements, as far as possible, work will be managed by combining duties, and “substitutes” will not be provided in leave arrangements. In single-handed BOs, the work shall be managed by giving combined duty to GDS

2. Mail Deliverer/Mail Carrier (Gramin Dak Vitaraka/Vahak) of the neighboring BO/SO in whose beat the BO falls.

(b)      Even in long  term arrangements,  the combination of duties as in   (a) above will be resorted  to;  substitutes  will  be  allowed  only  if work  load  of  the  BO as well as the financial position justifies such engagement or filling of the post on regular basis.

(c)        In towns and citied, where departmental  officials are also available in the same office, the possibility  of managing the work by regular staff by combination  of duties or by grant of OTA beyond normal working hours may be explored.”

2.        Some Circles had sought some clarifications from the Directorate on the issue pertaining to paid leave. If “combination  of duties is not feasible can engagement of substitutes be allowed in the case of paid leave also",  Directorate had clarified, vide letter No.17-136/2001-GDS, dated 10.1.2003,  that combination of duties is as   last option  while granting paid leave  as regular  GDS which implied that other options including engagement of substitutes were also open while  granting paid leave.

3.        Notwithstanding the  above  clarification,  this office  continued  to receive   representations from  staff  Unions  expressing  following  difficulties  due  to   issuance  of  above

(i)       Combination  of  duties is affecting  employment  condition  with  extended  working hours without any additional remuneration.

(ii)       GDSS are not being granted paid leave due to misinterpretation of above instructions.

(iii)      GDSS are being denied the opportunity to officiate in Postman/Gr. ‘D’ cadres.

4.        The matter has been examined and it is again clarified that:

(i)       Instructions  dated  21.10.2002  do  not  provide  that  combination  of duties  should  be resorted to even if the working hours of the combined duties exceed 5 hours.  It is for the  leave  sanctioning   authority   to  ensure  that  combination  of  duties   whenever reasoned  to does not exceed maximum 5 working hours a day of such GDS.  In so far as  issue  of  extra  remuneration  for  additional  work  in  concerned,  there  is  already provision of combined duty allowance.

(ii)        As  regard  alleged  refusal  of leave  due  to  wrong  interpretation of instructions  dated 21. 10.2002,    it   is   clarified   that   leave   should   trot   be   refused   to   GDSs   when combination of dukes is not possible.

(iii)       Further,   instructions  dated  21.10.2002  also  do  not  prohibit  making  of  

officiating arrangement   against   Group D/Portman   cadre   by   engaging   the   GDSs.      Para   

8   (b) stipulates  that  even  in long  term  arrangement,  substitute  will be allowed  if  work  load and financial position of BO justifies such engagement 'or filling up of the post.

5.        While  the  basic  intention  behind  the  issuing  of  instructions  dated  21.10.2002  was  no doubt to regulate and restrict the substitute  and provisional  arrangements  approved/made by the appointing authorities,  it was not intended  to deny the legitimate leave to the GDSs.  As such it is enjoined  upon  the leave  sanctioning  authorizes  that   they  will  not  deny  paid  leave  introduced vide Dtc OM dated 17.12.1998  on the grounds that duties of the GDS proceeding on leave etc cannot be combined with other GDSs/departmental staff.

6.        Hindi version will follow.

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