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Pension recovery from retired officials is impermissible : High court of Judicature at Calcutta

 

sujan-kumar-ghosh-v-state-of-west-bengalThe question as to whether pension recovery from retired officials is permissivle in cause of overdrawn money was examined by  THE HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT CALCUTTA , consisting of Justice samapti chatterjee in the matter of  Mr. Sujan Kumar Ghosh Vs. State of West Bengal [2017 CAL HC 227]  on 14.02.17.

The facts of the case were that the petitioner was appointed as an Assistant Teacher on 3rd May, 1967 at Jote Shibrampur, Shikshaniketan under District-South 24 Parganas. After 39 years of service upon attending the age of superannuation the petitioner retired from his service on 1st June, 2006. It is revealed that pay of the petitioner was time to time refixed by the respondent no.3 the District Inspector of School (S.E) South 24- Parganas. On 16th May, 2006 the Pension Payment Order was issued wherefrom it revealed that a sum of Rs. 1,40,840/- had been shown as overdrawn amount. Further the pension of the petitioner was sanctioned under a lesser pay scale that was allowed to the petitioner when he was in service.during his service tenure the petitioner was never informed regarding the wrong fixation of the petitioner’s pay scale by the authority. Unfortunately, after retirement from the pension payment order the petitioner came to know that a sum of Rs. 1,40,840/- has been deducted towards the overdrawn amount.

The learned counsel on behalf of the petitioner contended that recovery from the retired employees is impermissible, which however, has been done in the instant case. It is not possible to postulate all situations of hardship, which would govern employees on the issue of recovery, where payment have mistakenly been made by the employer, in excess of their entitlement.

The learned counsel on behalf of the respondent contended that since the undertaking has been given by the petitioner therefore the authority is entitled to recover the excess amount paid to the petitioner even after the retirement.

The High Court of West Bengal held that a petition filed by the Respondent under Article 226 of the the Constitution to challenge a direction issued by the State to the Accountant General for the recovery of an excess payment towards salary.The Respondent was appointed as a Civil Judge and was promoted as Additional Civil Judge on  in the judicial service of the State.  Under the rules, each officer was required to submit an undertaking that any excess which may be found to have been paid will be refunded to the Government either by adjustment against future payments due or otherwise. The Respondent furnished an undertaking and was granted the revised pay scale and selection grade of Rs.14300-400-18000-300. While opting for the revised pay scale, the Respondent undertook to refund any excess payment if it was so detected and demanded subsequently. The revised pay scale in the selection grade was allowed to the Respondent on 7 January 2002.

The court contended that there is no hesitation to hold that the impugned order issued by the respondent authority is bad in law which is set aside and quashed. The respondent authorities are, directed to refund the said amount of Rs. 1,40,840/- with interest at the rate of 8% per annum to the petitioner to be calculated from the date of retirement till the date of actual payment without any delay but positively within a period of eight weeks from the date of communication of this order failing which additional interest @ 2% per annum shall be payable to the petitioner

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