Delays in Pension Payments: Rajasthan High Court’s Landmark Judgment and General Mandamus for Timely Disbursements

Title: Jitendra Jain V. State of Rajasthan

Date of Decision: August 19, 2023

Case ID: S.B. Civil Writ Petition No. 4193/2008

Presiding Judge: Hon’ble Mr. Justice Anoop Kumar Dhand

Introduction: The case of Jitendra Kumar Jain v. State of Rajasthan and Others was brought before the High Court of Judicature for Rajasthan at Jaipur. The petitioner, Jitendra Kumar Jain, sought relief concerning the delay in receiving his pensionary benefits after his voluntary retirement as a Revenue Inspector. The primary issue revolved around the withholding of his retiral dues due to an audit objection and unpaid rent.

Facts: Jitendra Kumar Jain had taken voluntary retirement from his position as a Revenue Inspector on September 26, 2006. However, his retiral dues, including pension benefits, were withheld by the authorities due to an audit objection raised before his retirement regarding irregular pay scale. The respondents contended that Jain had also not paid due rent for his accommodation, leading to a notice being issued in 2007. The rent remained unpaid, and the authorities withheld his entire retiral dues.

Judgment: Justice Anoop Kumar Dhand, after hearing both parties’ arguments and considering the facts, issued the following judgment:

  1. The court directed the respondents to release all retiral dues to Jitendra Kumar Jain, along with interest at a rate of 9% per annum, within a period of three months from the date of receiving a certified copy of the order.
  2. The court acknowledged that the respondents could deduct the due rent amount from Jain’s retiral dues during the final payment but strongly criticized the practice of withholding the entire retiral dues for this reason.
  3. The court issued a general mandamus to all departments of the State of Rajasthan, directing them to strictly comply with the mandatory provisions of Chapter VI of the Rajasthan Civil Services (Pension) Rules, 1996, related to the timely payment of pensions and retiral dues. Failure to comply with this order would result in the erring officers and departments being held responsible for the unnecessary delay and the payment of costs associated with litigation from their own pockets.
  4. The Chief Secretary of the State was directed to circulate the court’s order to all heads of departments for compliance and effective implementation. A compliance report was to be submitted to the court by October 16, 2023.

This judgment not only addressed the specific case of Jitendra Kumar Jain but also aimed to streamline the process of pension disbursements across government departments to prevent unnecessary delays and hardship to retiring employees.

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Written by Yagya Agarwal

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