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Claiming Retiral Benefits: Deceased Teacher’s Nominee Challenges Legally Wedded Wife’s Right.

Case Title: Rajni Rani vs State of U.P. and others

Case No: WRIT – A No. – 11483 of 2023

Decided on: 11.01.2024

Coram: The Hon’ble Mr. Justice Saurabh Shyam Shamshery

 

 

Facts of the Case

After reaching superannuation on June 30, 2012, one Sri Bhojraj Singh retired from his position as an assistant teacher at Maharaja Tej Singh Junior High School in Aurandh, Vikash Khand Sultanganj, District Mainpuri he passed away on February 10, 2021. The petitioner is claiming Sri Bhojraj Singh’s retirement benefits on the grounds that she was his nominee and lived with him as his wife for a considerable amount of time, as stated in the service record.

Advocates for the petitioner stated that the petitioner does not dispute that Respondent-10, Usha Devi, was Sri Bhojraj Singh’s lawfully wedded wife. She supposedly got married to someone else after divorcing him, hence she is not eligible for Sri Bhojraj Singh’s retirement payments. The learned counsel went on to say that Respondent-10 initiated a proceeding under Section 125 Cr.P.C., wherein an agreed amount was taken and a compromise was entered. Respondent-10 never claimed any maintenance allowance after that, and as a result, she has abandoned any rights she may have had.

On the other hand, the advocate for Respondent 10 contended that the respondent is in fact the legally wedded wife of Sri Bhojraj Singh and there was no divorce between them, therefore, only based on being a nominee or that the petitioner stayed with Sri Bhojraj Singh for a long time, would not sufficient to accrue all retiral benefits to her.

Issue

  • Whether the petitioner as the nominee of the government employee can claim the retiral benefits?
  • Whether the legally wedded wife even after having left the husband for years be entitled to his retiral benefits as a legal heir?

Legal Provision

Section 125 of the CrPC –

This code provides that any person who has sufficient means to maintain himself cannot deny the maintenance to the wife, children, and parents if they are not able to maintain themselves. After the party has invoked Section 125 of the Code, the court may order the respondent—the husband—to provide monthly maintenance to the wife in the event that she is unable to support herself. Nevertheless, the regulation contains an exemption. The husband must be able to support his wife after their divorce and the wife cannot be living in adultery or apart from her husband for an insufficient period of time in order for the husband to be entitled to maintenance payments. The wife will not be eligible for any kind of maintenance, even if they are living apart with mutual consent. In the event that the wife receives a favourable judgement, the court has make sure that the husband has sufficient means to provide maintenance to the wife. The court also needs to make sure that the wife after the separation does not have enough money to maintain herself.

Court Decision and Analysis

The court referred to the judgment passed by the apex court in Shipra Sengupta vs Mridul Sengupta and others (2009) 10 SCC 680  wherein it was held that a nominee of a Government employee is only a custodian and benefit after the employee’s death will confer to his/ her legal heirs.

The petitioner and Respondent-10 both lay claim to Bhojraj Singh’s benefits, but their legal grounds differ starkly. While the petitioner asserts some abandonment of rights based on past proceedings, it’s critical to remember, firstly, that Respondent-10 was Bhojraj Singh’s legally married wife, not the petitioner. Moreover, he never divorced her. Therefore, as per the legal precedent established in Shipra Sengupta, Respondent 10 holds a rightful claim as his heir. Viewing the nominated beneficiary merely as a temporary custodian, the law dictates benefits flow to legal heirs upon the employee’s death. Given these clear-cut facts and established legal principles, the challenged order stands on solid ground. In simpler terms, Respondent-10, as the legally wedded and undivorced wife, rightfully inherits the benefits, not the petitioner.

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Written by- Bhawana Bahety

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Appointment of a teacher based on forged educational documents cannot be entitled to sympathy; cancelled the appointment: Allahabad High Court

Case Title:   Shiv Kumar Mishra v. State of U.P. and Others

Case No: Writ – A No. 13121 of 2023

Decided on: 9th January, 2024

CORAM: THE HON’BLE MR. SAURABH SHYAM SHAMSHERY

Facts of the Case

The petitioner assumed the role of an Assistant Teacher at Primary School Harnahi Chakarwa Bahordas, District Deoria, in 2005. Subsequently, in 2008, the petitioner was promoted to the position of Headmaster. In 2015, an inquiry was launched following a complaint asserting that the petitioner’s appointment had been made on the basis of falsified educational documents.

The District Basic Education Officer’s office in Deoria meticulously examined the documents and found no discrepancies. Subsequently, the documents were sent for additional verification.

The petitioner’s legal representative contended that despite the absence of any ambiguity in the documents, an investigation ensued, leading to the filing of an FIR against the petitioner in 2022. The argument emphasized that although the chargesheet was provided to the petitioner, the documents forming the basis for framing the charges were not supplied to him. Furthermore, the contention was put forth that the cancellation of the petitioner’s appointment was in violation of the principles of natural justice, as the order was issued without furnishing him with a copy of the inquiry report. This, it was asserted, warranted setting aside the decision.

On the contrary, the legal representative for the respondents argued that despite numerous notices sent to the petitioner, no responses were received to the specific queries raised. Consequently, the inquiry continued, and the charges were substantiated based on the police report.

Legal Provision

According to Rule 9(4) of the U.P. Government Servant (Discipline and Appeal) Rules, 1999, if any penalty outlined in Rule 3 is intended to be enforced, the government servant must be furnished with a copy of both the inquiry report and the Disciplinary Authority’s conclusions.

Issue

Whether the petitioner, who has procured an appointment as a Teacher based on forged educational documents, can be entitled to any sympathy?

Court’s analysis and decision

The Allahabad High Court has affirmed the annulment of the appointment of a primary school teacher due to the use of fraudulent documents. Justice Saurabh Shyam Shamshery, presiding over the bench, remarked that “a person such as a petitioner, who has procured appointment as Teacher on basis of forged educational documents, cannot be entitled to any sympathy and he is required to be dealt with strictly.”

The court affirmed that “It is well settled that fraud vitiates all solemn acts. Petitioner has not submitted any document which could contradict the findings returned by Inquiry Officer as well as by disciplinary authority that forged educational documents were provided by petitioner at the time of his appointment.” Consequently, the court concluded that the failure to serve the inquiry report was a mere irregularity and not an illegal act that resulted in any harm or injustice to the petitioner.

The court noted that the situation did not constitute double jeopardy since the District Basic Education Officer’s report from Deoria, affirming the authenticity of the documents, was not conclusive. This is because the District Basic Education Officer in Deoria had forwarded the documents for additional verification. Consequently, the court concluded that the petitioner had no grounds to assert a claim of double jeopardy.

The court noted that the petitioner’s response lacked specificity and failed to address the specific queries outlined in both the chargesheet and the notices served. Simultaneously, the court also remarked that the process outlined in Rule 9(4) of the U.P. Government Servant (Discipline and Appeal) Rules, 1999, was not adhered to.

The court referenced the cases of Rajasthan Rajya Vidyut Prasaran Nigam Limited and another vs. Anil Kanwariya (2021) and Indian Oil Corporation Ltd. vs. Rajendra D. Harmalkar (2022), where the Supreme Court emphasized that the issue of trust becomes significant if an employee secured the job through the submission of forged documents. In such instances, the dismissal penalty was upheld.

The court further noted that throughout the proceedings, including the writ petition stage, the petitioner did not present any document to challenge the findings of the Inquiry Officer and the Disciplinary Authority, which established that the petitioner obtained the appointment using fraudulent documents. Consequently, the court ruled that the petitioner failed to demonstrate any harm caused by the non-supply of the inquiry report.

As a result, the writ petition was rejected.

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Written by- Afshan Ahmad

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The Allahabad High Court held that section 17 UP-Lokayukta And Uttar Pradesh Lokayukta Act Does Not Preclude High Court’s Authority Under Article 226

Title: Masood Ahmad Khan v. State of UP and Ors.

Decided on: 06 November, 2023

+ Writ- A No. 10788 of 2023

CORAM: Hon’ble Justice Munir J

Introduction

Based on a review of its ruling by any court, the Allahabad High Court ruled that the bar established in Section 17 of the Uttar Pradesh Lokayukta and Up-Lokayuktas Act, 1975 does not apply to the High Court’s jurisdiction under Article 226 of the Indian Constitution.

Facts of the Case

Due to accusations that the petitioner had falsified his birthdate in the service record, his services were terminated. The writ court overturned the termination judgment on the grounds that he had already reached superannuation age. This was predicated on allegations that he had falsified his birthdate in the service record. Nevertheless, the petitioner was suspended pending further investigation. The petitioner’s attorney argued that the High Court had already overturned the petitioner’s termination without allowing the Nagar Palika Parishad to take up the case again. Because of this, the respondents lacked the authority to suspend the petitioner and bring legal action against him for allegedly falsifying his birthdate in the service book.

Courts analysis and decision

The Court decided that manipulation is not just “overwriting” or “cutting,” but that it can also be accomplished in other ways. Therefore, the absence of “overwriting” or “cutting” does not prove that the records were not altered. The Court decided that Nagar Palika Parishad is still free to carry out additional investigation despite this fact being noted in the decision. The Court noted that Section 17(2) solely restricts the regular jurisdiction of the Courts and cannot be interpreted as limiting the High Court’s authority under Article 226 of the Indian Constitution. As a result, the Court denied the petition and instructed the inquiry officer to wrap up the investigation in three months.

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Written by- Hargunn Kaur Makhija

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Burden To Prove The Actual Physical Movement Of The Goods Is Upon The Purchasing Dealer For Availament Of Input Tax Credit : High Court Of Allahabad

Title: M/S Malik Traders v State Of U.P. And 2 Other

Citation: WRIT TAX No. – 1237 of 2021

Decided On: 18.10.2023

Coram: Justice Rahul Divedi

Introduction:

The current Writ Tax is accepted by the Court in view of the fact that G.S.T. Tribunal is not functional in the State of Uttar Pradesh pursuant to the Gazette notification of the Central Government, dated 14.09.2023. proceedings of Section 74 of UP GST Act was initiated demanding Rs. 12,32,148/- as wrong availment of input tax credit which was confirmed by the impugned order dated 6.3.2021.

Facts:

petitioner is a registered dealer, and he is engaged in the purchase and sale of waste materials, plastic scrap, paper scrap and metal scrap. The petitioner from April 2018 to September 2019 has disclosed the turnover of Rs. 34,22,634/- on which input tax credit of Rs. 6,16,074.12/- was availed.

Thereafter a show cause notice was issued on 23.1.2019 under Section 74 of UP GST Act on the ground of wrong availment of input tax credit to which a reply was submitted by the petitioner. Later on tax liability to the tune of Rs. 6,16,074/- along with penalty of Rs. 6,16,074/- total amount Rs. 12,32,148/- was demanded from the petitioner by the order dated 4.10.2019.

It was argued that the benefit of tax credit in the G.S.T. regime is being brought with intention to avoid cascading effect and once the tax has been charged on the bill and paid by the petitioner through banking channel, the benefit of input tax credit cannot be denied.

It is submitted that petitioner has rightly discharged its tax liability by paying the tax charged on the bills raised by the selling dealer and if the selling dealer have not deposited the tax so charged from the petitioner, the selling dealer shall be penalized and not the petitioner.

On the other hand Mr. Rishi Kumar, learned A.C.S.C. has supported the impugned orders and submitted that under Section 16 of UP GST Act it has been provided that input tax credit can be availed with certain conditions stipulated therein, in the event of non-fulfilment of such conditions as enumerated therein, the benefit of input tax credit cannot be accorded.

or availment of input tax credit, the petitioner is duty bound to prove beyond any reasonable doubt and establish that actual transaction took place and merely furnishing the details of tax invoices, e-way bills, GR is not sufficient. The petitioner was required to give details i.e. vehicle number which were used for transportation of goods, payment of freight charged, acknowledgement of taking delivery of goods and payment etc.

Court’s Analysis and Judgement:

In the case of State of Karnataka Vs. M/s Ecom Gill Coffee Trading Private and in M/s Aastha Enterprises Vs. State of Bihar, it has been held that the burden to prove the actual physical movement of the goods is upon the purchasing dealer for availament of input tax credit.

According to Section 16 of U.P.G.S.T. every registered dealer can claim the benefit of input tax credit only on fulfilment of certain conditions as enumerated under the Act. And section 74 of U.P.G.S.T. it is clear that determination of tax not paid or short paid or erroneously refunded or input tax credit wrongly availed or utilised by reason of fraud or any wilful misstatement or suppression of facts empowers to issue notice that tax has not been paid or short paid or erroneously refunded or input tax credit has wrongly been availed or utilized by any reason or wilful misstatement or suppression of fact.

the petitioner has only brought on record the tax invoices, e-way bills, GR and payment through banking channel, but no such details such as payment of freight charges, acknowledgement of taking delivery of goods, toll receipts and payment thereof has been provided. Thus in the absence of these documents, the actual physical movement of goods and genuineness of transportation as well as transaction cannot be established thus the proceeding has rightly been initiated against the petitioner.

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Written By: Sushant Kumar Sharma

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Without challenging the findings, the petitioner cannot expand their case beyond the original pleadings: Allahabad High Court

Title: M/S Millennium Impex Pvt. Ltd. Vs Additional Commissioner Grade-2 (Appeal) – I State Tax, Noida and 2 Others

Date of Decision: 18th October 2023

CORAM: Hon’ble Piyush Agrawal, J.

Introduction

The present review seeks to re-examine the judgment rendered in case 2023: AHC:201258, which was delivered on 18th October 2023 by Hon’ble Piyush Agrawal, J. The original judgment dealt with a Writ Tax matter involving M/S Millennium Impex Pvt. Ltd. as the petitioner and the Additional Commissioner Grade-2 (Appeal) – I State Tax, Noida, along with two others as the respondents. The petitioner challenged an order dismissing their appeal against the imposition of tax and penalty. The primary issue revolved around the seizure of goods due to an alleged technical lapse in the e-way bill.

Facts of the Case

The petitioner, M/S Millennium Impex Pvt. Ltd., is a registered company dealing in metal seated zero leakage Ball Valves. They had made an outward supply of certain goods to NTPC Ltd., Ramagundam Super Thermal Power Station, which were being transported from New Delhi to Telangana via Agra, Uttar Pradesh. During transportation, the goods were intercepted by one of the respondents. It was discovered that a part of the e-way bill was left blank, leading to the imposition of tax and an equal amount of penalty. The petitioner challenged these actions, which were upheld by the first respondent.

Court’s Analysis and Decision

In the original judgment, the Court considered various arguments presented by both parties. The petitioner contended that there was no intent to evade tax, and the seizure of goods due to a minor technical issue in the e-way bill was unjust. They cited previous judgments and a circular dated 14th September 2018 to support their case.

The respondents, on the other hand, argued that the seizure and penalty were justified since the e-way bill issue was in contravention of the law. They emphasized that the petitioner had not provided any explanation for the blank part B of the e-way bill.

However, in the review, it is essential to note that the judgment in question raised a fundamental procedural concern. The petitioner’s arguments, as laid out in the original judgment, were based on their appeal grounds, which failed to explicitly challenge the findings of fact in the impugned order.

The Court referred to established legal principles, including the need for a party to provide relevant facts and evidence in their pleadings, and the importance of not expanding the scope of the case beyond the pleadings. It also highlighted that no rebuttal or rejoinder affidavit had been filed by the petitioner to address the assertions made by the respondents in their counter affidavit.

Ultimately, the Court concluded that without a proper challenge to the findings of fact recorded against the petitioner in the original judgment, the petitioner could not argue the case beyond the pleadings. The judgment in the original case was upheld, and the review was dismissed accordingly.

Review Conclusion:

The review of the judgment (2023: AHC:201258) reiterates the importance of adhering to established legal procedures, emphasizing the need for parties to plead and prove their case within the scope of their pleadings. The Court’s decision in the original judgment, dismissing the petitioner’s claims, is upheld in this review.

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Written by- Tarishi Verma

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