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The Rajasthan High Court held that it is unlawful to withhold an employee’s pension or gratuity, especially if they are already enrolled in an outdated pension plan

Title: Ramesh Kumar v. State of Rajasthan & Ors.

Decided on: 19 October, 2023

+ Civil Writ Petition No. 20043/2017

CORAM: Hon’ble Justice Anoop Kumar Dhand

Introduction

A Municipal Corporation was recently ordered by the Rajasthan High Court to release an employee’s pension and gratuity payments, ruling that it was unlawful, unfair, and capricious to withhold such benefits. Given that the petitioner had previously been enrolled in the Old Pension Scheme, the court further stated that the Corporation’s request for him to select between the New Pension Scheme and the Old Pension Scheme was unlawful.

Facts of the Case

The petitioner’s employment as a driver was terminated in 1985 after it was first hired on November 14, 1982. He then filed an industrial dispute, which resulted in an award that reversed his dismissal and ordered his reinstatement with full-service continuity. The Corporation appealed the decision, but it was turned down. The Corporation then filed an appeal, which was only partially granted and restricted the amount of back pay to the petitioner’s appointment date. The petitioner received a regular pay scale on January 19, 2006, and was restored on February 8, 2001, with effect from April 13, 1994. Regretfully, on July 5, 2006, this decision was withdrawn, which led the petitioner to pursue a civil petition in 2006. On December 16, 2008, the court granted this petition. The Corporation then went ahead and reinstated the order from January 19, 2006, which indicated that the petitioner was now a regular employee. The petitioner reached superannuation age on December 31, 2016, and retired after serving the required number of years. But even after a significant length of time had passed, the Corporation still neglected to pay the petitioner’s retirement benefits, such as his pension and gratuity. The petitioner filed a court case under Article 226 of the Constitution.

Courts analysis and decision

The Corporation’s decision to withhold the petitioner’s pension and gratuity was deemed unlawful, arbitrary, and unreasonable by the court. Accordingly, it was decided that the petitioner was entitled to interest at the rate of nine percent annually under Rule 89 of the Rajasthan Civil Services (Pension) Rules, 1996, as well as gratuity and pension in compliance with the terms of the Old Pension Scheme. As a result, the court granted the writ petition and directed the Corporation to release the petitioner’s pension and gratuity as soon as possible, together with interest accruing at the rate of 9% annually from the date of due until the payment is actually made, which should happen within three months.

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Written by- Hargunn Kaur Makhija

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Patna High Court directed the respondent to pay entire amount of GPF along with statutory interest to the petitioner

TITLE: Padam Kumar Sharma v. The State of Bihar & Ors.

Decided on: 19-07-2023

CWJC No: 7458/2023

Coram: HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE PURNENDU SINGH

Facts of the case:

Learned counsel appearing on behalf of the petitioner informs that the retiral dues on account of group insurance, gratuity and commutation of pension have been processed. 

Mr. Madan Jeet Kumar, learned G.P. 20 appearing on behalf of the State submits that he has been informed by the Treasury Officer that the same will be credited into the account of the petitioner today or by tomorrow. Learned counsel further informs that in paragraph no.17 of the writ petition, the petitioner has submitted that total amount on account of GPF Rs.7,14,125/- has been paid to the petitioner whereas he is liable for payment of 18,00,000/- (Eighteen lac) along with the statutory interest as assessed by him. Learned counsel further submits that as informed by the District Provident Officer, the entire amount will be paid to the petitioner, in accordance with law, within a period of two weeks after receiving deduction statement from the places of posting of the petitioner. 

Analysis of the court and decision:

Considering the information as provided by the learned counsel for the State, the writ petition is being disposed of with a direction to the District Provident Officer, Munger, who is Incharge of Sheikhpura also, to ensure that the entire amount on account of GPF is paid to the petitioner along with statutory interest in accordance with law within a period of two weeks, failing which this Court will take appropriate legal action against the District Provident Officer, Munger (Incharge of Sheikhpura).

At this Stage, Mr. Amarendra Kumar, learned counsel appearing on behalf of the petitioner submits that he will file a detailed representation before the District Programme Officer (Establishment), Sheikhpura for making payment of remaining dues and the statutory interest, which still remains to be paid to the petitioner. He will also file a representation before the District Provident Officer, Munger, who is Incharge of Sheikhpura district to facilitate payment of the retiral dues to the petitioner. 

It is made clear that the authorities must not delay in making payment of the retiral dues in accordance with law to the petitioner within a period of two weeks from the date of communication of this order.

With the above observation/direction, the present writ petition is disposed of.

There will be no order as to costs.

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Written by- Meghana D

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