Extraordinary delay in payment of retiral dues held harsh & unconstitutional

Allahabad High Court: Coming down heavily on the State Government for not paying the GPF (General Pension Fund) amount for more than two decades to the petitioner who had retired in 1994,  the Bench of  Sudhir Agarwal and Shamsher Bahadur Singh, JJ. held that the amount of GPF is obviously the money which belongs to an employee and if a person is not paid his own money for more than two decades, there can be nothing more serious and harsh on the part of the respondents which is liable to be condemned in the strongest words. “It is like a person starving today is assured food to be provided  after a month or two by which time he may die of hunger or the food stuff itself may rot. If this is not unconstitutional then what else can be.

Observing that retiral dues is a fundamental right of a retired employee within the purview of Article 21 of the Constitution, the Court observed that the authorities continue to cause constant harassment to poor retired employees taking advantage of their helplessness, terming it “really unfortunate and shameful”. In a democratic system governed by rule of law, the government does not mean a lax government. The public servants hold their offices in trust and are expected to perform with due diligence particularly so that their action or inaction may not cause any undue hardship and harassment to a common man.

The Court  held that “In our system, the Constitution is supreme, but the real power vest in the people of India. The Constitution has been enacted ‘for the people, by the people and of the people’. A public functionary cannot be permitted to act like a dictator causing harassment to a common man and in particular when the person subject to harassment is his own employee.” Expressing severe disapproval, the Court held that “withholding of pension and other retiral benefits of retired employees for years together is not only illegal and arbitrary but a sin if not an offence since no law has declared so. It is morally and socially obnoxious. It is also against the concept of social and economic justice which is one of the founding pillar of our Constitution”.

The Court critically observed that  “A system controlled by bureaucrats can create wrangles to device something which is formulated by policy-makers for the benefit of the citizen is writ large from this case. A beneficial scheme made for social welfare of old and retired employees, can be twisted by the system creating a nightmare to retired employees, as is quite evident. The constitutional obligation though pen down to reach the people but Executive, habitual of remaining static or move slow or no movement at all, can render such scheme quite ineffective and inoperative … The pain and torture faced by retired employee and his family, in such circumstances, can be easily visualised and felt but cannot be assessed in the same way only those who really suffer, know it. This pain and humiliation cannot be compensated in terms of money.”

On the aspect of award of interest on delayed payment, the Court observed that if retiral benefits are paid with extraordinary delay, the Court should award suitable interest which is compensatory in nature so as to cause some solace to the harassed employee. No government official should have the liberty of harassing a hopeless employee by withholding the lawful dues for a long time and thereafter to escape from any liability. Every authority howsoever high must always keep in mind that nobody is above law. It is also the constitutional duty of a court of law to pass suitable orders in such matters so that such illegal acts may not be repeated and serve as a lesson to everyone committing such unjust act.

Directing the State Government to ensure the payment of 10% GPF amount along with 12% compound interest to be computed after six months from the date of petitioner’s retirement till actual payment, the Court also imposed costs of Rs 50,000 on the respondents to be recovered from the officer/s concerned, found responsible for the lapse after due enquiry.  [Sant Lal v. Chief Audit Officer, 2015 SCC OnLine All 154, decided on May 18, 2016]

14 comments

  • Publishin all media channels and serve to the authòrities.

  • Sir,actually the cocerned officer must be dismissed from service and put in jail for ever.he is not usefull to society.the higher authorities must be penelised at the rate of200 times.

  • I am K.Lakshminarayana, native of Hyderabad, and who worked as Sc-”B” in CGWB, MOWR, Government of India at Ranchi, Jharkhand state and retired on 31.07.2015.They did not pay any kind of retirement benefits, like encashment of E.L.,G.P.F, Gratitude, CGEIS etc. Even they did not pay travelling allowances from Ranchi to Hyderabad for me and family members, which is nothing but harassment. After 20 months i.e. 31.03.2017, they have sanctioned provisional pension and deposited in my SBI-account.
    Actually, in the year of 2000, while I was carrying field work in Srikakulam district in Andhra Pradesh, when consent M.T.D is on Medical leave, with oral permission of consent competent authorities driven Motor vehicle (I was possessing valid Motor vehicle licence).While I was travelling in the field, due to mechanical defect of Motor Vehicle met an accident on the road. My- self had received major injuries, admitted hospitals, after two months, obtained fitness certificate and attended office work. Neither they allowed me to avail official duty nor reimbursement of medical leave. They have transferred me from Hyderabad to Jammu and Kashmir, and filed FIR in SHO and simultaneously conduct departmental inquiry, and issued charge sheet, and they have given me punishment of two increments with cumulative effect i.e. scale down and they were implemented from 2004.
    Then I filed Original Suit against them in consent Court at Chand?garh and request to quash punishment order, which they were implementing. After trails of suit, the consent Hon’ble Judge of Court ”Quash” the punishment order of the department. Accordingly, they have restored increments, but so far, they did not allowed me conversion from Earned leave into official duty and not allowed for reimbursement of expenses, which I was spent money for medical and court expenses and availed of Earned leave period (E.L).
    When they did not allow me promotion at par others. I went court and filed original Suit against them for getting promotion at par others. After trails, the consent Hon’ble Judge of Court has consider and awarded of promotion with retrospective effect. Accordingly, they had offered promotion from Asst. Hydrogeologist to Sc-”B” with effect from 1991. Accordingly, they have paid arrears from 1991 to 2010. i.e. 20 years. Further promotion has to give me from Sc-”B” to Sc- ”C” w.e.f. 1995 and further promotion has to give me from Sc-”C” to Sc- ”D” w.e.f. 2000 and arrears should be paid. Whereas competent authorities knowingly and wontedly filed fake criminal case against me and stopped two promotions, which were due from 1995 and 2000 respectively. Accordingly, forcibly they transferred from Hyderabad and Ranchi in 2011.
    After trails of criminal case at Metropolitan Court in Hyathnagar, the consent Hon’ble Judge of Court dismissed their criminal case and acquittal me from all their criminal charges and disposed on 04th August,2012. Even then the competent authorities knowingly and wontedly did not give two promotions and their arrears, which were due w.e.f. 1995 and 2000 respectively.
    B. Peraiah, who is anti-social element at my native place lodged criminal case against me and he was sent that FIR copy to CGWB dated 18.01.2015. Before file criminal case he has to take permission from the Secretary of Water Resources Ministry, Government of India, who is disciplinary authority of me. But he never obtained permission from CGWB, which is mandatory. Before my retirement, the Police officials of consent SHO, did not file charge sheet against me in the consent court i.e.31.07.2015.They have filed charge sheet against me in the consent court on 15.10.2015. According to disciplinary rules of CGWB, the Police officials of consent SHO of Savalyapuram Mandal, Guntur district of A.P. before register FIR against me, they have to take permission from the Secretary, MOWR, Government of India, who is the disciplinary authority of me CGWB, which is mandatory.
    So, before my retirement, if department of CGWB did not get permission letter from Secretary of MOWR and a copy of charge sheet from the consent Hon’ble Judge of Court, the consent officials in CGWB did not possess any kind of rights to stopping of my retirement benefits? This is nothing but harassment. Hence, I request you please advice me at this point view.

  • Sir, l am retired clerk from sbbj bank, now merged in sbi, under vrs2001 with 18 yrs, service. I opted for pension when pension scheme was implemented in 1996-97 .l received my pension and arrears on 14.03.2016 from 2010tofeb.2016 and from 1.4.2001 to 2010 on 1.1.2017.no interest is paid to me for long delayed period. Can l file case and what is possibility to get interest for such a long delayed period.

    • Shri Padam Singh, I too suffered same traumatic experience. Gratuity and PF were paid to me 17 years after I quit service.
      My pension was released 22 years and 8 months after I demitted service with SBI.
      Even the, these did not come about due to sudden awakening of conscience of CGM, Hyderabad circle or the lower rung officers . I had filed writ petition in High Court o AP for payment of these retiral benefits in Jan 1998 itself. But bank did not even respond, let alone pay the statutory dues. Finally after AP High Court ordered payment as per Law and eligibility on 21-6-2013.
      Bank paid only principal amounts of my gratuity and PF on 8-10-2013. NO interest was paid though it is statutory obligation to pay interest if principal benefits are not paid within 90 days after employee’s service ends.
      Here comes the interesting part – bank declared that I was not eligible for pension though I had put in 28 years’ service. CGM even filed a false affidavit in High court to that effect. Single judge Bench quashed their request. Bank applied to 2 judge bench, who too ruled against bank’s contention. Bank appealed to Supreme Court in 2014. On 28-3-2019, Hon’ble Supreme Court too quashed the appeal.
      My saga of fighting for my rights did not end! Bank paid far less amount as arrears of pension payable to me which was due to me. Interest of course was rejected by bank. So, now, I am filing a petition in Hon’ble High Court, Hyderabad for interest.

      You are eligible for interest on delayed payment of gratuity and PF also. Besides, under sec. 9 of Payment of gratuity act, 1972, CGM, the sanctioning authority of gratuity is liable to be sentenced to jail for min 6 months and max of 2 years. Under PF & Miscellaneous Provisions Act 1952, sec-14, he can be jailed for up to 5 years.
      So, my fried, know your rights and file in court.
      V. RAMARAO
      ramvelagapudi09@gmail.com

  • There are several judgments which grant panel interest rates. But there are some differences.
    A. There is simple interest rates from 8 percent per annum to 18 percent. Thus there is no standard practice.
    B. Then there are judgments regarding panel compound interest rates to the tune of 12 % and more.
    C. when interest rate is mentioned , it is not clear whether it is simple or compound. Over the years it makes a lot of difference. For example a simple interest @ 8 % for 15 years will give only 1.2 times of the due amount. But the compound interest @ 8 % will give more than 3 times. The difference is horrible
    N.K.Dashora

    • Mr. Dashora, You are Right sir. One has to justify their demand for interest rate. If malicious intent can be attributed to bank authorities towards you and proved, you will be awarded 18%. Otherwise, norm is 6% to 12%, depending on judge.

  • Sir my father retired from job last year on 1.4.2016 but till date they do not get there Gpf money.please tell us where we go for appeal and procedure for complaint.

    • Mr. Arun Kumar,
      In respect of gratuity, PF & pension, the respective Acts provide separate mechanisms.
      For gratuity, the Asst. Commissioner of Labour (central) for your father’s place of work is the Controlling Authority. There is an appellate authority also in the same Ministry of Labour, Training and Employment, Govt of India. Please google for information.
      But first, make a demand on employer giving details of employment. If they don’t respond, apply to Controlling authority on forms specified in the Act.
      You will be surprised that this department acts fast. Good luck.
      V. RAMA RAO
      ramvelagapudi09@gmail.com

  • Sir my father got retirement on 1.4.2016 till date they have not get there Gpf sir where we to appeal for that sir please tell us the procedure.

  • i retired on 30/11/96. at the time of superannuation a judicial pendency was against me. now concerned court has exonerated me of all charges on 23/1/2016. my gratuity was withheld and final pension was not decided at the time of superannuation. for the last 7 months i have been continiously to the officers in forest dept. they are not putting an ear to my grievences. what should i do. K.P.ROY RETIRED ASSISTANT CONSERVATOR OF FORESTSK

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