Bombay High Court: Providing relief to a lone Mumbai Port Trust employee who refused to link his salary account to Aadhaar, a Division Bench comprising of Akhil Kureshi and SJ Kathawala, JJ. has directed the trust to release his salary which was pending for over 30 months. The Court added interest of 7.5% per annum for delaying/withholding the payment of salary.
In December 2015, the Trust had issued a circular directing all employees to register their Aadhaar, failing which salary will not be credited to their account. The petitioner refused and approached the court to appeal for withdrawal of this circular. At this time, another petition was going on in the Supreme Court challenging the linking of Aadhaar with various schemes and payments. The respondent side contended that out of 800 employees, the petitioner was the sole employee who had objected to the linking.
The Court held, that even as a sole objector he had the right to dissent and the Port Trust had not been able to justify by what authority they were upholding his salary just because the matter was pending in the Supreme Court. Now that the Supreme Court has released its verdict in K.S. Puttaswamy v. Union of India, (2017) 10 SCC 1, the trust should waste no more time in releasing his dues along with the penalty of interest for withholding the salary without any authority. [Ramesh R. Kurhade v. Financial Advisor and Chief Accounts Officer, Establishment Section, 2019 SCC OnLine Bom 1060, decided on 20-06-2019]