Calcutta High Court: Amrita Sinha, J. disposed of a petition which was filed by an Assistant Teacher who retired from service on 31-10-2020 regarding delayed payment of the gratuity and arrear pension amount.

The grievance of the petitioner was that the Pension Payment Order was issued on 28-02-2022 and the gratuity and arrear pension amount was disbursed on 11-03-2022. The petitioner claims interest on delayed payment of the gratuity and arrear pension amount.

The Court stated that it is settled law that the right of a retired employee to get his retiral dues on the date of attaining superannuation is a valuable right which accrues in his favour on the date of his attaining superannuation. Further, gratuity and pension are no more considered to be a bounty to be handed out by the State at its whim. If payment of such gratuity and pension is delayed the retired employee is surely entitled to get some interest for such delayed payment.

The Court opined that in the present case it was the bounden duty of the State to disburse the gratuity and pension amount on the due date. If it has failed to do so and has released such amount after unexplained delay, it is obliged to pay interest to the retired employee.

The Court directed the concerned Treasury Officer to pay interest to the writ petitioner at the rate of 5% per annum on the gratuity and arrear pension calculated on and from the due date till the date of actual payment, provided the delay caused was not attributable to the petitioner.[Pranesh Kumar Kar v. State of West Bengal, 2022 SCC OnLine Cal 1371, decided on 19-05-2022]

Mr Sudipa Biswas : for the Petitioner

Mr Debasish Basu : for the State

Suchita Shukla, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief.

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