Tripura High Court: Arindam Lodh, J. while noting that there were no legitimate grounds to deny the employee of gratuity and other retrial benefits directed the employer to release gratuity, pension and other retrial benefits to the employee.

The petitioner was an employee and had served for as many as 40 years under the respondents. There was no adverse entry in his service record. After his retirement, a letter was sent to him alleging that there were some outstanding dues and that he could not produce vouchers relating to the expenditure under the various schemes of the government for some financial years. It must be noted that before his retirement there was no allegation of financial irregularities or misappropriation levelled against him. The petitioner also offered an explanation by letter that he had duly submitted the vouchers.

The Court remarked that since the respondents could not level any allegation against the petitioner during his service period, he should not be deprived of his legitimate gratuity and leave encashment.

The Court said that if there was any irregularity regarding the submission of vouchers, it could have been brought to the notice of petitioner within a reasonable period of time, which in Court’s opinion would have been one and a half years at maximum. The Court noted that it was a case of merely harassing the petitioner.

Therefore, in view of the above facts, the Court ordered to release the gratuity and other retrial benefits to the petitioner within a period of 3 months. Additionally, the petitioner was granted a statutory interest of 6% till the release of the gratuity. [Prabhati Debbarma v. State of Tripura, 2022 SCC OnLine Tri 379, decided on 02-06-2022]

For the Petitioner(s): Mr P. K. Pal, Advocate Mr H Debbarma,

For the Respondent(s): Mr D. Sarkar, Advocate Mrs Sarama Deb, Advocate

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