Supreme Court Issues Contempt Notices To Bihar Officials For Non Compliance With Orders Directing Grant Of Pension
The Supreme Court of India has issued contempt notices to officials of the State of Bihar for non compliance with Court's previous orders directing the State to grant pensionary and retiral benefits to petitioner employees by counting services as rendered by them in the Boards, Corporations and Public Sector Undertakings prior to their absorption.The petitioners were appointed in...
The Supreme Court of India has issued contempt notices to officials of the State of Bihar for non compliance with Court's previous orders directing the State to grant pensionary and retiral benefits to petitioner employees by counting services as rendered by them in the Boards, Corporations and Public Sector Undertakings prior to their absorption.
The petitioners were appointed in various Corporations in the erstwhile State of Bihar much prior to 1996, and were relieved by the Government and asked to join different treasuries on account of shortfall of the employees in Treasury Department due to the fodder scam. After bifurcation of the State, their services with the Corporations were not considered for the purpose of pensionary and retiral benefits.
A bench comprising Justice Nageswara Rao and Justice BR Gavai has issued the direction in contempt petition filed by these employees contending that the respondents have committed contempt of the Top Court's order dated 15th February 2021.
The Respondents in this batch of contempt petitions include the Principal Secretary of State's Finance Department, Joint Secretary and Joint Commissioner and Deputy Secretary of State's Finance Department, and others.
The Court has prima facie found that the non-compliance of its directions dated 4th March 2020 and 15th February 2021 by the respondents is wilful and deliberate and amounts to contempt of the Court.
Supreme Court through its order 4th March 2020 had upheld the Patna High Court's order directing the benefits to be paid to the petitioners within a period of six months. Through the order dated 15th Feb 2021, the Court had granted 3 months time to the State of Bihar to comply with the earlier order and pay the petitioner employees.
The Supreme Court has therefore directed the respondent contemnors to remain present before the Court on 22nd February 2022 and show cause as to why they should not be held guilty for having committed contempt of the Court and be punished in accordance with law.
The Court noted that the State of Bihar itself had filed an application before the Court for extension of period to comply with the directions and one month's time was granted by the Supreme Court by order on 29th June 2021.
The Bench also observed that the State's contention with regard to compliance through Government Resolution dated 14th September 2020 has also been rejected by the Supreme Court in its order dated 15th February 2021.
On 15th November 2000, the State of Bihar was bifurcated into the State of Bihar and the State of Jharkhand. The petitioner employees were accordingly apportioned amongst the two States.
Various such employees employed with the State of Bihar and Jharkhand had approached their respective High Courts with the grievance that their services with the Corporations were not considered for the purpose of pensionary and retiral benefits.
The Supreme Court had upheld the Jharkhand High Court's order granting relief to the appellants and through an order dated 7th September 2017 had directed that the pension and retiral benefits and the arrears to be calculated within a period of 6 months
The Patna High Court had also directed the State of Bihar to grant benefit to each of the appellants by counting services as rendered by them in the Boards, Corporations and Public Sector Undertakings prior to their absorption and to grant them the pensionary benefit after counting such service in the Boards or Corporations. The Court had observed that this order will be made applicable to all such employees, who are working in the State of Bihar.
The State of Bihar had moved the Supreme Court challenging the High Court's order, and its special leave petition was dismissed by the Supreme Court through order dated 4th March 2020 directing the State to comply with the High Court's order in 6 months.
When contempt petitions were moved by the petitioners before the Supreme Court, the Court had passed an order on 15th February 2021 granting three months' time to the State of Bihar to comply with the court's order and clarified that they had to pay to all the employees exactly what was paid by the State of Jharkhand to the employees who were covered by the Supreme Court's order.
Case Title: Bijay Kumar Sinha & Ors vs Tripurari Sharan & Ors