19 April 2023 3:51 PM GMT
The Allahabad High Court today dismissed a writ petition filed by a Class III employee concerning a money claim as it noted that the plea had been moved 27 years after the alleged cause of action allegedly arose in her favour.In a strongly worded order, the bench of Justice Dinesh Kumar Singh noted that the petitioner had approached the Court with a stale and belated claim, which suffered...
The Allahabad High Court today dismissed a writ petition filed by a Class III employee concerning a money claim as it noted that the plea had been moved 27 years after the alleged cause of action allegedly arose in her favour.
In a strongly worded order, the bench of Justice Dinesh Kumar Singh noted that the petitioner had approached the Court with a stale and belated claim, which suffered from gross delay and laches.
"This Court finds that the claims of the petitioner are not only stale and belated but are also barred by principal of constructive res judicata inasmuch she had earlier approached this Court for certain claims but did not make any prayer for the claims which have been made in the present petition. Further, this Court cannot entertain a writ petition for money claim after 27 years from the alleged cause of action allegedly arose in her favour," the Court remarked.
Though the Court observed that the writ petition was liable to be dismissed with exemplary cost, however, it did not impose any cost noting that the petitioner would be on the verge of retirement.
The case in brief
Essentially, the Court was dealing with the writ plea filed by a class III employee (Urmila Devi Pal) seeking the quashing of an order passed by the Director, Bal Vikas Sewa Evam Pustahar whereby her representation filed in pursuance of the HC's September judgment and order had been rejected. In the said representation, she had claimed salary from June 20, 2005, to October 26, 2006.
In her plea, she also claimed unpaid salary for the period from May 16, 1998, to March 1, 2001. Additionally, she also claimed salary for different periods during her tenure as the Mukhya Sevika in the Bal Vikas Sewa Evam Pustahar, Department of Government of U.P.
It may be noted that in the year 2014, she had moved a writ plea concerning certain dues as such salary for a certain period, medical leave and benefit of the 6th Pay Commission, however, the said plea was disposed of while noting that her representation for dues was pending before the official authority (respondent no. 2). Though a direction was given to decide her representation within 3 months.
Now, pursuant to HC's order, the official authority, in March 2015, passed an order on her representation clearing certain dues. Importantly, in her representation, she had not claimed salary for the period which was mentioned in the instant plea before the HC.
Now, once she got the payment after her representation was decided, she sent certain representations to her department raising new demands for payment which were not demanded by her either in her representation or in her writ plea.
Thereafter, concerning those new demands, she even moved a writ plea last year before the HC wherein she claimed payment of salary for the period from 20.06.2005 to 26.10.2006.
The said writ petition was entertained and a direction was issued to the Director of her department to decide her representation within a period of 8 weeks in respect of her claims for salary for the period from 20.06.2005 to 26.06.2006, and salary for the period from 02.03.2001 to 31.10.2001, and claim for A.C.P. etc.
Now, when her representation was rejected, she moved the instant plea challenging the rejection of her representation.
Taking note of the facts of the case, the bench of Justice DK Singh observed that even though the alleged claims were very much in existence when she moved a writ plea in the year 2014, she chose not to press these claims then, and in fact, she made those claims in another writ plea filed in the year 2022.
Amused to find that writ petition after a writ petition was filed by her concerning stale/time-barred claim(s), the Court observed thus:
"...writ petition after writ petition are being filed for stale/time barred claim(s) and then prayer is confined to direction for deciding a representation. When representation is not decided, a contempt petition is filed. It is nothing but a gross abuse of the process of the Court. There is no provision under any statute for deciding a representation in respect of belated claim(s) of a person particularly when he did not make any such claim(s) in earlier writ petition(s).
Further, the court stated that the writ petition ought to be dismissed on the first instance with a heavy cost, however, the Court added, since the Court had entertained the earlier writ petition and directed for deciding the representation, which came to be decided by the impugned order giving all the reasons, therefore, the writ petition was dismissed on merits.
Counsel for Petitioner: Om Prakash Mani Tripathi
Counsel for Respondent: Additional Chief Standing Counsel Savitra Vardhan Singh
Case title - Urmila Devi Pal vs. State Of U.P. Thru. Secy. Bal Vikas Sewa Evam Pustahar And 2 Others [WRIT - A No. - 2924 of 2023]
Case Citation: 2023 LiveLaw (AB) 130
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