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Increment Earned For Past Period Can't Be Denied Merely Because Employee Had Retired When It Became Payable: Gujarat High Court

PRIYANKA PREET
27 Jun 2022 12:15 PM GMT
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Finding itself in agreement with other High Courts across the country, the Gujarat High Court has held that the increment earned by an employee (government servant) for the past period of service cannot be denied merely because the said employee had retired when the increment became payable.

Justice Biren Vaishnav concurred with the Delhi High Court that when increment was earned for past period, its denial on the ground that on the date when the increment became payable the government servant was not holding the post as he had retired, was not valid.

"The central government servant retiring on 30th June has already completed a year of service and the increment has been earned provided his conduct was good. It would thus be wholly arbitrary if the increment earned by the central government employee on the basis of his good conduct for a year is denied only on the ground that he was not in employment on the succeeding day when increment," it was held therein.

The Bench was hearing eleven petitions for directing the State Government to grant the benefit of one increment and revision in pension and other retirement benefits of the Petitioners.

The High Court noted that the issue of increment with similar prayers was considered in State of Gujarat vs Takhatsinh Udesinh Sonagara by the Gujarat High Court. The High Court had then relied the Himachal Pradesh High Court's decision in Hari Prakash and others v. State of Himachal Pradesh and others, Rajasthan High Court's decision in Safi Mohammad and others v. State of Rajasthan and others and Delhi High Court's decision in Gopal Singh v. Union of India to opine—

This court is in concurrence with the view taken in the aforesaid decisions that the government servant is entitled to increment becoming payable on 1st July, even though he has retired on 30th June.

It observed that denying increment for the reason that the day on which the increment became payable, the government servant was not holding the post due to retirement, is violative of Article 14 of the Constitution and that the scheme for payment of the increment is to be read within Article 151 of Civil Services Rules.

Accordingly, the Bench directed that the Petitioners be granted increment within a period of 12 weeks.

Case Title: JAYANTIBHAI BAHECHARBHAI PATEL v/s STATE OF GUJARAT

Case No.: C/SCA/20181/2021

Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Guj) 247

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