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CISF Personnel Entitled To Transport Allowance If Transport Facility Does Not Cover Entire Journey From Residence To Place Of Duty & Vice Versa: Kerala High Court

Hannah M Varghese
5 Oct 2021 5:46 AM GMT
CISF Personnel Entitled To Transport Allowance If Transport Facility Does Not Cover Entire Journey From Residence To Place Of Duty & Vice Versa: Kerala High Court
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The Kerala High Court recently established that CISF personnel are entitled to transport allowance if the transport facility provided to them does not cover the entire journey from their residence to the place of duty and vice versa. Justice Sunil Thomas while partly allowing a plea observed:"Their transportation from the place of residence to the assembling point and back can only...

The Kerala High Court recently established that CISF personnel are entitled to transport allowance if the transport facility provided to them does not cover the entire journey from their residence to the place of duty and vice versa. 

Justice Sunil Thomas while partly allowing a plea observed:

"Their transportation from the place of residence to the assembling point and back can only be for the purpose of attending their official duty, at the duty post. Having considered this, they cannot be deprived of their right on the basis that they have been provided with a transportation facility to cover a part of the route. Denial of such a right will be totally contrary to the very object of providing the transport allowance."

Background:

The petitioners were CISF personnel posted at unit Cochin Fort Trust, residing in the quarters allotted to them.  

Pursuant to the 7th Central Pay Commission report, an official memorandum was issued by the Ministry, declaring that transport allowance shall be allowed to all except those employees provided with the facility of Government transport.

According to the petitioners, the unit armoury is located at a distance from their place of residence, so they had to make arrangements for their own transportation from the places of residence to the unit armoury, to and fro.

Hence, they argued that they were not provided with a Government transportation facility throughout their journey for their duty.

Later, a clarification was issued by the Inspector General(South Zone), Chennai, to the effect that the management of CPT, Cochin and MRPL Mangalore had provided transport facilitates to CISF personnel for commuting, thereby disentitling them to transport allowance. 

In the light of this clarification, the authorities stopped paying transport allowance to the petitioners.

Aggrieved by the same, they moved the Court seeking a declaration that the petitioners posted at CISF Unit of Cochin Port Trust were not provided with individual government vehicles to pick them from their residence to their work station.

Another prayer sought was to quash the memorandum by which transport allowance was stopped to the petitioners and similarly situated persons. 

Findings:

By virtue of the latest office memorandum, the persons who are not entitled to transport allowance are persons who have been provided with the facility of Government transport from their place of residence to the place of duty.

The Court noted that factually, the petitioners were residing at official quarters, a facility provided to them as part of their employment. Hence, they are occupying official accommodation.

Since the assembling point is located at distance from their respective places of residence, it was established that they were obliged to cover that distance using their own arrangement. Official vehicles were only provided from the assembling point to the place of duty and vice versa. 

The Bench further found that the clarification was on a wrong factual premise that the place of residence and the assembling points are at the same place, ignoring the fact that in the case of the petitioners and similarly situated persons posted at Cochin Port Trust, they were obliged to commute from their respective place of residences to the assembling point in their own vehicles.

"Clearly, they have not been provided with transport facility towards their movement for reporting for duty, at the duty point and for their return. Merely because they are provided with Government transport facility to cover a part of their journey, they cannot be deprived of their transport allowance, and cannot be expected to expend from their own pocket for commuting from the respective places of residence to the assembling points."

Moreover, it was held that their transportation from the place of residence to the assembling point and back was solely for the purpose of attending their official duty at the duty post.

"Having considered this, they cannot be deprived of their right on the basis that they have been provided with a transportation facility to cover a part of the route. Denial of such a right will be totally contrary to the very object of providing the transport allowance."

The Court hence ruled that the clarification cannot be extended in the case of the petitioners and similarly situated persons posted at Cochin Port Trust or elsewhere.

As such, the petition was allowed, thereby granting transport allowance to the petitioners.

The respondents were directed to disburse the arrears of transport allowance due to the petitioners as expeditiously as possible within a period of two months and to pay and continue to pay the transport allowance.

Case Title: V.K Ramachandran Nir & Ors v. Director-General CISF & Ors

Click Here To Read/Download The Order



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