Delhi High Court has held that the spouses of deceased casual workers would be entitled to the same pensional and retiral benefits as those given to regular employees.
While relying on the catena of judgments of this very court and other High Courts, the Division Bench of Justice Muralidhar and Justice Talwant Singh observed that benefits shall be allowed in the present case, as the casual workers were not regularised for years despite the availability of vacancies.
The present appeal was filed by the Union of India against an order passed by the Central Administrative Tribunal, granting relief to the spouses of deceased casual labourers. The Tribunal had directed as under: "to calculate the pensionary benefits of the applicant including the family pension and release all the arrears of pensionary benefits @ 8% per annum from the date it became due till the date actual payment is made to the applicant, within a period of three months from the date of receipt of certified copy of this order."
The Tribunal had also opined that 'it would be unbelievable that a temporary status employee could not be made permanent even after serving for 18-1/2 years'.
Therefore, the question of law before the Delhi High Court was whether the prayer of each of the Respondents for pensionary and retiral benefits, by treating casual labourers who were granted temporary status as those who were regularly employed, was tenable?
Answering in the affirmative, the court relied upon a previous judgment of this very court in Kuntesh v. Union of India, wherein it was held that the plea for compassionate employment could not be denied just because the deceased was not a regular employee.
The court, therefore, refused to interfere with the order of the Tribunal. Although, it modified the said order only to the effect that the arrears would be confined to a period of three years prior of filing of the application before the Tribunal.
In addition to this, the court also directed the government to pay each of the Respondents costs in tune of ₹10,000 each.
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