SC Relief To Employee 'Harassed' By Karnataka Govt By Withholding Of Pension [Read Orer]

SC Relief To Employee

“We are of the view that once suspension has been revoked and the incumbent has been reinstated, obviously the period has to be counted as ‘spent on duty’ for the purpose of grant of service benefits available on retirement.”

This is a case which reflects how the appellant has been harassed by the State of Karnataka, observed the Supreme Court while granting relief to an employee whose pension was withheld by the state.

IK Manik was appointed as Incharge Tutor in the year 1960. He was placed under suspension for about two decades (1976 to 1994). In December 1994, the Director of Health and Family Welfare revoked the suspension order and a decision was taken to reinstate him. Finally he retired from service on 31.05.1999.

As his pension was withheld, he approached the tribunal seeking regularisation of the period of suspension from 01.03.1976 to 13.12.1994 as the period spent on duty and release of pension and other benefits also. The tribunal, and later the high court, dismissed his plea on the ground of delay.

The bench comprising of Justice Arun Mishra and Justice Navin Sinha observed that the tribunal and the high court should not have dismissed his plea on the ground of delay.

On facts, the bench observed: "When the appellant had retired on attaining the age of superannuation in the year 1999, it was incumbent upon the respondent-State to regularise the period of suspension by passing the requisite order under the fundamental rules. That has not been done. It was a lapse on the part of the employer. The employer was required to regularise the aforesaid period as no punishment had been imposed and the appellant had been kept under suspension for the aforesaid period in question. Since the prayer of the appellant was confined to counting the period from the date of suspension to reinstatement i.e. 01.03.1976 to 13.12.1994 as spent on duty, we are of the view that once suspension has been revoked and the incumbent has been reinstated, obviously the period has to be counted as 'spent on duty' for the purpose of grant of service benefits available on retirement."

The bench added that the period has to be counted and his retiral dues, pension and other dues payable on retirement have to be worked out afresh and be paid to Manik as it was the fault of the state. The bench directed the state to pay the amount within two months and report compliance soon.

Read the Order Here