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HC orders retiral benefits after 26 yrs, but staffer & wife dead



CHANDIGARH: Quarter of a century after an employee of Haryana electricity department sought legal help for grant of pensionary benefits, neither he nor his wife are alive to enjoy the benefits granted to him after intervention of the Punjab and Haryana high court.
Shri Niwas, an employee of Haryana Vidyut Prasaran Nigam Limited (earlier known as Haryana State Electricity Board) had filed a petition in the high court in 1998 and sought directions to the Haryana government to grant him pensionary benefits after his retirement.
The Haryana government made a statement in the high court that benefits have been granted in his case. The case was disposed of by the HC in view of the Haryana statement that benefits have been granted, but It is not clear whether the benefits have been issued to the legal heirs, if any, or have only been granted on paper. On May 22, the counsel representing Shri Niwas told the HC that the petitioner and his wife have passed away.
However, his case has led the high court to issue directions to the Haryana chief secretary to compile a list of all such cases from all the government departments so that they can be decided expeditiously.
With regard to the cases which are admitted in the court and old cases in which even paper-books are not available with the organisations/state public sector undertakings, the HC has granted liberty to all the public sector undertakings/state organisations to seek a copy of the paper-book from the registry of the high court by routing their applications through the office of the Haryana advocate general.
As per available information, Haryana has identified 31 cases of statutory corporations and two cases of statutory boards wherein employees are waiting for their pensionary benefits for a long time. The Haryana government has also issued instructions to all the statutory boards and corporations to evaluate all such pending cases.
The HC has asked Haryana to file a compliance report after two months “on the larger issue” with regard to action taken on such other cases. Niwas’s case for grant of pensionary benefits was not cleared for one reason or the other in spite of the fact that no inquiry or disciplinary proceedings were pending against him. There was some dispute regarding his promotion and that is why the board stopped his retiral benefits. A letter was issued by the department on August 28, 1998 stating that the petitioner was ordered to be retired as head clerk and not as circle superintendent.
His pensionary benefits were withheld on the ground that now the pay of the petitioner would be fixed as head clerk and his pensionary benefits would be calculated after that. His plea was that since till the date of retirement he worked as circle superintendent, the pay of that period could not be denied to him as he actually worked on that post.
After being deprived of his retiral benefits, he approached the government with a request that whatever pensionary benefits he is entitled to as per calculation made by his office should be released so that he is able to carry on with responsibilities towards his family.
Even this request was ignored and no action whatsoever was taken, after which he approached the HC asking, “whether pensionary benefits of an employee can be withheld for no rhyme and reason.





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