Srinagar, Nov 20: Observing that payment of pension is not a bounty to the employee, the J&K High Court has directed authorities to release pension and retiral benefits in favour of a former Chief General Manager of J&K State Power Development Corporation who had superannuated in 2014.
Disposing of a petition filed by the former CGM, Abdul Rashid Makroo, a bench of Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey said that law was well settled that pensionary or retiral benefits become the principal source of sustenance to an employee after his retirement. “The payment whereof is not a bounty being paid to the employee concerned, but these are paid in recognition of the service rendered by an employee to his employer,” the court said as per GNS and underlined that the purpose for grant of pensionary or retiral benefits is to ensure the employee is in a position to sustain himself.
“Besides, any delay in settlement and disbursement of pension has to be visited with the penalty of payment of interest at the current market rates till actual payment is made,” the court said.
The liability to pay penal interest on these dues at the current market rates commences at the expiry of two months from the date of retirement, the court said.
“The delay of depriving retiral benefits, in this case, is clearly attributed to the (authorities concerned) and, thus, entitles the petitioner to interest on the dues at the current market rates to commence at the expiry of two months from the date of retirement,” the court said and directed release of the pensionary and retiral benefits alongwith arrears with interest @ 6 percent per annum in favour of Makroo.
The court said that the same shall commence at the expiry of two months from the date of Makroo’s retirement in accordance with the rules which are applicable to the employees of the Government of Jammu and Kashmir.
“The respondents shall pass orders, in this behalf, within a period of two months from the date copy of this order is served on them.”
Makroo in his petition had stated that he was initially appointed in 1982 in the Jammu and Kashmir State Industrial Corporation. On the basis of his performance, he said that in 1995 he was sent on deputation in the Bureau of Public Enterprise. Subsequently, he was sent on deputation in the in 1997. Subsequently Makroo was absorbed permanently in the Corporation and promoted as Chief General Manager on 1 April 2008. Upon his absorption, he said, all the service conditions as applicable to the Government employees of the erstwhile State were made applicable to him and as a corollary thereof, the Corporation discontinued the contribution of CP Fund of the petitioner and commenced contribution towards the General Provident Fund as per Government rules applicable in the Corporation.
Makroo had retired in 2014. However after his superannuation, the Corporation failed to settle all the post retiral benefits. He had stated that while the corporation released some post retiral benefits in the shape of gratuity, leave salary and GPF accumulations in his favour as per the Jammu and Kashmir Civil Service Rules, they failed to release the pensionary benefits to which he was legally entitled as per the rules pertaining to the other Government employees of the erstwhile State being followed in the Corporation.
He had said that despite repeated requests, the monthly pension as well as arrears were not released in his favour.