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Daya Ram v. State Of U.P. And Others - WRIT - A No. 27505 of 2006  RD-AH 20309 (30 November 2006)
Court No. 3
Civil Misc. Writ Petition No. 27505 of 2006
Daya Ram ----- Petitioner
State of U.P. & others -------------- Respondents
Hon. V.C. Misra, J.
Sri Debashish Mitra, learned counsel appearing for the petitioner and learned Standing Counsel appearing for the State respondents are present. Counter and rejoinder affidavits have been exchanged. On the joint request of learned counsel for the parties, this writ petition is being heard and disposed off finally at the admission stage itself in terms of the provisions of Chapter XXII Rule 2 of the Rules of Court, 1952.
This writ petition has been filed for issuance of a direction in the nature of mandamus commanding the respondents to release the amount of gratuity payable to the petitioner and further for direction to the respondents to take decision upon the application dated 30.11.1999 for initiation of criminal proceedings.
The facts of the case in brief are that the petitioner retired on 31st January, 2004 from the post of Soil Conservation Inspector, Meerut Division, Meerut after attaining the age of superannuation. Vide letter dated 21st April, 2004 (Annexure No. 4 to the writ petition) written to the Joint Director, Treasury & Pension, Meerut Division, Meerut from the Soil Conservation Officer, Meerut it was requested that payment of gratuity of the petitioner be not released on the ground that there was criminal case under the Prevention of Corruption Act pending against the petitioner. Being aggrieved, the petitioner filed a case before the Pension court/ Commissioner, Meerut Division, Meerut whereupon the pension court directed the respondent to pay 50% of the gratuity amount immediately vide order dated 13.12.2004 (Annexure No.6 to the writ petition). Consequently 50% of the gratuity amount was released in favour of the petitioner on 31.12.2004 (Annexure No. 7 to the writ petition). It has been contended that on 28.11.2005 the Superintendent of Police Agriculture Department Special Investigation Cell, U.P. Lucknow wrote a letter informing the Soil Conservation Officer-respondent no. 6 that the Government had still not granted permission to register any case against the petitioner and other persons. The petitioner filed writ petition No. 55603 of 2005 which was disposed of finally by this Court vide order dated 16.8.2005 (Annexure no. 9 to the writ petition) directing the Soil Conservation Officer, Meerut to issue a no dues certificate to the petitioner within three weeks provided there was no other impediment. It has also been contended that since the order of this Court dated 16.8.2005 was not complied with, a contempt petition No. 3706 of 2005 was preferred which is still pending wherein counter affidavit has been filed by the authority concerned stating therein that since charges levelled against the petitioner have already been established and permission of the State Government for prosecution is awaited, no dues certificate could not be issued to the petitioner.
Being aggrieved, the petitioner filed the present writ petition. In the counter affidavit filed by the respondents it has been categorically stated that in compliance of the order dated 13.12.2004 passed by the pension court 50% gratuity amount of the petitioner had already been paid and only 50% balance gratuity amount is to be paid since for payment of gratuity amount no dues certificate is required to be produced by the concerned employee which could not be issued since corruption charges have been levelled against the petitioner alongwith other persons, which require to be established and for that purpose the Superintendent of Police, special Investigation cell (Krishi), U.P., Lucknow vide his letter dated 30.10.1999 had sought permission from the State Government for registering the case and the same is still awaited, it would not be possible to issue any no dues certificate to the petitioner.
Learned counsel for the petitioner has relied upon Section 13 of the Payment of Gratuity Act, 1972 which reads as under:
"13.Protection of gratuity:- No gratuity payable under this Act [and no gratuity payable to an employee employed in any establishment, factory, mine, oilfield, plantation, port, railway company or shop exempted under section 5] shall be liable to attachment in execution of any decree or order of any civil, revenue or criminal Court.
Learned Standing Counsel has relied upon the Government Order dated 28th October, 1980 (Annexure No. CA-II to the writ petition) wherein it has been provided that if any departmental enquiry or proceeding is pending or contemplated against any employee who is going to retire, his pension may be released but gratuity amount would not be released at all. It is settled law that gratuity is not a bounty and is not paid gratis and thus it cannot be withheld indefinitely. Admittedly, the petitioner retired from service in the year 2004 and from the material available on record it appears that neither any disciplinary proceeding is against the petitioner nor any criminal case is pending in any court of law against the petitioner as on date, therefore, the aforesaid Government order is of no aid to the respondents.
Having heard learned counsel for the parties and looking into the facts and circumstances of the present case, the respondents are directed to release the balance amount of gratuity to which the petitioner is entitled to within a period of one month from the date of production of a certified copy of this order before the concerned respondent.
With the above observations, the writ petition is allowed. However, no order is passed as to costs.
kdo ( w,p. 27505/06)
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