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MARIAPPAN versus THE COMMISSIONER

High Court of Madras

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Mariappan v. The Commissioner - W.P.Nos. 19660 to 19661 of 1994 [2002] RD-TN 90 (22 February 2002)



IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT MADRAS

Dated: 22/02/2002

CORAM:

THE HON'BLE MR.JUSTICE A.K. RAJAN

W.P.Nos. 19660 to 19661 of 1994

W.P.Nos.19660 of 1994:

1. Mariappan

2. Arumugam

3. Subramaniam and

4. Mariappan,

C/o. C.I.T.U. Office,

No.53, Madan Koil Street,

Kovilpatti-1. .. Petitioners vs.

1.The Commissioner,

Kovilpatti Municipality,

Kovilpatti-1.

2. The Assistant Commissioner of

Labour (PG), Tirunelveli.

3. The Deputy Commissioner of

Labour (PG), Tirunelveli. .. Respondents W.P.No.19661 of 1994:

1. Shenbagam

2. Subramaniam

3. Krishnan,

C/o. C.I.T.U. Office,

No.53, Madan Koil Street,

Kovilpatti-1. .. Petitioners vs.

1.The Commissioner,

Kovilpatti Municipality,

Kovilpatti-1.

2. The Assistant Commissioner of

Labour (PG), Tirunelveli.

3. The Deputy Commissioner of

Labour (PG), Tirunelveli. .. Respondents Petitions filed under Article 226 of the Constitution for the issuance of writ of certiorarified mandamus, as stated therein. For Petitioners : Mr. P.V.S. Giridhar

For Respondents : Mr. V.R.Rajasekar, for R.1. Mr. M.Liyagat Ali, A.G.P.

For RR 2 and 3.

:O R D E R



In both the writ petitions, the first respondent is the Kovilpatti Municipality.

2. In W.P.No.19660 of 1994, wife of the first petitioner got superannuated on 30.6.1977 and subsequently she died on 9.8.1987. In W.P. No.19661 of 1994, the father of the petitioners died on 23.1.1983. Till that period, the gratuity amount payable to them was not paid. Therefore, the legal representatives of both the employees filed applications before the competent authorities for payment of gratuity. The Assistant Commissioner of Labour by Order dated 4.12.1992 directed the Commissioner, Kovilpatti Municipality to pay the gratuity. The Commissioner, Kovilpatti paid the gratuity amount, but, however, the interest for the delayed payment of gratuity was not paid. The petitioners filed an appeal before the Deputy Commissioner of Labour and by order dated 13.12.1993, refused to grant the interest for the delayed payment. Hence, these writ petitions are filed asking the interest amount alone.

3. No counter was filed by the respondents.

4. In the impugned order, it is stated that Section 7(3-A) was introduced only on 23.8.1987 and according to that, interest is payable for the delayed payment. Since the amendment was only prospective, the petitioner is not entitled for interest for the delayed payment. That is why, payment of interest was rejected.

5. Counsel for the petitioners relied upon a decision reported in State of Kerala v. M.Padmanabhan Nair (1985, LAB.I.C. 664), wherein the Supreme Court has held that in case of non-payment of interest where the gratuity and pension were not paid in time, the authorities are liable to that amount with interest as it is not a gratis or bounty. The Supreme court held that under the circumstances, the Government is liable to pay the amount with interest at the market rate. This judgment was much prior to the amendment made to the Gratuity Act. Therefore, even otherwise as per Section 7(3-A) of the Act, interest was payable for non-payment of gratuity in time. There is no explanation as to why the gratuity was not paid to the person who died in 1977 till the year 1983. Similarly, a person was not paid gratuity amount for more than ten years. It is not proper and the authorities are expected to act without delay when especially the matter relates to gratuity and utmost care should be taken and order should be passed without any delay whatsoever. Therefore, the petitioners are entitled for interest for the delay in payment from the date of death of the employee. With regard to the payment of interest, the Supreme Court observed that interest should be paid on the basis of the market rate whereas the Act says the interest should be paid as prescribed by the Reserve Bank of India for long-term loan.

6. Taking into consideration of both the provisions, this court is of the view that the interest is payable at the rate of 9 per cent from the respective due dates. Writ petitions are ordered accordingly. No costs.

22.2.2002.

Index: Yes/No.

Internet: Yes.

Vs

TO:

1.The Commissioner,

Kovilpatti Municipality,

Kovilpatti-1.

2. The Assistant Commissioner of

Labour (PG), Tirunelveli.

3. The Deputy Commissioner of

Labour(PG),

Tirunelveli.

A.K. RAJAN, J.

W.P.Nos.19660 and

19661 of 1994

Dt: 22.2.2002.

.JN


Copyright

Reproduced in accordance with s52(q) of the Copyright Act 1957 (India) from judis.nic.in, indiacode.nic.in and other Indian High Court Websites

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