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Smt. Madhuri Devi v. State Of U.P. And Others - WRIT - A No. 59876 of 2006  RD-AH 18579 (2 November 2006)
Civil Misc. Writ Petition No. 59876 of 2006
Smt. Madhuri Devi Vs. State of U.P.
Sri R.K.Srivastava, learned counsel for the petitioner, Sri M.S.Srivastava, learned counsel for the respondent no.2 and learned standing counsel for respondent no.1 are present. On the joint request of learned counsel for the parties, this writ petition is being disposed off at the admission stage in terms of the Rules of the Court.
The petitioner is the widow of Balram Prasad Srivastava, who worked as Chungi Moharrir under respondent no.2 and died on 2.10.1989. After his death the petitioner was being paid family pension. The grievance of the petitioner is that as per Government Order issued in the year, 1996, revised family pension has not been paid to her in spite of several representations made to respondent no.2 from time to time, which have been kept pending. The petitioner by way of this writ petition has claimed the relief in the nature of mandamus commanding the respondents to pay the arrears of revised pension since 1996 and continue to pay revised pension as per the Government Order issued from time to time with interest on the delayed payment so wrongly withheld.
Heard learned counsel for the petitioner and perused the record of the case. Pension and gratuity are not any bounty to be distributed by the Government to its employees on their retirement but are their valuable rights and property as has been held by Hon'ble the Apex Court in catena of decisions. Any culpable delay in settlement and disbursement thereof must be visited with civil consequences and penalty of payment of interest at the current market rate till actual payment is made has to be imposed. It is settled law that pension and gratuity is not free gratis. A retired Government Servant acquires valuable rights to get pension and gratuity on his retirement and delay in its payment results in imposition of interest on current market rate. The apex Court in the case of State of Kerala and others Vs. M.Padmanabhan Nair ( 1985 (1) SCC 429) in para 4 and 5 has held as under:
"4. Unfortunately such claim for interest that was allowed in respondent's favour by the District Court and confirmed by the High Court was at the ratre of 6 per cent per annum though interest at 12 per cent had been claimed by the respondent in his suit. However, since the respondent acquiesced in his claim being decreed at 6 per cent by not preferring any cross-objections in the High Court it would not be proper for us to enhance the rate to 12 per cent per annum which we were otherwise inclined to grant.
5. We are also of the view that the State Government is being rightly saddled with a liability for the culpable neglect in the discharge of his duty by the District Treasury Officer who delayed the issuance of the L.P.C. but since the concerned officer had not been impleaded as a party defendant to the suit the Court is unable to hold him liable for the decretal amount. It will, however, be or the State Government to consider whether the erring official should or should not be directed to compensate the Government the loss sustained by it by his culpable lapses. Such action if taken would held generate in the officials of the State Government a sense of duty towards the Government under whom they serve as also a sense of accountability to members of the public."
In the case case of Anshuman Singh Vs. State of U.P. and others (2004 (55) ALR 533) a Division Bench of this Court interpreting the nature of imposition of interest part in para 12 has held as under:
" 12. We may mention that there is a mis-conception about interest. Interest is not a penalty of punishment at all, but is the normal accretion on capital."
In the case Vijay L.Mehrotra Vs. State of U.P. & others, (2001 (9)SCC 687) Hon'ble the Supreme Court has held that in case of an employee retiring after having rendered service, it is expected that all retirement benefits should be paid on the day of retirement or soon thereafter if for some unforeseen circumstances the payment cannot be made on retirement day. In that case the apex Court for not making payment relating to General Provident Fund, Group Insurance Scheme, leave encashment, arrears of pay, gratuity, commuted value of pension for months together and other detained amount awarded interest @ 18% from the date of retirement to the dates of actual payment.
Looking into the facts and circumstances of the instant case and after hearing learned counsel for the parties, this writ petition is disposed off finally with the directions to respondent no.2 to release the entire arrears of revised pension since 1996 to the petitioner in accordance with law, within a period of two months from the date of production of a certified copy of this order alongwith copy of the writ petition and its annexures before the concerned respondent. It is also provided that the respondents shall pay interest @ 12 percent per annum to the petitioner on the amount wrongly withheld by them from the date it became due till the date of actual payment. Respondent no.1 is also directed to enquire into the matter and after fixing the responsibility on the concerned official responsible for not releasing the revised pension in favour of the petitioner within the stipulated period may recover the amount of interest to be paid to the petitioner in pursuance of this order from the said person due to whose inaction and slackness the exchequer has been burdened.
No order as to costs.
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