Sunday, June 23, 2024

Treasury Officer, Madhepura directed to pay final pension, final gratuity to Panchayat Sevak: Justice Nani Tagia, Patna High Court

Justice Nani Tagia of Patna High Court has directed Treasury Officer, Madhepura to pay Jagdish Prasad Yadav (70), the petitioner from Muraliganj, Madhepura his final pension as well as final gratuity as fixed by the Accountant General, Bihar. The judgement was delivered on June 19, 2024. The case was filed on October 3, 2023 and registered on October 18, 2023. Mallika Mazumdar, the counsel for the petitioner submitted that the petitioner was aggrieved because of non-payment of retiral dues after having retired from the post of Panchayat Sevak on June 30, 2013. The petitioner has been moving from pillar to post for payment of pensionary benefits for nearly for a decade.

Prior to this, the respondents namely, District Panchayati Raj Officer, Madhepura, Sub Divisional Officer, Madhepura, Treasury Officer, Madhepura and Block Development Officer, Kumarkhand filed a supplementary counter affidavit stating that as per Bihar Treasury Rules, the petitioner has to appear in person before the Treasury Officer, Madhepura with his copy of PPO/GPO and only thereafter the pension and the balance gratuity will be paid to the petitioner” The supplementary counter affidavit revealed that the Accountant General, Bihar has fixed the final pension and gratuity amount of the petitioner.

Earlier, Justice Purnendu Singh had passed an order on November 6, 2023. He directed the District Magistrate, Madhepura "to call for the service particulars relating to the petitioner from the concerned Block Kumarkhand, Madhepura and ensure that the retiral dues is paid without fail. In case of failure, this Court will be forced to impose cost as well as the concerned respondents will be held liable to pay the compensation to the petitioner for having caused delay in making payment of pensionary benefits to which the petitioner is entitled for in accordance with law. The above exercise for payment of retiral benefits along with interest on account of delay in making payment for nearly a decade must be carried on within a period of eight weeks from the date of communication of this order."

Subsequently, on January 9, 2024, Justice Harish Kumar had passed an order which recorded that "substantive amount under the head of GPF, Earned Leave and GIS has been paid to the petitioner but till date the petitioner has not been accorded the pension and final gratuity." The order stated: "Let a counter affidavit be filed on behalf of the Accountant General, Bihar showing issuance of final authority letter for payment of final gratuity and pension." From February 17, 2024, the case was heard by Justice Tagia. The High Court missed the opportunity of taking the respondents, the erring officials to task for harassing the petitioner, a senior citizen.

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