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Service matter – Payment of interest on delayed payment – Apex court held that It is needless to mention that the respondents have erroneously withheld payment of gratuity amount for which the appellants herein are entitled in law for payment of penal amount on the delayed payment of gratuity under the provisions of the Payment of Gratuity Act, 1972. Having regard to the facts and circumstances of the case, we do not propose to do that in the case in hand. For the reasons stated above, we award interest at the rate of 9% on the delayed payment of pension and gratuity amount from the date of entitlement till the date of the actual payment. If this amount is not paid within six weeks from the date of receipt of a copy of this order, the same shall carry interest at the rate of 18% per annum from the date of amount falls due to the deceased employee. With the above directions, this appeal is allowed. =CIVIL APPEAL NO. 7113 OF 2014 (Arising out of SLP (C) No. 25015 of 2011) D.D. TEWARI(D) THR. LRS. ……APPELLANTS VERSUS UTTAR HARYANA BIJLI VITRAN NIGAM LTD. & ORS. …RESPONDENTS = 2014- Aug. Part – http://judis.nic.in/supremecourt/filename=41799

    Service matter – Payment of interest on delayed payment – Apex court held that It is needless to mention that the respondents have  erroneously withheld payment of gratuity amount for  which  the  appellants  herein  are entitled in law for payment of  penal  amount  on  the  delayed  payment  of gratuity under the provisions of the Payment of Gratuity Act,  1972.  Having

regard to the facts and circumstances of the case, we do not propose  to  do that in the case in hand. For the reasons stated above, we award interest at the rate of 9%  on the delayed payment  of  pension  and  gratuity  amount  from  the  date  of entitlement till the date of the actual payment.   If  this  amount  is  not paid within six weeks from the date of receipt of a copy of this order,  the same shall carry interest at the rate of 18% per  annum  from  the  date  of amount falls due to the deceased employee.  With the above directions,  this appeal is allowed. =

 learned  single  Judge  passed  in

C.W.P. No. 1048 of 2010 wherein he was not awarded interest for the  delayed

payment of pension  and  gratuity  amount,  for  which      he  was  legally

entitled to.  Therefore, the  appellant approached this Court for  grant  of

interest on the delayed payment on  the  retiral  benefits  of  pension  and

gratuity payable to him by the respondents.=

    It is an undisputed fact that the appellant retired from  service  on

attaining the age of superannuation on  31.10.2006  and  the  order  of  the

learned single Judge after adverting to the relevant  facts  and  the  legal

position has given  a  direction  to  the  employer-respondent  to  pay  the

erroneously withheld pensionary benefits and  the  gratuity  amount  to  the

legal representatives of the deceased  employee  without  awarding  interest

for which the appellant is legally entitled,  therefore, this Court  has  to

exercise its appellate jurisdiction as there is a miscarriage of justice  in

denying  the interest to be paid or payable by the employer  from  the  date

of the entitlement of the deceased employee till the date of payment as  per

the aforesaid legal principle laid  down  by  this  Court  in  the  judgment

referred to supra. We have to award interest at the rate  of  9%  per  annum

both on the amount of pension due and the gratuity amount which  are  to  be

paid by the respondent.

5.          It is needless to mention that the respondents have  erroneously

withheld payment of gratuity amount for  which  the  appellants  herein  are

entitled in law for payment of  penal  amount  on  the  delayed  payment  of

gratuity under the provisions of the Payment of Gratuity Act,  1972.  Having

regard to the facts and circumstances of the case, we do not propose  to  do

that in the case in hand.

6.     For the reasons stated above, we award interest at the rate of 9%  on

the delayed payment  of  pension  and  gratuity  amount  from  the  date  of

entitlement till the date of the actual payment.   If  this  amount  is  not

paid within six weeks from the date of receipt of a copy of this order,  the

same shall carry interest at the rate of 18% per  annum  from  the  date  of

amount falls due to the deceased employee.  With the above directions,  this

appeal is allowed.

 

2014- Aug. Part – http://judis.nic.in/supremecourt/filename=41799

 

NON-REPORTABLE

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA CIVIL
APPELLATE JURISDICTION

CIVIL APPEAL NO. 7113 OF 2014 (Arising out
of SLP (C) No. 25015 of 2011)

D.D. TEWARI(D) THR. LRS. ……APPELLANTS

VERSUS

UTTAR HARYANA BIJLI VITRAN NIGAM LTD. & ORS. …RESPONDENTS

J U D G M E N T

V.GOPALA GOWDA, J.

Leave granted.

2. Heard learned counsel on behalf of the parties. The appellant
(since deceased) is aggrieved by the impugned order dated 14.03.2011 passed
by the High Court of Punjab and Haryana at Chandigarh in LPA No. 1818
of 2010 in affirming the judgment of the learned single Judge passed in
C.W.P. No. 1048 of 2010 wherein he was not awarded interest for the delayed
payment of pension and gratuity amount, for which he was legally
entitled to. Therefore, the appellant approached this Court for grant of
interest on the delayed payment on the retiral benefits of pension and
gratuity payable to him by the respondents.

3. The appellant was appointed to the post of Line Superintendent on
30.08.1968 with the Uttar Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam Ltd. In the year
1990, he was promoted to the post of Junior Engineer-I. During his service,
the appellant remained in charge of number of transformers after getting
issued them from the stores and deposited a number of damaged transformers
in the stores. While depositing the damaged transformers in the stores,
some shortage in transformers oil and breakages of the parts of damaged
transformers were erroneously debited to the account of the appellant and
later on it was held that for the shortages and breakages there is no
negligence on the part of the appellant. On attaining the age of
superannuation, he retired from service on 31.10.2006. The retiral
benefits of the appellant were withheld by the respondents on the alleged
ground that some amount was due to the employer. The disciplinary
proceedings were not pending against the appellant on the date of his
retirement. Therefore, the appellant approached the High Court seeking for
issuance of a direction to the respondents regarding payment of pension and
release of the gratuity amount which are retiral benefits with an interest
at the rate of 18% on the delayed payments. The learned single Judge has
allowed the Writ Petition vide order dated 25.08.2010, after setting aside
the action of the respondents in withholding the amount of gratuity and
directing the respondents to release the withheld amount of gratuity within
three months without awarding interest as claimed by the appellant. The
High Court has adverted to the judgments of this Court particularly, in the
case of State of Kerala & Ors. Vs. M. Padmanabhan Nair[1], wherein this
Court reiterated its earlier view holding that the pension and gratuity are
no longer any bounty to be distributed by the Government to its employees
on their retirement, but, have become, under the decisions of this Court,
valuable rights and property in their hands and any culpable delay in
settlement and disbursement thereof must be dealt with the penalty of
payment of interest at the current market rate till actual payment to the
employees. The said legal principle laid down by this Court still holds
good in so far as awarding the interest on the delayed payments to the
appellant is concerned. This aspect of the matter was adverted to in the
judgment of the learned single Judge without assigning any reason for not
awarding the interest as claimed by the appellant. That is why that
portion of the judgment of the learned single Judge was aggrieved of by the
appellant and he had filed L.P.A. before Division Bench of the High Court.
The Division Bench of the High Court has passed a cryptic order which is
impugned in this appeal. It has adverted to the fact that there is no
order passed by the learned single Judge with regard to the payment of
interest and the appellant has not raised any plea which was rejected by
him, therefore, the Division Bench did not find fault with the judgment of
the learned single Judge in the appeal and the Letters Patent Appeal was
dismissed. The correctness of the order is under challenge in this appeal
before this Court urging various legal grounds.

4. It is an undisputed fact that the appellant retired from service on
attaining the age of superannuation on 31.10.2006 and the order of the
learned single Judge after adverting to the relevant facts and the legal
position has given a direction to the employer-respondent to pay the
erroneously withheld pensionary benefits and the gratuity amount to the
legal representatives of the deceased employee without awarding interest
for which the appellant is legally entitled, therefore, this Court has to
exercise its appellate jurisdiction as there is a miscarriage of justice in
denying the interest to be paid or payable by the employer from the date
of the entitlement of the deceased employee till the date of payment as per
the aforesaid legal principle laid down by this Court in the judgment
referred to supra. We have to award interest at the rate of 9% per annum
both on the amount of pension due and the gratuity amount which are to be
paid by the respondent.

5. It is needless to mention that the respondents have erroneously
withheld payment of gratuity amount for which the appellants herein are
entitled in law for payment of penal amount on the delayed payment of
gratuity under the provisions of the Payment of Gratuity Act, 1972. Having
regard to the facts and circumstances of the case, we do not propose to do
that in the case in hand.

6. For the reasons stated above, we award interest at the rate of 9% on
the delayed payment of pension and gratuity amount from the date of
entitlement till the date of the actual payment. If this amount is not
paid within six weeks from the date of receipt of a copy of this order, the
same shall carry interest at the rate of 18% per annum from the date of
amount falls due to the deceased employee. With the above directions, this
appeal is allowed.

……………………………………………………J. [DIPAK MISRA]

……………………………………………………J. [V. GOPALA GOWDA]

New Delhi, August 1,
2014

———————–
[1]

[2] (1985) 1 SCC 429

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