Courts Update Allahabad High Court stays recovery of salary paid in...

Allahabad High Court stays recovery of salary paid in excess from deceased teacher’s retirement funds

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Allahabad, Oct 21(ILNS) The Allahabad High Court stayed the recovery of salary paid in excess of retirement benefits of a deceased teacher.

Justice Ashwani Kumar Mishra passed this order while hearing a petition filed by Prateek Sharma. The petitioner’s father, Anil Kumar Sharma, was employed as an Assistant Teacher in the primary section of Radha Raman Intermediate College, Daraganj, Prayagraj. After his death, an order was passed by the District Inspector of Schools, Prayagraj, dated March 20, 2021, which records that an excess amount of Rs 2,71,260 was paid to the petitioner’s father on account of incorrect fixation of salary and that a sum of Rs 3,54,000 is also payable towards personal loan availed by the deceased employee from State Bank of India.

The order is challenged on the ground that recovery on both the counts is wholly impermissible. The counsel for the petitioner said so far as the alleged wrong fixation of salary is concerned, it is apparent that no proceedings were ever drawn while petitioner’s father remained in employment. He died on February 7, 2019. After the death of the employee concerned, such recovery would be impermissible, particularly when no fraud or misrepresentation is attributed to the deceased employee.

Even otherwise, in view of the law laid down by the Supreme Court in the case of State of Punjab and others Vs. Rafiq Masih and others; (2015) 4 SCC 334, such recovery of Rs 2,71,260 would be impermissible and is quashed, the court observed.

The Court said, “So far as personal loan availed by the petitioner’s father from the concerned Bank is concerned, such amount cannot be recovered from retiral benefits unless there exists any provision in the loan agreement to recover loan amount from the dues of the employee concerned and pay it to the Bank in case employee concerned has defaulted or has died. The petitioner has otherwise applied for One Time Settlement and has undertaken to clear off the loan amount to the bank directly.”

“In such circumstances, a writ of mandamus is issued directing the respondents to release all retiral dues of petitioner’s father to his lawful heir, within a period of two months from the date of presentation of a copy of this order. Respondents, however, shall be at liberty to withhold the loan amount in case there exists any provision in the loan agreement which permits the authorities to recover such amount from dues of the employee concerned,” the court ordered and disposed of the petition./ILNS/KR/SNG/

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