Kolkata, Jun 15 (ILNS) The Calcutta High Court has said that all the authorities are expected to act in accordance with law expeditiously, keeping in mind that the retired employee cannot be deprived of his legitimate retirement benefits.
A Single-Judge Bench of Justice Shampa Sarkar made the above observation on June 14, while disposing the petition arising out of inaction on part of the State authorities in granting the pension and other retirement benefits to petitioner Sanjit Kumar Dutta.
The Petitioner was appointed as an Assistant Teacher in Work Education and Physical Education Group in Ujan Hari Pada High School. He retired on December 31, 2019. The papers were submitted by the school authorities before the District Inspector of Schools on June 17, 2019. After receipt of the pension papers, the pension sanctioning authorities raised certain objections and directed the school authorities to cure the defects.
It is the contention of the Petitioner that despite the defects having been cured by the school authorities, the pension sanctioning authorities sat tight over the matter and intentionally delayed the payment of retirement benefits to the Petitioner.
Bhaskar Prasad Vaishya , appearing for the State respondents submitted that as per his instructions the queries raised by the pension sanctioning authorities was not addressed by the school authorities and hence, the delay in disposal of the pension case of the Petitioner.
The Bench, having heard the Advocates for the respective parties, found that it is an admitted position that the Petitioner was appointed in a school and had rendered sincere service through out his career. There are no allegations against the Petitioner.
The Court did not find any reason why the pension and other retirement benefits of the Petitioner to which the Petitioner is otherwise eligible in accordance with law, shall be withheld.
If the school authority has not corrected the defects, it is also incumbent upon the school authorities to perform their function diligently and cure the defects and pass on all the papers with clarifications and corrections to the pension sanctioning authority , the Bench said.
Therefore , the Court disposed the Petition with a direction upon the pension sanctioning authorities, which is the District Inspector of Schools, Secondary Education, Paschim Medinipur to decide the issue with regard to the sanction of pension and other retirement benefits to the Petitioner in accordance with law within a period of six weeks from date upon hearing the petitioner as also the school authorities and pass a reasoned order upon taking a decision thereon.
“If it is found that the pension papers are in order and the objections have been answered by the school authorities, then the District Inspector of Schools shall forward the recommendation and the papers to the Director of Pension, Provident fund and Group Insurance, West Bengal within two weeks from such decision and steps shall be taken for urgent disbursement of the retirement benefits of the petitioner. If it is found that the school authorities have not answered to the objections raised by the District Inspector of Schools, then a reasoned order should be passed within six weeks intimating the school authorities and the petitioner what other formalities and/or corrections are required to be done to enable the petitioner to get the retirement benefits at an early date”, the order reads.
It is clarified by the Court that if the person sanctioning authorities sanctions the payments then the disbursing authority shall disburse the retirement benefits as per law within six weeks from receipt of communication of the sanctioning authority. ILNS/