A Rajasthan High Court Bench of Justice Anoop Kumar Dhand has ordered that the retiral benefits of a retired Audit Inspector from the Cooperative Department be released to his legal representatives. He had died during his long-drawn battle with the State over the withheld pension.

In that context, it was observed that "it is clear like a noon day that the retiral dues of an employee like the petitioner cannot be allowed to withhold because the documents were not received by any department from the other department. The respondents cannot be allowed to take shelter that the delay was caused by any authority in not sending the required file and paper of the petitioner, such action on the part of the respondent/authority is unfounded and virtually arbitrary, illegal and contrary to law."

In this case, the petitioner had retired more than half a decade back but did not receive the pension and retiral benefits. The petitioner approached the Courts seeking justice, and, subsequently, lost his life. His legal representatives were taken on record.

The Court observed that neither any criminal case nor any departmental inquiry was pending against the petitioner, and hence there was no reason available with the State-respondents to withhold the retiral dues of the petitioner. In that context, it was further said that "Such arbitrary act of the State-respondents is high-handed and is liable to be deprecated by this Court. This is not a case of the respondents that there was any lapse on the part of the petitioner to complete any requisite formality. When the entire service record of the petitioner was available in the offices of the respondents, then there was no reason to withhold the retiral dues of the petitioner for more than five years."

Further, the Court relied on a catena of Judgments to hold that "the government servant becomes entitled for pension and other benefits in terms of the Pension Rules. The State is duty bound under the statutory Rules of 1996 to ensure the disbursement of pension and other benefits to the retired employee in proper time. What is proper time would depend upon the facts and circumstances of each case but normally it would not exceed two months from the date of retirement".

In light of the same, the Court allowed the petition, and the respondents were directed to release all the retiral benefits to the legal representatives of the deceased petitioner within a period of thirty days from the date of receipt of a certified copy of this order with interest at 9% per annum from the date of retirement of the deceased petitioner till its actual payment.

Further, the Court held that in order to do complete justice, costs of Rs. 50,000 must be imposed on the respondents, since the petitioner, and later his widow, were dragged to the Court for a valid claim of pension and retiral dues.

Cause Title: Dayachand Arya v. State of Rajasthan

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