Calcutta HC Dismisses Review Filed By State Against Judgment To Pay Dearness Allowance To Employees In 3 Months
The Calcutta High Court has dismissed the review application filed by the State Government seeking to reconsider an earlier judgment ordering payment of dearness allowance and its arrears to employees of State Government within 3 months.
"We, thus, do not find any error apparent on the face of the record nor the mistake of a like nature and, therefore, there is no merit in the review application. Accordingly, the review application is dismissed.", the Court observed.
The Bench of Justice Rabindranath Samanta and Justice Harish Tandon directed the state chief secretary and another officer to explain why the rule of contempt will not be issued against them.
Advocate General S. N. Mookherjee appeared for the applicant whereas Senior Advocate Bikash Ranjan Bhattacharyya represented Unity Forum. Senior Advocate Tapan Kumar Mukherjee represented the State.
The confederation of State Government employees had filed a contempt application before the division bench stating that the state government had not implemented its order to pay dearness allowance within three months.
This comes after the High Court had on May 20 upheld the order of State Administrative Tribunal and directed the state government to release the dearness allowance and its arrears within three months.
Following this, the state government moved a review application against this decision claiming an error in it. It was the contention of the state that there was a mistake on the part of the arguing Counsel in not referring several Government orders issued by the Finance Department, Government of West Bengal releasing the instalments of Dearness Allowance to its employees with effect from April 1, 2008 to January 1, 2019.
However, the Division Bench held thus "The entire judgment have taken into account the various factors and the unanimous decision which has been taken is that the State Government cannot depart from the provision of the statutory rules framed after accepting the recommendation of the 5th Pay Commission to the extent enumerated therein."
The bench held that the mistake claimed by the government does not impact upon the decision and, therefore, cannot be regarded as the mistake of such magnitude requiring the Court to review its own decision.
The Court observed that the mistake is of inconsequential import and, held, the review to be not maintainable.
In a separate order on the contempt application filed by the employees confederation, the High Court directed that the alleged contemnors must explain as to why the rule of contempt should not be issued against them.
The Bench directed that the contempt application will be heard on November 9.
Cause Title- The State of West Bengal & Ors. v. Confederation of State Government Employees, West Bengal & Ors.