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Pension can`t be withheld due to pending criminal case: CAT

Pension and increments of a public servant cannot be withheld only on the basis a pending criminal case against him unless he is convicted, the apex administrative tribunal has held.



New Delhi: Pension and increments of a
public servant cannot be withheld only on the basis a pending
criminal case against him unless he is convicted, the apex
administrative tribunal has held.

"It is amply clear that only on the basis of the case
pending against the applicant (Primary School Head Master
Lakhi Ram), pension cannot be withheld under Central Civil
Services (CCS Pension) Rules, 1972," a two-member bench of
Central Administrative Tribunal headed by Justice Meera
Chhibber said.
The bench also favoured releasing gratuity during the
pendency of criminal case but with an earlier judgement of the
CAT ruling against it, the bench referred the question on the
gratuity issue to a larger bench.

"Gratuity cannot be withheld under rules of CCS
Pension Rules. Otherwise also as per the provision (of)
Payment of Gratuity Act, 1972, gratuity cannot be withheld,"
it said.
"Since we have taken a different view about release of
gratuity during the pendency of criminal case than what had
been held by the coordinate bench in another case in 2009,
the matter may be placed before the chairman on administrative
side for constitution of a larger bench to determine the clear
position of law on the subject," the bench said.

The judgement came on a petition filed by Lakhi Ram, a
Municipal Corporation of Delhi-run primary school headmaster,
who retired in August 2007.

He had been suspended on August 13, 2001 after his
arrest in criminal case relating to a property dispute.

Though he was reinstated in May 2005 and retired in
2007, his annual increments were stopped from 2001 and were
not restored even after his reinstatement in service.

The court directed Education Department of Municipal
Corporation of Delhi to grant increments to him from the date
of his reinstatement to his superannuation and to fix his pay
as per the sixth pay revision and determine his provisional
pension.

PTI

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