Withholding pension without departmental probe wrong
An employee cannot be denied his pensionary benefits without a departmental probe holding him guilty of committing a wrong act, the Delhi High Court has ruled.
New Delhi: An employee cannot be denied his pensionary benefits without a departmental probe holding him guilty of committing a wrong act, the Delhi High Court has ruled.
The HC gave the ruling while asking the Central Public Works Department (CPWD) to release the pension of one of its retired section officers.
A bench of justices BD Ahmed and VK Jain gave the ruling, upholding a Central Administrative Tribunal verdict asking the CPWD to release its former Section Officer Mahender Singh`s pension, withheld on the allegation that he had secured his job on the basis of a fake Scheduled Caste certificate.
The CPWD had withheld Singh`s pension without conducting a departmental probe to fix his guilt, though it had made enquiries from the district magistrate at his native place
Muzaffarnagar in Uttar Pradesh about his caste.
"Assuming that the respondent (Mahender Singh) did not belong to a Scheduled Caste and had submitted false caste certificates, the petitioners (Delhi government and CPWD) had
no legal right to withhold his pensionary benefits when no departmental inquiry was instituted against him at any point of time," said the high court bench, dismissing the Delhi
government petition against the CAT`s September 2011 order.
Singh had joined the CPWD as a horticulturist in 1986 retired from its service in July 2009 as its section officer but his pension had been withheld on the allegation that he
had secured the job on forged caste certificate.
Following the allegation against Singh, Delhi government had made enquiries about Singh`s caste from Muzaffarnagar district magistrate who, in turn, had told Delhi government
that he belonged to the Gadaria caste, which was not a Scheduled Caste, the government counsel had told the court.