Authority Cannot Recover Any Excess Amount for Overstayed Period by Grade-III and Grade-IV Employees: Gauhati High Court

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Case: PRAMOD CHANDRA SAIKIA vs. ASSAM POWER DISTRIBUTION COMPANY LTD

Facts

The petitioner of the present case joined as a peon in the Assam Power Distribution Company Limited in 1981. At that time, his date of birth was recorded according to his school certificates. In terms of those, he was born in 1957.  Later on, he cracked HSLC examination and in the report of that his birth date was mentioned as 1959. After submission of these documents, his date of birth was rectified in the service book and he was promoted to the post of assistant storekeeper. Now in the year 2018, the Chief general manager informed that his date of birth as per the HSLC pass certificate will not be accepted and his actual date of superannuation was in 2017 and he continued the service beyond the date thus excess pay and allowances drawn by the petitioner will be recovered from his gratuity and other post-retirement benefits. Aggrieved by this order, the petitioner filed a case against this. 

Arguments of the Petitioner

The learned counsel for the petitioner argued that this order was illegal as if it is allowed to stand, it will deprive him of his livelihood. Further, suddenly after years, the authority realized that rectification made was not done with their approval so there is a lack of efficiency on the part of the authority and not the petitioner.

Arguments of the Defendants

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The defendant argued that when the petitioner was admitted his date of birth was recorded under the seal and signature of the controlling officer in the service book. Later on, he submitted to change that according to the pass certificates but no person can have two birthdates. Moreover, the rectification done in the service book was made without the approval of competent authority and as the matter did not reach the authority, the petitioner was promoted instead of retirement. Also, the petitioner never claimed that his birth date on school certificates was wrong and this act of the petitioner appears to be not bonafide and a wrongdoer cannot claim the privilege of his wrongful conduct as it will be a wholly unjustified one.

Court’s Opinion

The court opined that the modification made in the service book by the divisional engineer was not right as it was not permissible to do so. The court ordered that no excess amount due from the wrong fixation of pay can be recovered as the petitioner was a Grade-III employee. But the year of superannuation will be 2017 only. Hence, the court did not interfere in the order of the authority.

Click here to view full judgement.


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