Rajasthan High Court’s Disposal of Writ Petition Still Insurance for Reimbursements of Due Payments

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Excerpt 

A writ petition was filed by the Petitioner to seek payment of interest on gratuity from the Respondent within two months. Further, Justice Ashok Kumar Gaur by considering the financial position and other accumulated claims of the Company directed the Respondents to pay such amount within five months. 

Facts of the Case 

In the present case, a writ petition was filed by the Petitioner to claim interest on his gratuity @ 6% per annum till the date of realization. Further, Petitioner, Omprakash had already attained the age of superannuation and therefore had retired on 30-06-2016 from the post of Artizen Grade II, CWS Ajmer. Also, an amount of Rs 11,15,097 without any inclusion of interest on gratuity was received by the Petitioner as the payment of the Gratuity amount. But the Petitioner had anticipated the payment of the required interest on the Gratuity amount. Consequently, the Petitioner filed a writ petition in the Court to claim this interest.

Petitioner’s Arguments

Learned Counsel of the Petitioner contended that the Petitioner had attained an age of superannuation and thus thereby had retired from the Post. Furthermore, the Learned Counsel stated that an amount of Rs 10,00,000 as gratuity and along with it a certain amount of interest on gratuity was to be paid to the Petitioner by the Respondents. Hence, the Respondents paid an amount of Rs 11,15,097 for the same. But this amount did not include the payment of interest on gratuity. Further, the Learned Counsel for the petitioner gave a reference to some prominent cases, namely, Mohan Lal Bhargav Vs. Rajasthan State Road Transport Corporation & Anr; Kailash Chand Chouhan Vs. Rajasthan State Road Transport Corporation & Anr.; and Bajrang Lal Trivedi Vs. Rajasthan State Road Transport Corporation & Anr. In these aforesaid cases, it was decided by the Coordinate Bench of the Court that the amount of interest on gratuity was required to be paid to the employee within two months. And hence the Learned counsel for the petitioner, also contended for the issuance of the same type of direction of paying the required interest on the gratuity amount within two months to the Respondents.

Respondent’s Arguments 

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Ms Devyani Rathore, Learned counsel for the Respondents submitted that the Respondent-Corporation was in the process of adopting a proper mechanism of paying retiral benefits to its employees. And hence through this mechanism, the employees who have got their retirement up to July 2016 were paid post-retiral benefits. Moreover, Learned counsel for the Respondents submitted that the Respondent Corporation was even trying to release the payment of interest on gratuity towards the Petitioner. But this reimbursement towards Petitioner was to be done only after the payment of the terminal benefits to the employees who hadn’t experienced even one of the terminal benefits. And hence the Corporation would firstly pay such employees their terminal benefits and then would proceed towards the reimbursement of interest in gratuity. Moreover, the Respondents stated that the persons who had earlier retired or approached this Court, were no doubt required to be paid their interest on gratuity as per their seniority but by weighing the financial affairs of the Corporation the Court may grant a reasonable time to the respondents to make such payment of interest. 

Court’s Observations 

By hearing the arguments given by both the parties the Court found that in the aforesaid cases namely, Kailash Chand Chouhan Vs. RSRTC & Anr. (supra) and Mohan Lal Bhargav Vs. RSRTC & Anr. (supra), the Court had earlier given the direction to pay interest on gratuity within two months. Furthermore, the Court stated that the Respondent-Corporation was firstly required to make payment to such people who had retired before the people who filed the petitions or had approached the Court. This payment was to be made as per their date of superannuation. Besides this, the Court further finds that the Respondents have already paid the Petitioner his required amount of gratuity and they even support the view of the payment of interest on gratuity towards the Petitioner. But the respondents wanted to seek an indulgence of the Court in this matter as they were not able to pay this amount of interest currently on account of the financial position of the company and other claims which were lying with the Corporation in respect of those persons who had retired earlier than the petitioner. 

Court’s Decision 

Hence the Court disposed of the writ petition and directed the Respondent-Corporation to consider the case of the Petitioner for grant of interest @ 6% per annum on the amount of gratuity until it is unpaid. Further, by assessing the financial affairs of the company the Court gave an order to the Respondents to settle this within five months. 

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