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Dr. Eturi Padmavathi v/s State of Telangana

    Writ Appeal No. 490 of 2019

    Decided On, 24 November 2021

    At, High Court of for the State of Telangana

    By, THE HONOURABLE CHIEF JUSTICE MR. SATISH CHANDRA SHARMA & THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE A. RAJASHEKER REDDY

    For the Petitioner: ----- For the Respondent: -----



Judgment Text

Satish Chandra Sharma, J.

The present appeal is arising out of the order dated 05.10.2018 in W.P.No.16884 of 2007 by which the learned Single Judge has directed payment of pension and the other terminal dues to the appellant/writ petitioner.

The undisputed facts of the case reveal that the appellant was serving in a College receiving grant-in-aid. She was transferred from Vasavi Niketan Junior College to Kasturba Gandhi Junior College for Women, again a College receiving grant-in-aid and she finally attained the age of superannuation on 31.10.2008. The appellant was not paid terminal dues and therefore, initially the writ petition was preferred challenging non-payment of salary and thereafter, as during the pendency of the writ petition, the appellant attained the age of superannuation, the writ petition was amended and a prayer was made for grant of pension and revised pay scales as revised from time to time. The order passed by the learned Single Judge reads as under:-

“This writ petition is filed seeking the following relief:

“to issue any writ, order or direction particularly one in the nature of writ of Mandamus direct all the respondents herein to pay the entire arrears of salary by duly releasing the increments and by applying the revised pay scales together with interest @18% per annum and pass such other order or orders as this Honourable Court deems fit and proper in the circumstances of the case.”

During the pendency of the writ petition, the petitioner has sought amendment of the prayer to the following effect:

“.. to permit the petitioner to amend the prayer by adding “by implementing the proceedings No.Rc.No.566/A3/2009, dt.28.05.2011 of the 2nd respondent and to pay all the retirement benefits including pension”, after the words ‘Revised Pay Scales” and before the words “together with interest” and pass such other order or orders may deem fit and proper in the circumstances of the case.”

Heard Sri P.B.Vijaya Kumar, learned counsel for the petitioner, Sri S.Bharat Kumar, learned counsel for the 4th respondent college and the learned Government Pleader for Education.

It is submitted by the petitioner that she was appointed as Junior Lecturer in Telugu in the 4th respondent college on 3.10.1981 and her appointment was also approved by the competent authority. While she was working in the said college, the post held by the petitioner was admitted into grant in aid vide G.O.Ms.No.170 dated 12.7.1990 with effect from16.4.1990 and ever since, she has been discharging her duties without any complaints. It is further submitted by the petitioner that while she was working as Lecturer, the State Government vide G.O.Ms.No.453 dated 31.7.1996 appointed her as a member of the District Consumer Forum on honorarium of Rs.2000/- . The petitioner had worked there only for two months and resigned the said post and thereafter, joined the post of Junior Lecturer. A show-cause notice was issued to the petitioner on 9.9.1996 stating that she was absent from duty and performing two full time jobs. The petitioner submitted explanation to the said show cause notice. The 4th respondent vide proceedings dated 27.8.1997 imposed a punishment of stoppage of one increment with cumulative effect. Challenging the same, the petitioner filed an appeal before the 2nd respondent- Regional Joint Director of Higher Education, Warangal, and the 2nd respondent had passed orders on 23.3.1998 setting aside the punishment imposed by the 4th respondent and directed to treat the absence period of two months as leave. In spite of the same, the 4th respondent had not regularized the services of the petitioner for the period she was out of employment for two months.

Learned counsel for the petitioner had contended that since the 4th respondent college had not complied with the orders of the 2nd respondent, the post of Junior Lecturer held by the petitioner was transferred from 4th respondent college to the 5th respondent college and the petitioner has been transferred to the 5th respondent college along with the post and retired from service on 31.10.2008, in the 5th respondent college, during the pendnecy of this writ petition. Learned counsel for the petitioner further contended that as the 4th respondent college had not complied with the orders passed by the 2nd respondent, the pensionary benefits of the petitioner were not settled and to that effect the petitioner had submitted a representation to the 2nd respondent and the 2nd respondent passed orders on 28.5.2011 directing the 4th respondent to comply with orders, but, so far the 4th respondent college did not complied with the same.

Learned counsel appearing for the 4th respondent had contended that the 4th respondent college would comply with the orders passed by the 2nd respondent and send proposals to the 5th respondent college to enable the petitioner to receive pension.

Learned Government Pleader appearing for the official respondents had contended that the 4th respondent college should forward the proposals to the 5th respondent college and the 5th respondent would process the pension proposals to settle the pensionary benefits of the petitioner.

Accordingly, the Writ Petition is disposed of directing the 4th respondent college to comply with the orders passed by the 2nd respondent dated 28.5.2011 within a period of two weeks from the date of receipt of a copy of this order and upon such compliance, the 5th respondent college shall process the pension proposals of the petitioner and thereafter, the official respondents shall pass appropriate orders for grant of pensionary benefits to the petitioner within a period of four months from the date of receipt of the pension proposals. It is needless to say that the petitioner shall cooperate with the 4th respondent college to comply with the orders passed by the 2nd respondent. There shall be no order as to costs.

Miscellaneous petitions pending, if any, shall stand closed.”

Undisputedly, the appellant has worked with the respondent No.4 as well as the respondent No.5 and it is nobody’s case that she has not worked till her retirement. The learned Single Judge has directed the State Government to process her claim for grant of pension, because ultimately, it is the State which pays the pension to employees serving in Colleges receiving grant-in-aid, as informed by the learned Government Advocate. The appellant is aggrieved only in the matter of non-payment of interest, as no interest has been granted by the learned Single Judge, even though she retired in the year 2008.

In the considered opinion of this Court, an employee who was serving as a Junior Lecturer (Teacher) cannot be made to suffer on account of lapses on the part of the State Government and therefore, after hearing the learned counsel for the parties, the order passed by the learned Single Judge is modified only to the extent of grant of interest. The appellant shall be entitled for interest at the rate of 8.5% per annum from the date of entitlement till the amount is actually paid to the appellant. It is needless to mention that in case the order passed by this Court is not

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complied with within three months, the interest shall be paid at the rate of 12.5% per annum. The amount of interest shall be paid initially by the State Government and the State Government shall conduct a fact finding enquiry in the matter for fixing the responsibility upon the Officers who have delayed payment of pension to the appellant and after conducting the fact finding enquiry and after following due process of law, the interest component shall be recovered from the Officers who are held responsible in the matter. The enquiry be concluded within a period of six months from the date of receipt of a copy of this order. The writ appeal is accordingly disposed of. The miscellaneous applications pending in this writ appeal, if any, shall stand closed. There shall be no order as to costs.
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