Pensionary benefits are a Constitutional right : Punjab & Haryana HC

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The Punjab & Haryana High Court, taking cognizance of the contemptuous behavior of DHBVN, imposed a cost of Rs 8 lakh on the company as compensation. Out of this, Rs 4 lakh is to be paid to the four legal representatives of the petitioner.
Pensionary benefits are a Constitutional right’ : Punjab & Haryana HC

In a landmark judgment, the Punjab & Haryana High Court reaffirmed that pensioner benefits are a constitutional right, protected under Article 300-A of the Constitution of India. The court’s ruling came in the case of Chander Prakash, a former employee of Dakshin Haryana Bijli Vitran (DHBVN), who had been denied his retirement benefits.

 

The Battle for Justice

Chander Prakash had been embroiled in a legal battle for over two decades, fighting for what was rightfully his. He had filed a petition alleging that DHBVN had denied him pensioner benefits amounting to Rs 2.13 lakh at the time of his superannuation in 1999. Despite approaching the court six times, Prakash passed away without hearing the verdict, which was ultimately in his favor.

 

The Court’s Verdict

The Punjab & Haryana High Court, taking cognizance of the contemptuous behavior of DHBVN, imposed a cost of Rs 8 lakh on the company as compensation. Out of this, Rs 4 lakh is to be paid to the four legal representatives of the petitioner.

 

The court stated that pensionary benefits are a constitutional right, as they are part of the Right to Property and Article 300-A of the Constitution of India. Therefore, no one can be deprived of the same unless by authority of law.

 

The Allegations and the Aftermath

DHBVN had alleged that a shortage of material and missing parts of the transformer and oil were discovered while Prakash was in service. Therefore, the company had decided to recover the cost of these missing materials from the retirement benefits and gratuity of Prakash.

 

However, the Division bench of the HC had, in 2008, ordered that Prakash’s benefits be released. DHBVN had not complied, and instead, a show cause notice was issued after nine years of Prakash’s retirement, which made no sense.

 

Finally, after 21 years and after the petitioner’s death, the Court has directed that the petitioner’s amount be refunded along with an interest rate of six percent per annum within three months.

 

Conclusion

The case of Chander Prakash serves as a stark reminder of the struggles that many retirees face in securing their pensionary benefits. The court’s ruling underscores the importance of upholding constitutional rights and sends a strong message to all employers about the consequences of denying rightful benefits to their employees. This judgment is a significant step towards ensuring justice for all pensioners and upholding the sanctity of constitutional rights.

Stay tuned, to PropleManager.co.in for further updates on the evolving workplace paradigm.      

 

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