The Allahabad High Court has granted 48 hours time to all Basic Education Officers and Finance and Accounts Officers attached to Basic Education Office throughout Uttar Pradesh to carry out the orders of the Supreme Court and release the amount of gratuity payable to dependents of retired teachers.
A Single Bench of Justice Rohit Ranjan Agarwal passed this order while hearing a petition filed by Manorma Mishra.
This is a case where the dependents of retired teachers of the education department had approached the Court for release of death-cum-retirement gratuity.
The writ Court on 20.07.2021 had directed the opposite party to take final decision in applicant’s claim in the light of the decision rendered in case of Usha Rani vs State of UP and 6 others.
The State Government challenged the order of the writ Court before the Supreme Court and the Supreme Court on 29.04.2022 dismissed the Special Leave to Appeal, State of Uttar Pradesh and others vs Usha Rani. The Court further granted 18% interest in case of delayed payment beyond four weeks from the date of order.
The Court is flooded with contempt petitions wherein the dependents of retired teachers have been running from pillar to post claiming their death-cum-retirement gratuity amount and the officers of the education department are withholding the same despite the matter having been settled by the Supreme Court, the Court said.
On July 7, when the case was taken up, Santosh Kumar, Advocate has put in appearance on behalf of opposite party and placed before the Court the approval order of Basic Education Officer, Shahjahanpur as well as the order of Finance and Accounts Officer, Shahjahanpur dated 05.07.2022 but till date the amount has not been transferred to the applicant.
The Court found that the officers of the education department especially Basic Education Officers and Finance and Accounts Officers of the Basic Education Office are deliberately withholding the benefit of death-cum-retirement gratuity though the matter has already been decided and attained finality by orders of the Supreme Court on 29.04.2022.
‘As a last opportunity, the Court grants 48 hours time to all the Basic Education Officers and Finance and Accounts Officers attached to Basic Education Office throughout the State to carry out the orders of the Supreme Court dated 29.04.2022 and release the amount of gratuity payable to the dependents of the retired teachers.
In case, the gratuity amount is not released, 18% interest shall be paid to the dependents of the retired teachers as has been awarded by the Apex Court in case of Usha Rani (supra) and the said amount shall be recovered from the salary of Basic Education Officers and Finance and Accounts Officers, Basic Education Office and the amount shall not be paid from the State exchequer,’ the Court ordered.
It has also been brought to the notice of the Court that Secretary, UP Basic Shiksha Parishad on 28.05.2022 has passed an order directing all the Basic Education Officers to comply with the order of the Supreme Court dated 29.04.2022 and immediately release the gratuity amount payable, but despite the said order of the Secretary, these officers who are bent upon not complying with orders have to be dealt with severely by State Government as they are in direct contempt of the Supreme Court as well as the Court.
‘Let a copy of the order be sent to the Secretary, Uttar Pradesh Basic Shiksha Parishad through Registrar (Compliance) who shall ensure that all the District Basic Education Officers working under him comply with the order,’ the order reads.
The Court has fixed the next hearing of the petition on July 12, 2022.