The Delhi High Court has issued a notice to the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Delhi for allegedly withholding post-retirement benefits of a junior Lab Attendant because of a pending criminal case filed by daughter-in-law against him and his family members citing provisions of Central Civil Services (Pension) Rules.
The Division Bench comprising Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Amit Bansal, on September 20, issued notice to the IIT, Delhi to file its response and posted the matter for November 8, 2021 for further hearing.
Advocate Preeti Singh who appeared for the Lab Attendant submitted that an employee earns 'pensionary benefits' due to his continuous hardworking service and the same cannot be deprived merely because of a pending Criminal Case instituted by daughter-in-law under section(s) 498A, 406 and 34 of Indian Penal Code (IPC), 1860.
Advocate Preeti Singh also placed on record the Award conferred upon the petitioner by the Director, IIT for his unblemished meritorious service. Advocate Singh argued that section 498A of IPC is widely abused for the false implication of entire family members in dowry cases and as such, the pension benefits of an individual cannot be withheld merely due to the pendency of criminal proceedings initiated by daughter in law, more particularly when such person has maintained unblemished career throughout his service.
Petitioner advocate further submits that as per Rule 9 the entitlement to withhold pensionary benefits or other terminal benefits can arise only if a pecuniary loss is caused to the government and that too on account of "the petitioner being found guilty of grave misconduct or negligence during the period of service."
However, the pendency of criminal case filed by the daughter-in-law of the petitioner has no correlation with the petitioner's service rendered in the institute, stated the petition.
"It is an accepted position that gratuity and pension are not the bounties. An employee earns these benefits by dint of his long, continuous, faithful and un-blemished service. It is thus hard earned benefit which accrues to an employee and is in the nature of "property", the petition read.