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Withholding retirement benefits in interest of pvt parties illegal: CAT

The Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT), Chennai bench, has ruled that withholding the retirement benefits of an employee to safeguard the interests of the private parties was without any legal basis. The bench also directed the Centre to pay the interest rate for belated payment of retiral dues.

Withholding retirement benefits in interest of pvt parties illegal: CAT
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Chennai

According to the petition, G Karthikeyan, formerly private secretary at the Ahmedabad bench of the tribunal made a request for voluntary retirement on May 5, 2010. Though he was relieved from his duties on August 5, 2010, he was not paid his retirement benefits.


When Karthikeyan enquired with his former employer, he was informed that his retirement benefits and monthly pension would not be disbursed till the disposal of a suit pending before the V Assistant Judge, City Civil Court, Chennai, in which he was a party to, the petition alleged.


Karthikeyan submitted that injunction in that suit was vacated and asked the Centre to clear the dues. Countering this, the Centre said that they have verified the suit order which was pending before the civil court and disbursed the retirement benefits on the first week of June 2015.


T Jacob, who presided over the tribunal, said, “Withholding of gratuity and granting of a provisional pension takes place only when some disciplinary proceedings or judicial (criminal) proceedings are pending against the official retiring. But the Centre acted contrary to the provisions of the CCS (Pension) Rules in withholding the gratuity to Karthikeyan. So, the Centre should pay interest at bank rate for the belated payment of retiral dues from the date of vacation of an interim injunction.”

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