The gratuity cash of an worker may be withheld and forfeited for restoration of dues similar to overstaying in official lodging, the Supreme Courtroom has dominated.
A bench headed by justice Sanjay Ok Kaul held that there isn’t a prohibition in opposition to recovering dues together with penal lease — the lease with penalty for overstaying in official lodging — from an worker’s gratuity.
“If an worker occupies 1 / 4 past the desired interval, the penal lease could be the pure consequence and such penal lease may be adjusted in opposition to the dues payable, together with gratuity,” stated the bench, which additionally included justices Dinesh Maheshwari and Hrishikesh Roy.
The order, issued final week, settles a disputed level of regulation since a two-judge bench of the Supreme Courtroom had beforehand taken a view on the contrary. A division bench in 2017 dominated unfavourably in opposition to confiscating the gratuity of an worker on account of overstaying in official quarters after his retirement. It had ordered the speedy launch of his gratuity and held solely regular lease, not the penal lease, needs to be charged for the interval he overstayed.
Nonetheless, the three-judge bench, led by justice Kaul, has now held that any reliance on the 2017 order is “misplaced” since it’s not even a judgment however simply an order on the given info of that case. It clarified that the 2017 order can’t be handled as a precedent.
In doing so, the bigger bench additionally cited a 2005 judgment of the highest courtroom when it upheld restoration of the penal lease from an worker for unauthorised occupation of the lodging offered to him by the employer. On this judgment, though the courtroom acknowledged that pensionary profit similar to gratuity just isn’t a “bounty”, it had held that recoveries of dues may be created from gratuity with out the consent of the worker involved.
The newest case had arisen out of an order by the Jharkhand excessive courtroom, which snubbed an try by the Metal Authority of India Ltd (SAIL) to get well penal lease amounting to Rs 1.95 lakh from an worker, who didn’t clear his dues and overstayed within the official lodging in Bokaro after his retirement in 2016.
The excessive courtroom relied upon the 2017 order of the highest courtroom, and stated that the SAIL should launch the worker’s gratuity instantly. Nonetheless, it allowed the SAIL to lift a requirement for regular lease.
The Supreme Courtroom has now put aside the a part of the excessive courtroom order that held that the SAIL couldn’t get well the dues from the gratuity quantity. Nonetheless, it didn’t intrude with the financial facet of the order, noting that a small quantity is concerned and that the SAIL’s residential scheme has additionally undergone change lately.