KANSAL D P Vs. DELHI JAL BOARD
HIGH COURT OF DELHI
DELHI JAL BOARD
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(1.) BY this common order and judgment, this court proposes to dispose of all the eight petitions. The present petitions are directed against the impugned order dated March 21, 2005 passed by the Appellate Authority under the Payment of Gratuity Act, 1972 (hereinafter referred to as 'the Gratuity Act') dismissing the appeals of the petitioners and upholding the order dated January 8, 2004 passed by the controlling Authority rejecting the claim of the petitioners for payment of gratuity under the gratuity Act on the ground that they were covered under the CCS (Pension) Rules 1972 (hereinafter referred to as 'the Rules' ). The petitioners have sought a writ of mandamus to be issued to the respondent directing it to pay to the petitioners, the differential amount payable under the provisions of the Act, after deducting the amount of gratuity already paid under the rules, along with interest.
(2.) THE facts of the case of all the petitioners are common, except for the fact that the] petitioners in W. P. (C)Nos. 17888, 17895 and 17914/2005 retired from service of the MCD in the year 1996, while the petitioners in W. P. (C)Nos. 17894, 17899, 20493, 20546 and 20562/2005 retired from service of the Delhi Jal board in the years 2001-2002. For the sake of convenience, only the facts of W. P. (C)17888/2005 are being stated in brief. In the year 1961, the petitioner was appointed in the service of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi/ delhi Water Supply and Sewage Disposal undertaking, now Delhi Jal Board, the respondent herein (hereinafter referred to as 'djb' ). He retired from service on July 31, 1996 after rendering service for about 35 years. On August 28,2003, the petitioner preferred an application under the Gratuity Act for payment of gratuity in accordance with law. As against the said application of the petitioner, the DJB filed a written statement before the Controlling authority in which it was submitted that as the petitioner had received pension, gratuity and other retiral benefits as per the Rules, he was not entitled to payment of the difference of gratuity under the Gratuity Act. On September 9,2003, the DJB filed an affidavit stating inter alia that it had been granted exemption under Section 5 ( 1) of the Act by the Competent Authority vide order dated June 12, 2003.
(3.) THE Controlling Authority, vide its orde r dated January 8, 2004 dismissed the application of the petitioner by relying on the judgment of the Supreme Court in the case of dtc Retired Employees Association ands others v. DTC, AIR 2001 SC 1997 : (2001) 6 scc 61 : 2001-II-LLJ-258. Against the aforementioned order of the Controlling authority, the petitioner preferred an appeal before the Appellate Authority under Section 7 (7) of the Gratuity Act, wherein it was submitted that the Controlling Authority had wrongly relied on the DTC's case (supra) as the facts of the said case were entirely different and, therefore, the law as propounded therein was not applicable to the facts of the present case. The Appellate Authority passed the impugned order dated March 21,2005 by which the order of the Controlling Authority was upheld on the ground that in the DTC case, the Supreme Court had decided that the employees cannot have the benefit of both pension as well as gratuity, at the same time and that since in the present case, the petitioner had already received gratuity and other pensionery benefits under the Rules, he was not entitled to additional amounts of gratuity.;
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