SANGITABEN - WIDOW OF LATE SHRI NARENDRABHAI HARJIVANBHAI GOHEL Vs. STATE OF GUJARAT
LAWS(GJH)-2016-3-96
HIGH COURT OF GUJARAT
Decided on March 17,2016

Sangitaben - Widow Of Late Shri Narendrabhai Harjivanbhai Gohel Appellant
VERSUS
STATE OF GUJARAT Respondents

JUDGEMENT

- (1.) By this writ application under Article 226 of the Constitution of India, the petitioner, widow of a deceased employee of the Rajkot District Panchayat, has prayed for the following reliefs: "6A. Your Lordships may be pleased to admit and allow this petition. B. Your Lordships by appropriate writ, direction or order(s) be pleased to quash and set aside decision No.MAHE­2 VASHI­2043/2046 dated September 28, 2015 (28.09.2015) (Annexure­A). And respondent(s) may please be directed to treat and confer the status of permanency on the deceased Husband of petitioner Late Shri Narendrabhai H. Gohel in terms of GR dated October 17, 1988 (17.10.1988) and grant all pensionary entitlements of family pension, gratuity etc to the petitioner from date of death of her Late Husband till are paid with interest at the rate of 8% as decided and directed in order dated August 05, 2015 (05.08.2015) in LPA No.1089/2015. C. Special costs of this petition may please be awarded to the petitioner from the respondents. D. Any other relief or relief(s) which may be deemed to be fit in the interest of the justice; be awarded to the petitioner."
(2.) This appears to be a second round of litigation. In the past, the petitioner had preferred a Special Civil Application No.6934 of 2015 which was disposed of vide order dated 10th June, 2015 as under: 1. "Rule returnable forthwith. Mr. Rohan Yagnik, learned AGP waives service of notice of rule for and on behalf of respondent no. 1 and Mr. H.S. Munshaw, learned advocate waives service of notice of rule for and on behalf of respondent nos. 2 and 3. 2. By way of this writ application under Article 226 of the Constitution of India, the petitioner a widow and senior citizen has prayed for the following reliefs: 6(A)YOUR LORDSHIPS may be pleased to admit and allow this petition. (B) Respondent may pleased be directed to grant calculate and pay the family pension to the Petitioner; on and from October 02, 2002 (02.10.2002) i.e. the date of death of her husband with 12% interest on the amount as due from the said date till the amount is paid to her. (C) Respondent may please be directed to pay the Petitioner the wages as per due under the award from the date of termination till the date of award at the rate of 25% and thereafter full salary till his death i.e. October 02, 2002 (02.10.2002) for the period for during which he was not allowed to work though he offered to join the duties, with interest at the rate of 12% on such dues. (D) Pending admission, hearing and final disposal of this SCA, the Respondent (S) may please be directed to not withhold the sums/amounts due to her Late Husband and payable to the Petitioner being his Legal Heir and be directed to release all such dues to the Petitioner with interest. (E) Cost of this Petition be awarded to the Petitioner. (F) Any other relief or relief(s) which may be deemed to be fit in the interest of the justice; be awarded to the Petitioner.
(3.) The facts giving rise to this application may be summarized as under: 3.1 The petitioner is a widow of Late Shri Narendrabhai harjivanbhai Gohel. The husband of the petitioner was working as a daily wage driver under the respondent no. 3 since September 1, 1987. The service of the deceased husband of the petitioner was terminated on 14/2/1989. By virtue of the order of the Labour Court in Reference (LCR) No. 1133/89, the act of termination of the deceased employee was held to be illegal and he was reinstated in service with continuity of service alongwith 25% back wages. 3.2 It is the case of the petitioner that the requisite amount so far has not been paid. It is also her case that not only 25% back wages has not been paid but her husband was also not reinstated in service. She has also prayed for Family Pension on the strength of a Government Resolution dated 17/10/1988. 4. Mr. Gogia, the learned advocate appearing for the petitioner submitted that the husband of the petitioner was selected by way of a regular recruitment process and had been taken in service in 1981. However, due to pendency of the reference case before the Labour Court, the appointment letter was not issued but his claim to treat him as a part time employee by virtue of Government Resolution dated 17/10/1988 entitles the petitioner to receive the Family Pension. 5. There are two facets of this petition (i) 25% back wages at the time of reinstatement coupled with full wages after resumption in service till his and (ii) Family Pension in terms of the Government Resolution dated 17/10/1988. 6. Mr. Munshaw, the learned counsel appearing for the respondents nos. 2 and 3 submitted that so far as the award passed by the Labour Court is concerned, the same was made a subject matter of challenge before this Court by filing Special Civil Application. I enquired with learned advocate Mr. Munshaw about the status of the said writ application challenging the award passed by the Labour Court. It is very shocking and distressing to note that the Special Civil Application filed by the Taluka Panchayat in the year 2001 challenging the award is at the stage of Stamp Number being 11287 of 2001. Under the guise of a petition being filed, and without being circulated for hearing for 15 years, a widow has been deprived of the benefits of 25% back wages earned by her husband. It does not befit a Taluka Panchayat to deprive such benefits to a widow. 7. The Respondents Nos. 2 and 3 are directed to immediately disburse the requisite amount of 25% of the back wages as awarded by the Labour Court including the amount of full wages from the date of award of the Labour Court till the demise of the husband. The requisite amount in that regard be calculated in terms of the Government Resolution dated 17/10/1988. This exercise shall be completed within a period of fortnight from today and the requisite amount be paid at the rate of 12% interest. Whether the conditions requisite under the Government Resolution dated 17/10/1988 are fulfilled or not shall be examined by respondent nos. 2 and 3 and thereafter the appropriate orders be passed in that regard. 8. The issue of Family Pension in terms of the aforesaid resolution shall also be looked into and necessary order in accordance with law be passed within a period four weeks from today. 9. With the above, this application is allowed. Rule is made absolute to the aforesaid extent. Direct service is permitted. No costs." 3 It appears that a Letters Patent Appeal No.1089 of 2015 was preferred against the judgment and order referred to above by the Rajkot District Panchayat which was came to be disposed of vide order dated 5th August 2015 in the following terms: "Feeling aggrieved and dissatisfied with the impugned judgment and order dated 10/06/2015 passed by the learned Single Judge in Special Civil Application No.6934 of 2015, appellants herein­original respondents No.2 and 3 have preferred the present Letters Patent Appeal. 2. At the outset, it is required to be noted that by impugned judgment and order, learned Single Judge has issued the following directions: 7. The Respondents Nos. 2 and 3 are directed to immediately disburse the requisite amount of 25% of the back wages as awarded by the Labour Court including the amount of full wages from the date of award of the Labour Court till the demise of the husband. The requisite amount in that regard be calculated in terms of the Government Resolution dated 17/10/1988. This exercise shall be completed within a period of fortnight from today and the requisite amount be paid at the rate of 12% interest. Whether the conditions requisite under the Government Resolution dated 17/10/1988 are fulfilled or not shall be examined by respondent nos. 2 and 3 and thereafter the appropriate orders be passed in that regard. 8. The issue of Family Pension in terms of the aforesaid resolution shall also be looked into and necessary order in accordance with law be passed within a period four weeks from today. 3. Feeling aggrieved and dissatisfied with the aforesaid directions, more particularly, directions issued in paragraph Nos.7 and 8, appellants­ original respondents No.2 and 3 have preferred the present Letters Patent Appeal. 4. Today, when the present Letters Patent Appeal is taken up for further hearing, Shri Munshaw, learned Advocate appearing on behalf of appellants has stated at the bar that in the peculiar facts and circumstances of the case and treating the present case as special case, more particularly, considering the fact that original petitioner is a widow and there was judgment and award passed by the learned Labour Court granting 25% back wages with reinstatement, passed as far as back on 10/05/2001 and, even the deceased employee had died in the month of 2002, the original petitioner has been paid the amount due and payable under the aforesaid judgment and award passed by the learned Labour Court i.e. 25% of the back wages and full wages from the date of the award till the deceased employee has been died. He has stated that Demand Draft in the name of the org. petitioner has been handed over to Shri Gogia, learned Advocate appearing for the original petitioner. He has further submitted that so far as other directions are concerned i.e. with respect to family pension in terms of the Government Resolution dated 17/10/1988, (as claimed by the original petitioner), the learned Single Judge has directed to look into the same and to pass necessary orders in accordance with law within a period of four weeks. He has requested to grant some more time to consider the aforesaid issue in accordance with law. 5. In view of the above, we dispose of the present Letters Patent Appeal by observing that the directions issued by the learned Single Judge in paragraph No.7 of the impugned judgment and order i.e. with respect to 25% of the back wages with interest at the rate of 8% per annum and full wages from the date of award till the deceased employee died, has been complied with as directed by the learned Single Judge. Now, the appellants herein to consider the case of the original petitioner for family pension in accordance with law and to consider as to whether the original petitioner is entitled to family pension under the Government Resolution dated 17/10/1988 or not. The aforesaid exercise shall be completed within a period of three months from today and appellants to pass a speaking order, which may be communicated to the original petitioner within a period of two weeks from the date of such decision. If it is found that the original petitioner is entitled to family pension, she shall be paid the arrears with interest at the rate of 8% per annum within a period of two weeks from the date of such decision. It goes without saying that if the decision is adverse to the original petitioner and it is held that the petitioner is not entitled to family pension and/or any of the conditions in the Government Resolution dated 17/10/1988 is not satisfied/fulfilled, it will be open for the original petitioner to challenge the same and as and when such proceedings will be initiated, the same shall be decided in accordance with law and on its own merits. 6. With this, present Letters Patent Appeal is disposed of. 7. In view of disposal of main Letters Patent Appeal, Civil Application No.7997 of 2015 is accordingly disposed of." ;


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