Decided on January 16,1979

K.M.DALAL Appellant
UNION OF INDIA Respondents


P.D.DESAI - (1.) The petitioner was in the employment of the Western Railway. He reached the age of superannuation on January 31 1975 At the material time he was holding the post of Inspector of Works. He was given extension of one year by the General Manager of the Western Railway by an order made on June 20 1974 However the General Manager subsequently decided to terminate the extension granted to the petitioner and accordingly made an order on October 28 1975 In accordance with the said order the petitioner was retired from service on November 30 1975
(2.) Upon the retirement of the petitioner the following amounts became payable to him: Special contribution to Provident Fund amounting to Rs. 12 475 under Rule 1314 of the Provident Fund Rules contained in the Indian Railway Establishment Code Volume I. (2) Provident Fund Bonus (contribution by Government) amounting to Rs. 22 202 payable under Rules 1312-1313 of the Provident Fund Rules contained in the Indian Railway Establishment Code Volume I. Accordingly an amount of Rs. 34 677 became payable to the petitioner
(3.) The petitioner was informed by a communication dated August 4; 1976 issued by the Divisional Office Baroda (Annexure C) that due to shortage of stores/ materials in his charge the following recoveries were required to be effected from his retirement dues: (1) Rs. 25 12 Recovery due to shortage/loss of material which was in the petitioners charge when he was working as Inspector of Works Baroda. (2) Rs. 2 705 Loss on account of theft when the petitioner was working as Inspector of Works Ahmedabad in Grade II for which he was responsible. --------- -- Rs. 27 717 The communication proceeded to state that after adjusting the amount of the aforesaid recoveries from the Provident Fund Bonus (Rs. 22 202 payable to the petitioner the balance amount if any would be recovered from the Special contribution to the Provident Fund. The petitioner sent his reply (Annexure D) on August 20 1976 to the aforesaid communication. He pointed out in the course of his reply that no disciplinary action was taken against him in respect of the matters which had given rise to the proposal for the aforesaid recoveries and that therefore the action of the railway authorities in withholding the settlement of his dues was illegal. The General Manager of the Western Railway issued a Memorandum on June 26 1977 (Annexure F) stating that on account of the petitioners negligence in discharging his duties and in safeguarding the interest of the railway administration the railway had to suffer a loss of Rs. 25 12 and that therefore the petitioners service could not be certified to be thoroughly satisfactory. The Memorandum proceeded to state that under the circumstances a portion of the Special contribution to the petitioners Provident Fund was proposed to be withheld. The petitioner was called upon to show cause against the proposed action. The petitioner showed cause by his letter dated July 20 1977 (Annexure G). His contention inter alia was that he was not responsible for causing any loss to the railway administration as alleged and that in any case the deduction proposed to be made was not authorised by Rule 1341 of the Provident Fund Rules as interpreted by the Supreme Court in the case of The General Manager North East Frontier Railway and others v. Dinabandu Chakraborty (Civil Appeal No. 2439 of 1966 decided by the Supreme Court on February 19 1970 in view of the fact that there was no adjudication as to the amount due under the alleged liability incurred by the petitioner. It appears that after the petitioner sent the aforesaid reply he filed Special Civil Application No. 1283 of 1977 in this Court challenging the proposed action of the railway administration. At the preliminary hearing of the said writ petition which took place on December 27 1977 a statement was made on behalf of the railway administration to the effect that the petitioners claim to Provident Fund and Gratuity would be decided within one mouth. On that statement being made the petitioner withdrew the writ petition subject to his right to challenge the ultimate decision of the railway administration if he felt aggrieved by the same. The decision of the General Manager was ultimately communicated to the petitioner by a communication dated January 10 1978 (Annexure H) issued by the Divisional Superintendent Baroda. The various contentions raised by the petitioner were rejected by the General Manager and accordingly the following order was made in respect of the retirement dues of the petitioner: (1) Amount of Ri. 618-75 being 5 of the amount of Special contribution to Provident Fund was withheld leaving the balance of Rs. 11 756 p. as the amount of special contribution to Provident Fund. (2) The following recoveries were ordered to be effected :- (a) Rs. 25 12 Recovery due to loss sustained by railway administration on account of receipt given to the contractor and for not accounting for the materials mentioned in the receipt. (b) Rs. 2 705 Shortage of materials due to theft. (c) Rs. 15-65 Rent and cess recoverable in respect of railway quarters. (d) Rs. 61-20 Electricity bills. (e) Rs. 36-60 Wages of one day excess paid. -------- Rs. 27831-15 The aforesaid recovery of Rs. 27 831 was directed to be effected in the following manner: Rs. 11 756 p. to be adjusted against the amount of special contribution to Provident Fund (after deduction of 5%) Rs. 16 74 p. to be deducted from the Provident Fund Bonus amount of Rs. 22 202 --------- Rs. 27 831 The balance amount of Rs. 6127-10 was paid to the petitioner after making recoveries and deductions as aforesaid. ;

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