NARAHARI KAMALA SASTRY Vs. STATE OF A. P.
HIGH COURT OF ANDHRA PRADESH
Narahari Kamala Sastry
State Of A. P.
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Gudiseva Shyam Prasad, J. -
(1.)This is a writ of mandamus filed by the petitioners under Article 226 of the Constitution of India seeking a direction to the 2nd respondent to allow the delay petition and take up the appeal of the petitioners on file for disposal according to law.
(2.)The 1st petitioner is the correspondent of Siddardha College of Educatio, Musunuru village, Kavali Mandal, SPSR Nellore District. The 4th respondent worked in Siddardha College of Education as Senior Assistant from 01-06-1985 to 01-11-2013. Thereafter, he was removed from service. He filed an application for payment of gratuity for his 29 years of service before the 3rd respondent. There was delay of 115 days in filing the application. The application was numbered as P.G.M.P. Case No.1 of 2014 and the delay was condoned, vide order, dated 20-05-2015 and the case was admitted as P.G.M.P. Case No.2 of 2015. On merits, order, dated 16-09-2016 was passed by the 3rd respondent allowing the application and directing the respondent herein to pay an amount of Rs. 1,23,545/- towards gratuity within one month after receiving the orders. The petitioners have received the orders on 19-09-2016 and acknowledged the same. The petitioners have preferred an appeal under Section 7 (7) of the Payment of Gratuity Act, 1972 (for short 'the Act) before the 2nd respondent. The 1st petitioner has conducted mediation for payment of gratuity amount from 2007 to 2013. The 4th respondent has failed to attend for mediation, but sought for implementation of the orders, dated 16-09-2016 passed by the 3rd respondent. In that connection, there was a delay of 273 days in preferring the appeal. It is the further case of the petitioners that the 4th respondent himself resigned from employment when he was directed to produce the certificates of educational qualifications for consideration of his further promotion to the post of Senior Assistant. The 2nd respondent has returned the delay condone petition as it is not maintainable under Section 7 (7) of the Act. Section 7 (7) of the Act reads as follows:
"Any person aggrieved by an order under sub-section (4) may, within sixty days from the date of receipt of the order, prefer an appeal to the appropriate Government or such other authority as may be specified by the appropriate Government in this behalf.
Provided that the appropriate Government or the appellate authority, as the case may be, may, if it is satisfied that the appellant was prevented by sufficient cause from preferring the appeal within the said period of sixty days, extend the said period by a further period of sixty days."
The appellate authority, vide order, dated 07-09-2017 returned the appeal as the appeal was filed after 300 days of passing orders. The application was not maintainable under Section 7 (7) of the Payment of Gratuity Act, 1972 and hence, the application was returned.
(3.)As per Section 7 (7) of the Act, within 60 days from the date of receipt of order, an appeal can be preferred to the appropriate Government or such other authority. The appropriate Government or appellate authority, if satisfied that the appellant was prevented by sufficient cause from preferring the appeal within the period of 60 days, may extend such period for a period of another 60 days. In the instant case, the period of 120 days has exceeded as there was delay of 273 days. As per the above provision, the appellate authority or appropriate Government can condone the delay up to 120 days.
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