DISTRICT MANAGER, BIHAR STATE FOOD AND CIVIL SUPPLIES CORPORATION LTD. Vs. ANURADHA DEVI
HIGH COURT OF PATNA
District Manager, Bihar State Food And Civil Supplies Corporation Ltd.
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Sanjay Karol, S. Kumar, J. -
(1.) We are faced with the following issues:-
(i) What should be the role of the State as a model employer?
(ii) Is not the State's relationship with its employee that of a trust, with a belief of a fair and just treatment in the process of disbursement of retiral dues and benefits?
(iii) Is not the State obliged to give prior information to the employee/ his legal heir(s) of deducting/retaining/withdrawing certain amount of money as pension?
(iv) Whether the right of an employee to receive pension in terms and under the Rules, is a constitutional right?
(v) Whether such a right can be curtailed without following due process of law?
(vi) Whether the retiral dues and benefits of the deceased employee can be withheld/deducted without initiation of disciplinary proceedings?
(2.) The present Letters Patent Appeal, under Clause 10 of Appendix E of the Letters Patent of the Rules of the High Court at Patna, 1916, is filed by the appellant, namely, the District Manager, Bihar State Food and Civil Supplies Corporation Ltd. Begusarai, assailing the judgment and order dtd. 25/6/2018 passed by a learned Single Judge of this Court in CWJC No.11609 of 2014 titled as Anuradha Devi Versus The State of Bihar and Ors. FACTS
(3.) Certain facts are not in dispute. Husband of the writ petitioner, namely, late Ashok Kumar Singh, was a Village Level Worker from 14/5/2002. He was promoted as Block Agriculture Officer and posted at Begusarai Sadar Block on 3/9/2010. There, disciplinary proceedings were initiated against him in which he came out clean with no charge having proven against him. However, while posted with the present appellant (Bihar State Food and Civil Supplies Corporation Ltd.) on 11/4/2013, the Block Development Officer, Sahebpur Kamal, asked him to make good the shortfall of the wheat stored in the godown of which he was in charge. Save and except mere issuance of such notice, no further action was initiated against him. Neither he was suspended nor any departmental proceedings ever contemplated or initiated. Unfortunately, on 11/9/2013, the said employee expired. Immediately thereafter, his wife, the present writ petitioner, filed an application seeking disbursement of all benefits, including pension, etc. However, vide order dtd. 13/12/2013, the writ petitioner was asked to make good the payment of the shortfall of 167 quintal wheat before issuing no dues certificate. It has come on record that Ashok Kumar Singh was an employee of the State Government and was posted with the Bihar State Food and Civil Supplies Corporation Limited and died while serving there. It has also come on record that the State Government transferred the said amount to the Corporation after deducting from the dues payable to the employee a sum of Rs.2,39,812.00, being the cost of 167 quintals of wheat.;
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