(1.) The petitioner has prayed to direct the respondents to release his amount of gratuity and commutation etc. along with interest @18% per annum.
The fact relevant for the adjudication of this petition is that the petitioner superannuated on 31-8-2008 from the post of Office Superintendent in the Social Justice and Empowerment Department. Prior thereto on an FIR No.198/1996 being registered against him he was prosecuted for offences under Section 409, 420, 468, 471 read with 120-B IPC and 13(1)(d), 13(2) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1998, but acquitted on 17-7-2006. Following that his suspension was revoked on 2-8-2006 and he was reinstated as Office Superintendent. The period of suspension was regularized on 6-12-2007 for all purposes as per Rule 54(2) of the Rajasthan Service Rules, 1951.
(3.) The judgment of petitioner's acquittal dated 17-7-2006 is under challenge in an appeal No.792/2007, which is yet pending for a hearing.
(4.) The petitioner's case is that except the State's appeal against his acquittal, the petitioner has no proceeding criminal or departmental against him. On his superannuation he was paid pensionary benefits other than gratuity and commutation payable. Those amounts due have been withheld without any legal foundation and not released despite several requests including representation dated 18-9-2013 to which respondent No.3 vide letter dated 3-2-2014 invoked in defence Rule 90(1)(c) of the Rajashan Civil Services (Pension) Rules, 1996 (hereafter 'the Rules of 1996'). The petitioner's subsequent representation relying on the authority of the judgment of the Apex Court in the case of State of Jharkhand Vs. Jitendra Kumar Srivastava, decided on 14-8-2013, holding that in absence of any provision in Pension Rules the State Government cannot withhold any part of pension/ or gratuity during pendency of departmental/ criminal proceedings. That was also of no avail as the respondents vide letter dated 19-11-2014 stated that as per Rules 7 and 90 of the Rajasthan Civil Services (Pension) Rules, 1996 (hereafter 'the Rules of 1996') the amount of gratuity could inter alia be withheld during pendency of a criminal appeal against acquittal.;