Read Order: Seema Rani v. Anurag Verma and others

Monika Rahar

Chandigarh, May 19, 2022: While dealing with the plea of a widow who was fighting for her right to have access to the pensionary benefits, the Punjab and Haryana High Court ordered the salary of the Home Secretary, Punjab, to remain stayed till the time the entire amount of the benefits was released to the petitioner. However, when the Bench was informed that the claim of the petitioner was satisfied and the payment was transferred into her account, it granted liberty to the State to disburse the salary of its Home Secretary. 

Keeping in mind the fact that the widow was forced to come to the Court repeatedly, the Bench of Justice Anil Kshetarpal was “forced to pass this drastic order”. 

The petitioner, in this case, a widow litigating for her right to have access to pensionary benefits, complained of wilful disobedience of the order of the Court dated October 05, 2021, according to which the claim of the petitioner was required to be decided within a period of one month.

The husband of the petitioner was a Class IV employee and after his death, the petitioner was dependent upon the pensionary benefits. In order to claim her pensionary benefits, the petitioner filed legal notice but the same was not decided. 

Thereafter, when the matter reached the High Court, the Court vide its order dated October 5, 2021, the legal notice was directed to be decided by way of speaking order, in a time bound manner (one month). It was also stated in the order that in case, the petitioner was held entitled to the relief, then there would be no impediment for granting the same without any delay. 

In one of the earlier hearings, the High Court was informed that legal notice was decided favourably by the Commandant-cum-Deputy Director (Administration), for Director, Punjab Police Academy, Phillaur, vide order dated October 29, 2021, thereby passing a speaking order but needful in the context of granting the relief, arising out of the said speaking order, was done till date. 

This notice of motion was passed. The Court observed that the husband of the petitioner was a Class IV employee and the petitioner was dependent upon the pensionary benefits. The Court further observed that the petitioner was forced to come to the Court, repeatedly and consequently, the Court was “forced” to pass a “drastic order”. 

Importantly, the Court directed that the salary of the Home Secretary, Punjab, shall remain stayed till the time the entire amount of the pensionary benefits is released to the petitioner.

However, before signing the order, it was brought to the notice of the Court that the claim of the petitioner was satisfied and the payment was transferred into her account. Thus, the Court held,

“In view thereof, the present petition is disposed of. The State shall be at liberty to disburse the salary of its Home Secretary.”

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