The lackadaisical attitude of Punjab government officials in not implementing the high court directions to provide retirement benefits to a former employee even after litigating for 22 years has cost dear as the high court has ordered to stop salaries of secretary, department of education; director public instructions, senior secondary education; district education officers of Rupnagar and SAS Nagar.
Taking up a petition filed by Bhagat Singh (78), who retired as peon from government high school, Desu Majra in SAS Nagar district, justice Mahesh Grover said, "it only indicates their (officials') disregard or at least indifference to the orders of the court."
The court also observed that this has been done "despite the displeasure shown by this court in its previous order and noticing that the petitioner has been litigating with the respondents (government departments) for the last 22 years."
The bench observed that the authorities had just paid the amount of provident fund, gratuity and leave encashment but the substantial benefit regarding pension has not been given and it had been submitted that the matter had been recommended to the accountant general on November 7.
Appearing for the petitioner, advocate KG Chaudhry had apprised the bench that his client was illegally dismissed from service. Earlier, the case was filed in the lower court, which later reached the high court. The high court had ordered in February that punishment of termination should be substituted by compulsory retirement and his full retiral benefits be released within three months.
When the authorities failed to comply with the high court orders, the petitioner served contempt notices to the authorities in August but still the authorities were sitting on the orders.
Adjourning the case for January 17, the bench directed the government officials to release petitioner's retirement dues in the meantime.