Noticing that the Pepsu Road Transport Corporation (PRTC) has failed to pay hundreds of its employees their retirement benefits in the past four years, the Punjab and Haryana high court has directed its managing director to file a reply detailing its assets which can be disposed of to generate money for the purpose.
Hearing a bunch of contempt of court petitions filed in 2012, justice Rakesh Kumar Jain made it clear to the managing director that the affidavit should show the true picture of the assets of the corporation. The court also granted a week's time to the managing director to submit a representation highlighting the grievance for not meeting the demand of payments of retiral benefits of the retired employees to the state government.
The court also directed the state government to react to the corporation's representation and pass an order keeping in view the 'pathetic condition' of the retired employees for not being paid their retiral benefits. The state government will also file its action-taken report to the court before the next date of hearing on October 10.
The managing director was ordered to file the affidavit with regard to the payment of contributory provident fund to the petitioners.
Transport secretary Anurag Agarwal informed the court through his reply, "As on date, a liability of about Rs 260 crore is outstanding under various heads, of which the retiral benefits amount to Rs 120 crore, if commutation of pension amounting to Rs 30 crore is included in it."
The state government counsel also informed the court during the arguments that the Punjab government's share in the corporation is Rs 277 crore besides a meagre share of the Centre of Rs 24 crore.
It was submitted that if a representation highlighting the grievance is made by the PRTC with regard to the payment of the retiral benefits to the petitioners, the state might come to the PRTC's rescue.
After hearing the arguments, the court said, "There is no denying the fact that the state of Punjab has a pervasive control over the corporation, which may be suffering losses as of today, but the fact remains that the retiral benefits have to be paid to the retired employees."