Retired employees of the Housing Board, Haryana, have approached the Punjab and Haryana high court, alleging the state government's discrimination against around 230 retired employees by not granting them the medical reimbursement facility as is being granted to other employees of the state government.
Taking up the petition filed by Krishan Chander and other retirees, the high court, while issuing notice of motion to the state government, has directed to file its reply on the petitioners' contentions.
It has been argued that as per the terms and conditions mentioned in the petitioners' appointment letters, they are entitled to the rules, including free medical facility, as applicable to the Haryana government employees. The petitioners' have sought quashing of the state government's order dated August 21 denying them the medical reimbursement facility.
The court was informed that when some of the retired housing board employees submitted their medical reimbursement claims, the authorities concerned rejected them mainly on the ground that reimbursement is admissible to pensioner/family pensioner of the state government/public enterprises and not to any other category.
The authorities also reasoned that granting of such benefit would entail huge unforeseen financial liability on the board.
The petitioners submitted that there were about 230 retired employees of the board and granting of medical reimbursement facility to them was just like peanuts since the board was not running into loss. It was informed that earlier in case of a retired chief engineer of the board, Prem Chand Sanghi, state's advocate general, had opined that no distinction could be made between the board's retired employees and other retired employees of the state government.
However, despite the advocate general's opinion, the board rejected Sanghi's claim stating that since the board had not adopted pension schemes for its employees therefore no benefit of medical reimbursement could be given to the them as one-time benefits were given to them at the time of retirement.