Leave encashment for PU faculty: HC summons V-C, education ministry secretary for delay in disbursal
Their appearance in court will be exempted if the amount is disbursed before September 9, the next date of hearing
The Punjab and Haryana high court has directed the Panjab University (PU) vice-chancellor and education ministry secretary, among others, to remain present before the court on September 9 if leave encashment amount to all those eligible is not disbursed by then.
The high court bench of justice Arvind Singh Sangwan acted on the plea of retired faculty member Lalit Kumar Bansal and others, who had filed a contempt plea in August 2020, alleging that the varsity had not complied despite an undertaking before the court in January 2020.
Following the undertaking, wherein the PU counsel had submitted that the claim of petitioners for grant of leave encashment will be considered in line with central government’s decision, a high court bench had disposed of the original plea from 2014.
PU had to comply within three months. But it failed and a contempt plea was filed in August 2020.
As per the court proceedings, the retired faculty were entitled to leave encashment for 300 days but the PU calendar allowed only up to 180 days. In 2020, the Centre had approved an amendment to the calendar allowing leave encashment for up to 300 days. After this information was given to court, the plea was disposed of.
The bench of justice Sangwan observed that the petitioners were retired teachers and senior citizens. “They are in the second round of litigation, which is being delayed since 2014 on account of the liabilities being shifted by the Panjab University to the audit department, Chandigarh, and the audit department, ministry of education,” it said.
The bench, then fixing the matter for September 9, ordered that the PU V-C, ministry of education secretary and UT audit department secretary to remain present in person, along with their respective affidavits, to explain why the order was not being complied with. “However, if the amount is disbursed before the next date, their appearance will be exempted,” the court recorded.