Refund Rs 2.56 lakh to widow, stop recovery, CAT Bench directs bank : The Tribune India

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Refund Rs 2.56 lakh to widow, stop recovery, CAT Bench directs bank

Refund Rs 2.56 lakh to widow, stop recovery, CAT Bench directs bank

Photo for representational purpose only. - File photo



Tribune News Service

Ramkrishan Upadhyay

Chandigarh, June 10

Widow of a deceased group ‘C’ employee cannot be forced to pay the amount paid in excess to her husband during his lifetime due to the fault of the bank. Observing this, the Chandigarh Bench of the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) has declared illegal the action of a bank to recover the excess payment made to an employee from the account of his widow without any prior notice.

The Bench comprising Suresh Kumar Batra, member (J), has also directed the bank to stop the recovery and also to refund the debited amount Rs 2.56 lakh within two months.

Bhagwan Devi, widow of Gajendra Singh, in the application filed before the tribunal said her husband was working in the office of the Military Engineer Services, Garrison Engineer, Chandigarh. After retirement, he had been granted pension vide order dated May 22, 2012. He expired on December 18, 2019. Thereafter, she started getting the family pension. She said on January 21, 2020, Rs 2.56 lakh were debited from her account without any intimation.

Devi further said the manager of the SBI, Bidyar, Tehri Garhwal district, Uttarakhand, vide a letter dated February 5, 2020, informed her that there was some overpayment made in her regular pension and out of the recovery of Rs 8,40,933, Rs 2.56 lakh had been made. The branch will also make the remaining recovery of the balance amount of Rs 5,84,933, she was told.

She served a notice to which Military Engineer Services, Garrison Engineer, Chandigarh, replied that it had not passed any kind of recovery order and the same had been done by the bank only.

Counsel of the applicant argued that the recovery was illegal in view of the law laid down by the SC. But the bank justified the action.

The tribunal said, “Be it the fault of the SBI or the employer or the PCDA (Allahabad) Pension, the fact remains that neither the applicant, nor the applicant’s husband were not at fault. The action of effecting recovery is declared illegal.”

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