Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, September 16
For almost three decades, widow Ram Rati fought for her legitimate dues. But justice evaded her even after she won a legal battle against the state. Asked to pay interest on the payment delayed since 1991, Haryana moved the Punjab and Haryana High Court, seeking the order’s review on a “factually incorrect” plea — an act that resulted in a reprimand.
Rapping the state for harassing the widow by denying legitimate pensionary benefit to her for 28 years, Justice Harsimran Singh Sethi dismissed the state’s review petition with Rs 50,000 costs. The amount is to be paid by Haryana Roadways General Manager (GM) Amarinder Singh Manais from his own pocket without reimbursement by the state as the plea was filed by him.
Justice Sethi said the cost was being imposed as “during the restricted hearing, the court time, which could have been used for deciding other urgent matters, has been wasted for this kind of frivolous petition”.
Justice Sethi ordered initiation of suo motu contempt proceedings against the GM for not implementing the court’s earlier order on payment of interest. The officer intentionally and willfully disobeyed the order, Justice Sethi said. Ram Rati filed a petition more than a decade ago, seeking compassionate appointment for her son and monetary benefits admissible to her after her husband’s death, along with arrears. Allowing the petition in September 2010, the court granted only compassionate appointment to her son following which she moved the court again for the pensionary benefits.
The state, during the course of hearing, itself decided to grant pensionary benefits from 1991 to January 2017 to the petitioner for service rendered by her late husband. But it filed a review petition, claiming that the grant of pensionary benefits along with interest was liable to be reviewed.
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