SRINAGAR Can pendency of criminal proceedings against a Government employee be a ground for withholding the post retiral benefits of such employee?
From a plain reading of the (Article 168-D of the J&K Civil Service Regulations 1956), what comes to fore is that where any departmental or judicial proceeding is instituted under Article 168-A or where departmental proceeding is continued under Clause (A) of proviso thereto against an officer who has retired on attaining the age of compulsory retirement or otherwise, he shall be paid during the period commencing from the date of his retirement to the date on which, upon conclusion of such proceedings, final orders are passed, a provisional pension, not exceeding the maximum pension which would have been admissible under rules, a bench of Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey said. But no gratuity or death-cum-retirement gratuity shall be paid to him until the conclusion of such proceeding and the issue of final orders thereof, the court while dismissing a petition filed by Ghulam Mohiudin Lone, seeking direction to the government to release all the post-retirement benefits including the Pension, General Provident Fund, Gratuityand leave salary along with all allied benefits.
Lone, in his petition, stated that he was appointed way back in the year 198418 August 1984 and was posted in different places during his service career.
He claimed that he filed multiple representations before the government for seeking release of his post-retirement benefits, but all his requests and representations fell in deaf ears, compelling him to file the petition.
In its objections, the government stated that the post-retirement benefits of Lone have been withheld because he is involved in FIR No.25/2014 registered by Police Station, Vigilance Organization, Kashmir for the commission of offences punishable under Section 5(1) (C) (D) read with Section 5(2) J&K Prevention of Corruption Act Svt. 2006 and Section 120-B RPC for abuse of official position and illegally/ fraudulently misappropriating an amount of Rs two lakh, forty seven thousand, nine hundred and ninety three during the period 2009-12, which case is pending disposal till date before the competent forum.
The government contended that the post-retirement benefits will be released in favour of Lone on submission of the No Demand Certificate (NDC) from the Vigilance Organization, Kashmir.