Pb & Haryana HC: Till Widow Gets Pension, Hold The Salary Of Punjab Home Secretary

Following the non-payment of pensionary benefits to a Class IV employee’s wife, the Punjab and Haryana High Court ordered to hold the salary of the Punjab Home Secretary till the widow gets pension. The petitioner’s husband was a Class IV employee and she is dependent upon pensionary benefits. Though the state has been given the liberty to disburse the salary only after it is brought to Justice Anil Kshetarpal’s notice that the woman’s claim stood satisfied and the payment is transferred to her account.

The matter was brought to Justice Kshetarpal’s notice after Seema Rani filed a petition alleging contempt of court against Punjab Home Secretary Anurag Verma and other respondents. The petitioner’s counsel Gaganeshwar Walia alleged wilful disobedience of order dated October 5, 2021, according to which her claim was required to be decided within a month. 

On the other hand, the counsel representing the State of Punjab, admitted before the Bench that the petitioner is entitled to the pensionary benefits and the same is sanctioned. Her case has also been forwarded to the bank concerned for payment. Meanwhile, the petitioner’s counsel Walia submitted that not even a single penny has been released to the petitioner till date.

Justice Kshetarpal, in his exceptional order, initially stayed the salary disbursement till the entire amount of pensionary benefits get released to the woman. He made it clear that the Bench is forced to pass the drastic order after noticing that the woman, dependent upon pensionary benefits, is forced to approach the court.

While disposing of the petition, Justice Kshetarpal asserted, “the petitioner’s husband was a Class IV employee and she is dependent upon the pension. She has been forced to come to the court, repeatedly. Consequently, this court is forced to pass a drastic order. It is ordered that the salary of the Home Secretary, Punjab, shall remain stayed till the time the entire amount of the pensionary benefits is released to the petitioner.” But it was brought to the court’s notice that the petitioner stood satisfied and the payment had been transferred into her account before the order could be signed.

“In view thereof, the present petition is disposed of. The state shall be at liberty to disburse the salary of its Home Secretary,” Justice Kshetarpal concluded.

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