India court asks govt to pay all salary dues to employee’s widow with 18% interest

The man was not paid even a single penny all through 35 years of his service, despite his repeated appeals.

Manoj Chaurasia

Manoj Chaurasia

The Statesman


(representational image)

May 13, 2022

PATNA – A local court in Bihar has asked the state government to pay all salary and post-retirement dues with 18 percent interest to a widow, 26 years after her husband retired from service and then died waiting for payment. The man was not paid even a single penny all through 35 years of his service despite his repeated appeals.

Krishna Kumar Mishra, a resident of Arsandey village in Jharkhand’s Ranchi district, was appointed as a temporary estimator with the road construction department in December 1961 in the undivided Bihar. He was posted with the Chhotanagpur office. Between 1966 to 1995, he was transferred to various places across the state and ultimately he retired on 31 December 1996. What, however, was horrible he was not paid a single penny as salary for his services, let aside clearing his post-retirement dues.

After his retirement, the man continued making rounds of the offices of various departmental officials requesting payment of all arrears but to no avail. Eventually, he died in 2017 not receiving any of the amounts due to him and battling extreme penury. After his death, his wife Lilawati Mishra did the same for months but as her prayers too got totally unattended, she finally filed a writ petition in the Patna High Court on 6 March 2021, demanding payment of retirement benefits and salary arrears.

After going through her petition, a bench of the High Court comprising chief justice Sanjay Karol and Justice S Kumar yesterday ordered the government to pay the entire amount which included unpaid salary, gratuity, and pension of the retired employee to her widow with 18 percent interest per annum within two months from the date of the order. Apart from these, the court also asked the government to pay a compensation of Rs5 lakh to the widow. The court also directed the Department’s Principal Secretary to file an affidavit of compliance within two months.

In another interesting judgment, a local court in the Buxur district has disposed of a case that had been pending for the past 75 years. The case was filed in 1947 over the issue of non-payment of money totaling Rs800 (rupees eight hundred).

According to court records, Bhikhari Lal, a resident of Buxur district, had given a loan of Rs800 to a local villager Gupteshwar Prasad. However, as Prasad refused to repay the loan amount, the lender filed a case in court. In due course, both the complainant and the accused died as the case continued lingering in the court. The hearing in the case picked up speed after it was transferred to the court of Justice Nitin Tripathi. After hearing both sides, the court ordered the opposite side to pay up the outstanding loan amount with six percent interest.

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