Getting Dearness Allowance is a legal right of govt employees: Calcutta HC
Kolkata, Aug 31 (IBNS): Dismissing the order of West Bengal State Administrative Tribunal (SAT), a division bench of the Calcutta High Court on Friday said that state government employees have legal rights to get dearness allowances (DA).
While pronouncing verdict in the DA suit filed by two state government employees' associations, Calcutta High Court's division bench, comprising of Justice Debasish Kar Gupta and Justice Shekhar Bobby Saraf, observed that DA was not a donation and did not depend on government's wish.
The court also forwarded the case to the SAT directing it to reconsider the matter and to take its decision within next two months.
"Clearing that DA is legal rights of government employees, the division bench of the Calcutta High Court has directed the SAT to decide whether state government employees can get DA as per the Central government employees and also as per the state's counterparts who are posted in Chennai and Delhi," a lawyer of the petitioners told IBNS.
According to reports, West Bengal government employees, who are working in Chennai and Delhi, have been receiving DA as per the Central government or local state government employees.
"The court has also directed the state government to file its reply against the original application before the SAT within next three weeks when the petitioners can file their rejoinder by one week before the tribunal," the lawyer said.
"The court said that the SAT has to decide the issue within next two months without having any adjournment ," he added.
Protesting against the DA disparity between West Bengal government and Central government employees and demanding dearness allowance as per the Central government staffers, state government employees' associations moved to the State Administrative Tribunal last year.
After hearing the matter, the SAT declared that DA was just a donation and depended on government's wish.
Challenging the SAT's order, petitioners moved to the Calcutta High Court and after months long hearing, state's apex court on Friday pronounced its judgement in the issue.
Meanwhile, after the Centre on Wednesday (Aug 29) approved additional 2% DA for its employees, West Bengal government employees are currently lagging behind almost 49% DA from the Central government employees and the disparity is the highest in the country.
(Reporting by Deepayan Sinha)