Thursday, April 24, 2014

HC: Can’t take back excess amount credited to salary

CHENNAI: An excess amount credited to the salary account of government employees cannot be recovered from them, especially after their retirement, if it is due to miscalculation and not due to misrepresentation on the part of the employee, the Madras high court has held.

Justice D Hariparanthaman, allowing a writ petition of a retired inspector of police, K Syed Razack, said, "Any wrong fixation that was said to have been made in 1987, shall not be sought to be recovered, after retirement in 2009,"

The judge added that this rule was effective especially when the employee was not at fault. "Particularly, when it is not the case of the authorities that the wrong fixation was done, at the instance of the petitioner by way of misrepresentation. Even, if there was any error, the petitioner cannot be made to suffer after retirement, by way of recovery."

Razack joined the police department as grade-II constable in 1971. He was temporarily promoted as sub-inspector in 1987, but was regularised only in 1992. However, his salary was revised with effect from 1987.

After he retired as inspector in 2009, accountant-general's office opined that he ought to have received revised salary only from 1992 and not from 1987. It then recommended recovery of excess payment of 36,312 from the retired officer.

Setting aside the order, Justice Hariparanthaman cited a catena of judgments on the matter, and directed the authorities not to make any recovery.


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