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HC directs Principal GMC to deposit Rs 50 lacs and be present on next hearing

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Pending service benefits to retired employee…

Srinagar: The High Court today directed the Principal Government Medical College Srinagar (GMC) to deposit Rs 50 lacs if she fails to finalize the service benefits of a retired employee who has now turned 77 years old.

According to the petitioner’s lawyer, the service and pension benefits of the employee, Abdul Rashid Wani, caught in a dark bureaucratic maze, have unjustifiably not been determined for the last so many years.

Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey after hearing the matter ordered “in the event the benefits are not released in favour of the petitioner and case of the petitioner not finalized, Principal, Government Medical College, Srinagar, shall deposit an amount of Rs. 50.00 lacs with the Registry of this Court from the budget available for ensuring payment of service benefits to the petitioner”.

The principal has also been directed to remain present in person before the court on the next date of hearing.

“The officers of the accounts and administrative section shall also remain present before the Court on the next date of hearing along with relevant records”, ordered the judge.

The judge asked the principal to work out the entitlement of the petitioner by utilizing the services of accounts and administrative section of the College. The victim Wani shall also be associated with the process, he directed further.

The exercise has to be undertaken and completed within three weeks. During this period, all the benefits shall be released in favor of the petitioner; the court said.

The court had earlier warned framing of rules (in respect of contempt) against the Principal. It had also directed stoppage of her salary for unjustifiably not determining the service and pension benefits of the victim.

Wani, (the petitioner) had retired from his services in 2003 but the authorities at GMC avoided to determine his service and provide him the pensionary benefits.

He then filed a petition in the court.  A judgment was decreed in his favor in 2016. But the authorities at the College sat over the court direction and did not comply with its order.

The court recorded in its observations “there is a sordid state of affairs on the part of the official respondents in general and the Principal in particular”.

The bench of Justice Magray observed today that the principal GMC is unnecessarily delaying the implementation, which amounts to further contempt of the Court.

It is not understood as to why the principal is not implementing the judgment, the effect whereof is very simple that the petitioner is entitled for the service benefits after an order of his termination is quashed by this Court, he said.

Wani during his service had applied for premature retirement from the services which was rejected by the authorities. He was instead terminated under an “unlawful” order.

He challenged the government action and the court passed orders in his favor but the authorities did not accept the decree from the court.

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