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HC gives State govt two months to clear benefits
SHILLONG: The High Court on Wednesday allowed the State government to increase the limit of death-cum-retirement gratuity (DCRG) of teaching and non-teaching staff of deficit colleges who had retired in 2007 within two months.
In the petition, the teachers had expressed grievances against the Education Department’s letters dated June 6 and June 27, 2012, stating that only those teachers who retired in 2012 would be eligible for the enhanced gratuity.
The petitioners pointed out in the writ petition that the State had, in 2010, adopted and implemented UGC norms for revision of pay scale of teachers in government colleges as well as the eligible ones in deficit colleges. It also said that following another order on February 24, 2012, gratuity was doubled to Rs 7 lakh. However, this order did not mention the date from which such an enhancement was to be effective.
In March 2012, it was said only lecturers would be eligible for the increased amount.
The Retired College Teachers’ Forum, while espousing the cause for the enhanced amount of DCRG, had been claiming that the revised amount be released to those who retired on or after January 1, 2006, the date from which the revised pay scale and other benefits were made applicable to the teaching and non-teaching staff of deficit colleges.
The under secretary, in a letter dated June 19, 2012, had informed the Director of Higher and Technical Education that only those who did not withdraw DCRG as on February 24, 2012, being the very date of the order, would be entitled to the enhancement.
An additional affidavit was filed by the respondent government on August 2 this year stating that in reference to the Meghalaya Civil Services (Pension) (Fifth Amendment) Rules, 2010, the increased gratuity was to be applicable only with effect from January 1, 2007. The government had admitted that such a point was not highlighted in the Court when the decision was rendered on July 31, 2015.
The government further pointed out that in the given circumstance, a decision was taken to extend the benefits to the petitioner without creating a precedent. It had also stated that the letter dated June 15, 2016, being erroneous, a corrigendum was issued on February 12, 2016, stating that the enhanced limit of the gratuity would be available to the teaching staff and non-teaching staff of deficit colleges who had retired after January 1, 2007.