In the latest judgment of the Bombay High Court, Tukadoji Maharaj Nagpur University and the State Government was directed to pay Rs 5 lakh each to former head of Post Graduate Department of English at Nagpur University Professor Shoma Sen towards payment of gratuity which was withheld after Sen’s arrest in the Bhima Koregaon violence case in June 2018, a month before her retirement.
Earlier the HC had ordered last month to pay such sum to Shoma Sen instead of complying with the order; the University filed an application seeking permission to deposit the said sum with the Court registry and not Shoma Sen.
The petitioner retired from service on July 31, 2018 upon attaining the age of superannuation of 60 years. On June 6, 2018, she was arrested and detained in custody for more than 48 hours in connection with investigation of an FIR that was registered, alleging that she had committed offences punishable under IPC as well as the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967.
The bench observed that “Suspension in law relating to disciplinary action could either be an interim suspension by way of penalty. It is well known that while an employer initiates departmental proceedings against an employee, the employer may in his wisdom proceed to conduct and conclude the departmental proceedings even without placing such employee under suspension”.
On the issue of non-payment of gratuity and other retiral benefits, court said- Rrule 130 of the Rules prescribing that no gratuity shall be paid until conclusion of departmental or judicial proceedings. Moreover the bench noted that the petitioner could be entitled to much more on account of gratuity and also that she is at least entitled to provisional pension in terms of sub rule (4) of Rule 27 of the Rules.
Finally the court stated that two months have been granted to process the papers to ensure that the petitioner receives her dues without undue delay.