Cannot blame ''poor finances'' for non-settlement of dues: HC

Posted By: Pti
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Madurai, Feb 3 (PTI):The Madras High Court bench here hasruled that an organisation cannot blame unfavourable financialposition for not settling terminal benefits on time to itsretired employees while directing Pudukottai districtcooperative agro-society to pay the dues of ex-employee ineight weeks.

"When an employee retires, then it is the duty of theemployer concerned to settle his dues", said Justice MVenugopal while disposing off a writ petition by Singaravelu,former Acountant,Pudukottai district cooperative agro-society.

In his petition, Singaravelu had claimed he was strugglingdue to non-settlement of monetary benefits due to him since2005. The society owed him Rs 3.35 lakh of which Rs 2.45 lakhwas due towards salary arrears, from March 2005 until hisvoluntary retirement in May 2007, he said.

The society also owed him an additional sum of about Rs89,000 towards arrears of gratuity and about Rs 17,000 towardsEmployees Provident Fund, he said.

The Government Advocate contended the society was liableto pay Singaravelu only Rs 1.45 lakh towards salary arrears,and Rs 88,994 towards arrears of gratuity to the petitioner.

He said the Deputy Registrar, Agro Engineering Service,Chennai, was awaiting allocation of funds to disburse thearrears.

He added that since there was no source of income for thedefunct society, a request had been made to the stategovernment to bring it under liquidation. The petitioner''sclaim could be settled once the liquidator took charge of theassets and liabilities, he said.

Turning down the argument of the Government Advocate,however, Justice Venugopal directed the Registrar, AgroEngineering Service and Assitant Director, Agriculture, tosettle all the terminal benefits due to Singaravelu within 8weeks.

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