- Apprentice Lawyer
The Punjab & Haryana High Court last week censured the State government officials for apathy in releasing sums due to dependents of deceased government employees (Balbir Kaur v. State of Punjab).
A single-judge Bench of Justice Anil Kshetarpal ordered the State of Punjab to set its house in order, voicing displeasure at the fact that dependants and heirs of government employees were “being made to run from pillar to post”.
The Court also expressed hope that its order would serve as a wake-up call.
The Court’s terse order came in response to a plea filed by the mother of a deceased government servant. The woman sought her son’s pensionary amounts and other service benefits to be released in her favour.
The counsel for the respondent, during one of the previous hearings, submitted that the sums were not released because the woman did not contact the respondents with necessary papers.
Taking exception to the statement in light of the petitioner’s son's death in 2016, the Court said:
“This court is sad to observe that the officials have lost all the compassion.”
After the officers involved assured the Court that the sums due to the woman would be duly paid within one month from the date of hearing, the Court disposed of the petition.
However, the Court gave the petitioner the liberty to move the Court again if she found the sums deficient in any respect.
Advocate Sarju Puri appeared for the petitioner. Punjab's Assistant Advocate General Ambika Bedi and Advocates Nakul Sharma and Vijay Kumar represented the respondents.