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SAT rejects review of order on DA to state govt employees (Photo: Mint) (Mint)
SAT rejects review of order on DA to state govt employees (Photo: Mint) (Mint)

SAT rejects review of order on DA to state govt employees

SAT rejected a review petition by WB govt for employees to get DA at a rate calculated on the basis of the All India Consumer Price Index, SAT held that the petitioners have 'miserably failed' to establish any ground for review of the judgment and order passed by the tribunal

WEST BENGAL : The State Administrative Tribunal (SAT) on Wednesday rejected a review petition by the West Bengal government of its order that entitled its employees to get DA at a rate to be calculated on the basis of the All India Consumer Price Index.

The tribunal held that the petitioners have "miserably failed" to establish any ground for review of the judgment and order passed by the tribunal in the original application.

"As a result, the memorandum of review is not admitted for hearing, and as such the same is dismissed," the bench comprising Judicial Member Justice (Retd) R K Bag and Administrative Member S K Das ordered.

The bench held that the points taken up by the West Bengal government in the petition to justify a review of its judgement passed in the original application do not hold good before it.

Two state government employees' unions have also moved separate contempt petitions against the state government claiming it has not given effect to the SAT order. These are pending before the Tribunal.

In the original order passed on July 29, 2019, the SAT directed that the state government employees are also entitled to get arrears of dearness allowance (DA) within a period of one year, or before giving effect to recommendation of the Sixth Pay Commission set up by the state government, whichever is earlier.

"In the absence of any mandate under the statutory rules or the administrative directions, we are unable to hold that the state government employees are entitled to get DA at a rate payable to its employees by the central government," the bench had said in its order.

The bench had also struck down office orders under which central DA was paid to state government employees working at Banga Bhavan in New Delhi or at the Youth Hostel in Chennai as arbitrary, unreasonable and violative of Article 14 of the Constitution.

It, however, said this order will not stand in the way of giving any incentive to state government employees working in New Delhi or Chennai by way of special allowance or any other allowances to compensate the loss suffered by them owing to posting at a place far away from West Bengal.

The SAT had directed the state to evolve norms within three months from the date of this order for release of DA, so that it can be paid to the state government employees at least twice in a year till giving effect to recommendations of the 6th Pay Commission.

The state government was directed to pay the arrears of DA within one year from the date of this order or before giving effect to the recommendation of the 6th Pay Commission, whichever is earlier.

Holding that the state government employees have the right to receive DA on the basic pay fixed in terms of ROPA Rules, 2009, the Calcutta High Court had remitted the case back to the Tribunal to decide two points.

The high court had in August, 2018, asked the SAT to decide whether the state government employees are entitled to DA at central government rate and whether employees posted in New Delhi and Chennai should get DA at central rate.

Holding that dearness allowance (DA) was a legal right of West Bengal government employees, a division bench of the high court had set aside an earlier SAT order that had said DA cannot be claimed as a right by the state government employees.

Two state government employees' unions had moved an appeal before the high court, challenging the SAT order.

This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text.

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