Kolkata, May 20 West Bengal government received yet another jolt from the Calcutta High Court on Friday, when a division bench directed the state government to clear the pending dearness allowances to the state government employees within the next three months.
Upholding the earlier order of the state administrative tribunal (SAT) on this count, Calcutta High Court’s division bench of Justices Harish Tandon and Justice Rabindranath Samanta, on Friday, observed that receiving dearness allowances are the fundamental and legal rights of the state government employees.
In 2016, the state government employees had filed a petition at the SAT demanding 32 per cent dearness allowances as per the recommendations for the Fifth Pay Commission. The petition was filed by the Confederation of State Government Employees.
After a prolonged legal battle, the SAT, in July 2020, had directed the state government to pay the dearness allowances to its employees at part with their counterparts in the Union government. The state government had challenged that order at the Calcutta High Court.
Finally, on Friday, the Calcutta High Court directed that payment of dearness allowances at 32 per cent to be cleared within the next three months.
According to the Confederation of State Government Employees, Shyamal Mitra, this is a great victory for the state government employees that had come after a prolonged legal battle in two phases. “The state government cannot hold back payment of dearness allowances any more; and it cannot project paucity of funds as an excuse in doing so. I request Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee not to make this a prestige issue and immediately direct the payment of dearness allowances pending since July 2009,” he said.
Till the report was filed there was no confirmation from the state government whether they would challenge this order in the Supreme Court or abide by the directive of the division bench of the Calcutta High Court.