Saturday, December 9, 2023

Allahabad High Court stays salaries withhold order issued by the state

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The Allahabad High Court has stayed the order to withhold the salaries of the employees in pursuance of the order dated December 16, 2022, issued by the state government.

A Single Bench of Justice Vivek Chaudhary passed this order while hearing a petition filed by Vinod Kumar Tripathi and Others.

The issue raised in the petition is with regard to the directions for mandatory joining of the National Pension System by the State government.

Counsel for the petitioner argued that initially by means of a notification dated 28.3.2005, the National Pension System was made mandatory for the employees who had joined after 1.4.2005 and was made voluntary in respect of the employees who were employed earlier to 1.4.2005.

The Court noted that,

It is argued by the petitioners that the petitioners have not opted for the National Pension System.

He further argued that the State Government has issued a Government Order dated 16.12.2022 whereby by virtue of Clause 3(V) it has been provided that the employees who do not opt for the National Pension System and do not get their registration done under PRAN would not be entitled to salary.

The said government order is under challenge mainly on the ground that the National Pension System in the form in which it has been envisaged cannot be made mandatory for the employees and in any case their salary cannot be stopped merely because the petitioners are unwilling to opt for the National Pension System.

The Court observed that the matter requires consideration.

Standing Counsel accepts notice on behalf of respondent nos1 and 2, Ran Vijay Singh, counsel for respondent nos 3 & 4 and P.K Singh Bisen, counsel for respondent nos 5 & 6.

The Court has granted six weeks time to the respondents to file counter affidavit(s).

“Until further orders, salary to the petitioners shall not be stopped only on the ground that they have not opted for registration under the Permanent Retirement Account Number (PRAN) in terms of Clause 3(V) of the Government Order dated 16.12.2022”, the Court ordered.

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