Allahabad High Court: Right to Pay for Employees Suffering Paralysis on Medical Leave

LI Network

Published on: November 23, 2023 at 01:54 IST

The Allahabad High Court recently emphasized that an employee dealing with paralysis and unable to attend work due to this condition is entitled to receive full pay during medical leave.

In the case of Shakuntala Devi v. State of UP and 2 Others, Justice Ajit Kumar set aside a State government’s decision to reduce an employee’s pay during the period of medical leave following paralysis.

Referring to the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act of 2016, the court stated that an individual unable to attend the office due to paralysis deserves “pay protection” from the State authorities.

The judgment was delivered in response to a petition filed by the employee’s wife (petitioner). The deceased employee, who had worked as an orderly in the office of Joint Inspector General of Registration, faced paralysis before his death in 2020. After his demise, his wife sought pension and other dues, leading her to approach the High Court for relief.

The court criticized the State’s denial of payment to the employee’s family, expressing concern over their survival without financial support during the employee’s paralytic condition. While some dues were released during the case’s pendency, the court objected to the State treating 967 days of absence due to paralysis as extraordinary leave without pay.

The State defended its decision based on the Financial Handbook rules, but the court asserted that the 2016 Disabilities Act would take precedence over these rules.

Highlighting Section 20 of the Act, the court emphasized that no discrimination should occur in employment matters concerning persons with disabilities. It noted that a person suffering from paralysis falls under the Act’s category of persons with disabilities.

The court concluded that the State had unlawfully applied the Financial Handbook principles, failing to provide pay protection to the employee as mandated by the parliamentary legislation.

The plea was allowed, and the court ordered the payment of arrears to the petitioner, also awarding eight percent interest on the amount. Additionally, a cost of ₹25,000 was imposed on the State government. Advocate Surya Bhan Singh represented the petitioner.

Case Title: Shakuntala Devi v. State of UP and 2 Others

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