Supreme Court Orders Reimbursement for Exchequer Loss Due to Unlawful Decisions


LI Network

Published on: December 07, 2023 at 17:10 IST

The Supreme Court directed specific public servants to reimburse the losses incurred by the public exchequer due to their illegal decisions.

Justices Hima Kohli and Rajesh Bindal presided over a case where a government employee (Respondent No. 4 in the appeal) received an upgraded pay scale from the date of joining, a move deemed illegal by the Court. Uncovering a collaboration between authorities and the employee for the undue financial benefit, the Supreme Court ordered the recovery of the excess amount from both the 4th Respondent and the officers responsible for the unauthorized payment.

The Court considered leaving the amount paid to the respondent as is and re-fixing the pay from a future date but rejected this option due to the deliberate and planned nature of the infraction. Instead, it ordered the recovery of the excess amount in installments, holding both the respondent and the involved officers equally liable to reimburse the exchequer for the unlawfully disbursed funds.

The Court stated, “The exchequer should not be made to suffer on that account, and either of the two shall have to make good that loss of undue benefit granted to the respondent No. 4.”

According to the case details, appellants and Respondent No. 4 joined the Commission for Scientific and Technical Terminology (CSTT) as Research Assistants in 1980.

The respondent later became an Ayurvedic Physician in 2005 and received an upgraded pay scale in 2006, equating his post to that of a doctor. Despite not practicing as a doctor in CSTT, he was granted a higher pay scale from the date of joining.

The appellants sought a similar pay scale, citing the same set of rules governing their positions. The Tribunal and High Court denied relief, prompting the appellants to approach the Supreme Court.

The Court declared the higher pay granted to Respondent No. 4 illegal, stating, “If governed by the same set of Rules, a single post of the same cadre could not have been isolated and granted a higher pay scale by merely considering the qualifications prescribed for the post.”

Furthermore, the Court held that the appellants were not entitled to the higher pay scale granted to Respondent No. 4, emphasizing the illegality of the entire process.

Related Post