The Delhi High Court has sought a response from the Indian Institute of Technology on a plea challenging its decision to withhold post-retirement benefits of one of its employees who was facing allegations of cruelty by his daughter-in-law.
A bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Amit Bansal issued notice on the plea by a junior lab assistant who claimed that gratuity and pension are "hard-earned benefits of an employee" and cannot be taken away on account of the pending criminal proceeding.
"Issue notice. Let counter affidavit be filed before the next date of hearing," the court said in its order dated September 20.
The petitioner, represented through lawyer Preeti Singh, has contended in his plea that the employer institution arbitrarily withheld his post-retirement benefits, without following the principle of natural justice or a fair procedure.
The petitioner has further argued that the criminal proceedings initiated by daughter-in-law for the alleged offence under section(s) 498A, 406, and 34 (cruelty and criminal breach of trust) of the Indian Penal Code could not be considered as grave misconduct or a corrupt practice under The Central Civil Services (Conduct) Rules, 1964 and therefore the decision to withhold the benefits deserved to be reversed.
"Mere filing of a criminal case against the petitioner and that too pertaining to the matrimonial issue does not establish or prove the fact that complainant is a criminal or he is a man with no integrity," the plea said.
The matter would be heard next on November 8.
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