Service and Labour Law — Refund of study leave payment –

August 23rd, 2013

Service and Labour Law — Refund of study leave payment — Non-completion of Ph.D. degree within prescribed period — Payment from public fund was held not justified — Respondent was lecturer in appellant institute and he was granted three years study leave with salary and allowance to pursue Ph.D. from IIT Kanpur — Appellant institute started recovery of payment for leave for non-production of completion of Ph.D — While granting study leave a bond was executed by respondent to join and serve in appellant institution for certain period and if failed to do would be liable to refund of payment made for the study leave — No provision was in the bond that if he fails to complete Ph.D. degree he shall refund the so paid amount — However, before completion of his study leave period, Board of Governors of the appellant made such provision — Writ filed by respondent was allowed by High Court and affirmed by Division Bench — Challenged — Plea of appellant that the said lecturer was governed by Central Civil Services Rules therefore respondent was liable for refunding — Per contra respondent plea that non-completion of Ph.D. was due to retirement of his guide and he had requested to the institution for extension of study leave period for further six month was not allowed whereas another person was allowed similar request — Held, applicability of Central Rule was not argued before the lower fora therefore no occasion was to be considered by them — Non-extension of further leave could be raised by respondent before appropriate forum — Study leave is granted for mutual benefit that students will be benefited by the knowledge and expertise acquired by the person at the expense of the institute, failure to the same public fund cannot be spent — However, bond is vague in recovery in situation of non-completion of Ph.D. degree — In these circumstances appellant cannot be permitted to recover full amount and appeal is allowed to the extent of amount already recovered the appellant — Central Civil Services (Leave) Rules, 1972 — Rules 63 & 53 — Education — Refund of study leave payment — Non-completion of course.

HELD: The purpose of granting study leave with salary and other benefits is for the interest of the Institution and also the person concerned so that once he comes back and joins the institute the students will be benefited by the knowledge and expertise acquired by the person at the expense of the institute. A candidate who avails of leave but takes no interest to complete the course and does not furnish the certificate to that effect is doing a disservice to the institute as well as the students of the institute. In other words, such a person only enjoys the period of study leave without doing any work at the institute and, at the same time, enjoys the salary and other benefits, which is evidentially not in public interest. Public money cannot be spent unless there is mutual benefit. Further, if the period of study leave was not extended or no decision was taken on his representation, he could have raised his grievances at the appropriate forum.

(Para 15)

We notice that the appellant-institute has already recovered an amount of Rs.6.5 lacs as monthly installments from the salary of the respondent and the appellant-institute has also recovered an amount of Rs.1,75,000/- from the salary of the respondent and Rs.4,75,000/- from the arrears of revised scales admissible to the respondent with effect from 01.01.2006 and as such approximately Rs.6,50,000/- has been recovered from the respondent. Now the appellant-institute claims balance amount of Rs.6,18,000/-.

(Para 16)

Considering the facts and circumstances of the case and considering the fact that the bond executed by the respondent is found to be vague, we find no reason for the appellant-institute to recover the balance amount of Rs.6,18,000/- from the respondent but the amount already recovered be not refunded, since public interest has definitely suffered due to non-obtaining of Ph.D by the respondent after availing of the entire salary and other benefits. We do so taking into consideration all aspects of the matter and to do complete justice between the parties.

(Para 17)

Appeal is allowed to the above extent and the judgment of the learned Single Judge and Division Bench is modified accordingly.

(Para 18)

Sant Longowal Institue of Engineering & Technology v. Suresh Chandra Verma[Bench Strength 2], Civil Appeal No. 5828/2013 (Arising out of SLP (C) No. 39067/2012)(18/07/2013), 2013(9) JT 572: 2013(9) SCALE 489 [K.S. Radhakrishnan, J.: Pinaki Chandra Ghose, J.]

Entry Filed under: Legal Updates

Leave a Comment


Required, hidden

Some HTML allowed:
<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed

News That Matters

Recent Posts


Important Links