SRINAGAR, July 31: High Court today directed the Government to provide and grant all the pensionary benefits to State Forest Corporation employees within eight weeks.
Hearing a petition filed by All J&K State Corporation employees, Justice M K Hanjura directed the authorities to give all the benefits to the petitioners as has been given to J&K Industries employees, preferably within eight weeks from the date the judgment is served on them.
Employees of SFC in their writ petitions, grouse that they are being denied the pensionary benefits whereas concomitantly the other wings of the Forest Department receive such benefits.
They projected before the Court that being similarly situated to the employees working in other organisations and Corporations, who receive such benefits, rather have more strong footing to claim pensionary benefits, being employees of a statutory body governed by Rules, but have been kept in lurch for undisclosed reasons.
The writ petitions on hand are disposed off with a direction to the respondents to give all the benefits as have been sought for by the petitioners in the writ petitions on the same analogy as has been/will be adopted by the respondent State qua the writ petitioners of J&K Industries”, Court directed with the condition that the consideration to them be accorded and the benefits be given to them at an earliest.
Petitioners maintained before the Court that even in other departments, organization and Corporations, where the rules did not govern the pension related issues, the general rules of the pension of the State Government have been made applicable and the benefits have been granted to such employees.
They in this connection provided the reference of employees of the Jammu Development Authority (JDA), Srinagar Development Authority (SDA), Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology (SKUAST), SKICC, the Social Forestry Project, IWDP, Pollution Control Board, Social Forestry Project before the Court who they say, are being given the pensionary benefits when the rules of these Corporations and organisations do not provide for the such benefits.
Court said, in such circumstances, the basic judgment passed in March 2009 has come to prime position and is not only to be implemented in letter and spirit in respect of the persons/employees, who had been before this Court in these writ petitions, but it is to be implemented in respect of those persons/employees as well who are similarly situated as are the present petitioners.
“State is otherwise under obligation to give the same and similar treatment to the present petitioners that has been and/or will be vouchsafed by the respondent State in favour of J&K Industries Employees”, court concluded.