M.B. Shah and D.P. Mohapatra, JJ.
1. Leave granted. Heard the learned Counsel for the parties.
2. This appeal is filed against the judgment and order dated May 17, 1999 passed by the High Court of Patna in contempt proceedings numbered as MJC No. 3493 of 1998. The grievance of the appellant is that despite the fact that the appellant retired on December 31, 1995 and submitted pension papers on January 15, 1996, the appellant was not paid his retiral benefits for years together and for that purpose he was required to approach the High Court. Despite the High Court’s order also, some officers of the State Government delayed the payment of pensionary benefits. As there was breach of the order passed by the High Court, the aforesaid contempt proceedings were initiated and finally by the impugned order the contempt proceedings were disposed of by the High Court by observing that the authorities shall release the full amount towards pension, gratuity and leave encashment as sanctioned and payment order issued by the Accountant General within three days from the date of the appearance of the appellant before the Treasury Officer concerned. The Court has further observed that in case of non-compliance with the order, it would be open to the appellant to bring the aforesaid facts to the notice of the Court to take appropriate action against the erring officer including the Treasury Officer and/or I/C Headmaster of the school. The Court has also kept the question open with regard to the grievance of the appellant for wrong calculation of the provident fund and interest thereon. It has been pointed out that inspire of the order of the High Court to make the payment within three days from May 17, 1999 the amount was released after a long time.
3. At the time of the hearing of the matter, considering the delay in making payment of retiral benefits, learned Counsel appearing on behalf of the respondent State submitted that this Court may pass appropriate orders giving direction to pay interest on the said amount and the State Government would pay the same within one month from the date of the order. He further submitted that appropriate action would be taken against the officer(s) concerned who delayed the payment of retiral benefits. In this view of the matter, we do not propose to take any further action in these contempt proceedings.
4. Hence it is directed that the respondents shall pay interest on the retiral benefits from January 15, 1996 till the date of payment at the rate of 15 per cent per annum. With regard to GPP payment, no further interest is required to be paid as the amount is already released with interest. The appeal is disposed of accordingly and the High Court’s judgment shall stand modified to the aforesaid extent. The respondent is directed to pay to the appellant costs quantified at Rs. 5000.