Employee can exceed earned leave limit

>>> The courts of law have risen time and again to come to rescue the employees.

The rulings become law in matters of service jurisprudence.

>>> Accumulated unutilized leave of an employee cannot be reduced to 300 days even if he is entitled to leave encashment for a maximum of 300 days.

>>> The earned leave will continue to accumulate till the retirement of the petitioners and the petitioners are to be granted the maximum benefit of 300 days, as stated in the rules.

If an employee is entitled to leave encashment for a maximum limit of 300 days, that does not mean that the accumulated unutilized leave is to be reduced to 300 days if it exceeds the limit.

>>> Mischief applied by employer can be brought out from the leave calculation sheets and formulae applied for calculation, by employer.

>>> The calculation done by the respondents is not only mischievous, but wrong application of the principle of calculation of unutilized earned leave is also there. As such, the calculations made by the petitioners are accepted and that of the respondents are set aside,” the High Court ruled.

The ruling came on a petition by Jaipal Phogat and another petitioner against the State of Haryana and other respondents. Justice Kuldip Singh asserted the “unfortunate controversy” was regarding the method used to calculate unutilized earned leave of petitioners Jaipal Phogat and Jaibhagwan.

Retired mechanics, the petitioners had claimed that they were entitled to leave encashment of 300 days unutilised earned leave. Petitioner number one was is entitled to 300 days leave encashment, but was granted the benefit of 257 days. Petitioner number two, on the other hand, was entitled to 268 days leave encashment, but was granted the benefit of 211 days.

During the course of the hearing, Justice Kuldip Singh asked both parties to file calculation sheets. He added that the examination of calculation sheet regarding Phogat showed mischief was done while calculating unutilised earned leave on April 27, 1999, May 22, 2003, and October 31, 2007.
The unutilised earned leave for 362 days, 375 days and 335 days, respectively, was reduced to 300 days on the assumption that the petitioner was entitled to a maximum of 300 days earned leave.

Similarly, in Jaibhagwan’s case, earned leave was reduced on August 11, 2002, May 22, 2003, and August 22, 2003, from 308 days, 307 days and 305 days, respectively.

>>> High Court tthus lays down law for calculating accumulated unutilized leave

>>> The unfortunate controversy arising in the present writ petition is the method, in which the respondents calculated the un-utilized earned leave of the petitioners, namely, Jaipal Phogat (retired Mechanic) and Jaibhagwan (retired Mechanic). The petitioners have sought the quashing of the impugned orders 30.4.2014 (Annexures-P-8 and P-9) and claim that they are entitled to leave encashment of 300 days un-utilized earned leave.

The learned counsel for the petitioners claims that the petitioner No. 1 is entitled to 300 days leave encashment and the petitioner No. 2 is entitled to 268 days leave encashment, whereas the petitioner No. 1 has been granted the benefit of leave encashment of 257 days and the petitioner No. 2 has been granted the benefit of leave encashment of 211 days.

Both the parties were directed to file the calculation sheets and accordingly, the same were filed and have been examined by this Court.

1 of 3 I have heard the learned counsels for the parties and have also carefully gone through the file.

The examination of calculation sheet (Annexure-R-4) qua Jaipal Phogat, Mechanic (petitioner No. 1) shows that the mischief has been done, while calculating the un-utilized earned leave on 27.4.1999, 22.5.2003 and 31.10.2007 wherein the un-utilized earned leave for 362 days, 375 days and 335 days respectively have been reduced to 300 days on the assumption that the petitioner is entitled to maximum 300 days earned leave. Similarly, in case of Jaibhagwan, Mechanic (petitioner No. 2), the earned leave has been reduced on 11.8.2002, 22.5.2003 and 22.8.2003 from 308 days, 307 days and 305 days respectively to 300 days on the same assumption.

I am of the view that if an employee is entitled to leave encashment for maximum limit of 300 days, that does not mean that the accumulated un-utilized leave is to be reduced to 300 days, if it exceeds the said maximum limit of 300 days. The earned leave will continue to accumulate till the retirement of the petitioners and the petitioners are to be granted the maximum benefit of 300 days, as stated in the rules.

In this way, the calculation done by the respondents is not only mischievous, but wrong application of the principle of calculation of un- utilized earned leave is also there. As such, the calculations made by the petitioners are accepted and that of the respondents are set aside and accordingly, it is held that the petitioner No. 1 is entitled to leave encashment payment to the extent of 300 days and the petitioner No. 2 is held entitled to leave encashment payment to the extent of 268 days, whereas they have been granted the leave encashment payment to the extent 2 of 3 of 257 days and 211 days respectively. The arrears of leave encashment payment shall be released to the petitioners alongwith interest at the rate of 9% per annum from the date of retirement till payment, within two months from the date of receipt of copy of this judgment. The respondents are further directed to hold an inquiry and fix the responsibility as to who has done the wrong calculations and take follow up action against the delinquent official for causing harassment to the petitioners and dragging the respondent-department to the Court, resulting in un-necessary expenses and wastage of time of the Court.

The present writ petition is allowed.

(KULDIP SINGH)
JUDGE
5.10.2016
Punjab-Haryana High Court
Jaipal Phogat & Anr vs State Of Haryana & Ors on 5 October, 2016

 

Kumar Doab 
on 15 December 2016
Published in Labour & Service Law
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