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The Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) has issued a notice to the finance secretary for non-compliance of order related to medical allowance to 23 group C/D employees of the engineering department of the Chandigarh Administration. The tribunal has directed the finance secretary to file a reply in the matter on October 27.
Advocate G S Sathi, the counsel for petitioners, said the employees of group C/D of the engineering department had been working in different posts under the Public Health Wing for more than 25 years in different divisions. The petitioners had pleaded with the tribunal that they were getting fixed medical allowance per month till 2011, but it was stopped when the Punjab government discontinued the same benefit to the employees working in Kandai Canal, SYL, Mukerian Hydel projects under the irrigation department of Punjab.
The employees of Punjab approached the Punjab and Haryana High Court by filing a petition, challenging the inaction of the government for not granting fixed medical allowance and the writ petition was allowed in July 1996 holding that the petitioners therein are entitled for grant of fixed medical allowance.
When the Chandigarh administration applicants came to know about the decision in the Punjab case, they submitted a representation in January 2012 for granting fixed medical allowance, which was followed by a legal notice in May 2013. When the same was not decided, then the applicants approached the tribunal which was disposed of in December 2013 with a direction to the competent authority to decide the representation followed by the legal notice. Even when the respondents did not pay any heed, the applicants filed an execution application before the tribunal.
Meanwhile, the tribunal in its order on April 7, 2017, observed that despite there being a specific direction, the Chandigarh administration has failed to file any plea that the applicants are not entitled for the benefit but in the interest of justice, the tribunal deem it appropriate that let High Power Committee be constituted in the respondent department to come to the conclusion, whether employees like applicants working under the work charged establishment of the Chandigarh administration, are entitled for fixed medical allowance, if the same is admissible to the employees of Punjab on the corresponding posts.
The tribunal also allowed the petitioners to participate in a meeting and the applicants working under the State of Punjab are getting the same benefit then same be also restored in the case of the applicants too and the order was directed to be comply within four months.