PROVIDING RELIEF to 36 employees of the UT administration, the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) has directed chief engineer, UT, to constitute a “high-power committee” to decide whether the applicants, working as technicians, helper, et al, are entitled to medical allowance.
The tribunal, while issuing the orders, said, “The applicants were getting a fixed medical allowance which was available to the work charged employees (technicians, helpers) working in Punjab. But, when it was stopped to the employees working on the SYL project in Punjab, the same was challenged and set aside by the High Court. Hence, once the action of the SYL project in declining the benefit of fixed medical allowance in favour of the work-charged employees of Punjab has been struck down, the administration is duty bound to restore the same benefit to their employees working under the work-charged establishment.”
Rachpal Singh, working as technical helper along with 35 other applicants, had filed the application that they joined the administration on various dates during 1985 to 2001. The letter of appointment mentioned that they were earlier getting fixed medical allowance but the same was stopped when Punjab stopped the benefit to employees working in the Kandai Canal Project, SYL Project, Mukerian Hydel Project under the state irrigation department. So, the employees moved the Punjab and Haryana High Court and were granted relief. Subsequently, the employees, working with the UT administration, immediately submitted a representation for grant of fixed medical allowance. But, it was not granted.
The tribunal held that despite there being a specific direction, the administration has failed to submit a reply, stating that the applicants are not entitled to the benefit. “We deem it appropriate to let the 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 to fixed medical allowance, if the same is admissible to the employees working under the state of Punjab on the corresponding posts.”