Three months after a labour court ordered a private unaided engineering college to pay gratuity to a former employee, the college is yet to comply with the order.
Shailesh Nangaonkar, who previously worked with Terna Engineering College, Nerul, had lodged a case with the labour court after being denied gratuity despite 10 years of service. Nangaonkar worked as an assistant professor in the college from 2004 to 2014.
Quoting Section 8 of the Payment of Gratuity Act, 1972, Nangaonkar had filed a case seeking payment of his gratuity. After the court ruled in Nangaonkar’s favour, the college filed an appeal. The appeal was dismissed. Following this, the college also filed a writ petition in the High Court, which was also dismissed. The college, which has paid Rs 1.65 lakh, has been ordered to pay the rest of the money along with 10 per cent simple interest from the date of resignation.
Section 8 provides that if the amount of gratuity payable under this Act is not paid by the employer within the prescribed time, the claimant shall make an application to the Controlling Authority.
The Controlling Authority is authorised to issue a certificate to the Collector to recover the amount.
The Thane labour court on September 14 directed the Collector to recover the money from the college.
“I have been fortunate to have been able to fight the court case. But I have colleagues who have given up the fight despite working for such colleges for 25-30 years,” said Nangaonkar.
Mumbai University and College Teachers’ Association (MUCTA) has claimed that several such cases are pending in the court against private unaided colleges, which refuse to pay employees gratuity.
For the past few months, MUCTA has been actively voicing the issue.
“We have received several such complaints from teachers of mostly engineering and pharmaceutical colleges. Due to payment issues, faculty of such colleges leave after working for many years. And upon leaving, they’re also denied gratuity. We have written to Mumbai University, Governor and the All India Council of Technical Education on this matter,” said Subhash Athavale, MUCTA general secretary.
The principal of Terna Engineering College could not be reached for a comment.