The Supreme Court today refused to interfere with the Delhi High Court order to the Centre to pay gratuity to former Company Law Board member of R Vasudevan,who was allegedly caught taking Rs seven lakh as bribe during his re-employment with the Board.
The court also expressed its displeasure that the government withheld Vasudevan’s gratuity which was to be paid to him for the period of services rendered by him before he took voluntary retirement.
Vasudevan,who was re-employed as CLB’s acting chairperson after his retirement,was allegedly caught taking the bribe from company secretary Manoj Banthia of a vernacular daily for giving a favourable order to it in 2009 in a case being adjudicated by him.
A bench of justices D K Jain and Madan B Lokur was annoyed that the government applied the service rule provision for stopping the gratuity despite the fact that the alleged offence had been committed by him five months after his retirement when he was granted re-employment with the CLB.
“How can you (Centre) bring this rule (for withholding the gratuity) after his retirement? This incident happened three or four months after his retirement. You acted after months thinking that action (on his gratuity) will be taken after he will be caught,” the bench said while dismissing the appeal of the government against the order of the high court.
“What is the justification for not settling his claim after his retirement? He retired in June and gratuity could have been paid in the month of July or August. You should have paid the gratuity within a week,” it further said.