The Karnataka high court has ruled that the family planning allowance to central government employees cannot be extended for fresh or re-appointments even in cases where they rejoin central government establishments. The ruling has set aside the earlier Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT), Bangalore bench order granting the special increment for undergoing sterilization to R Ravichandran, senior technical assistant at Defence Avionics Research Establishment (DARE), Bangalore.
R Ravichandran entered the service of Indian Air Force on August 24, 1981 and took voluntary retirement on April 30, 2001. His wife underwent sterilization operation on March 17,1992. As per government order, he was given an incentive with effect from April 1, 1992 till his voluntary retirement. He then took up a job as senior technical assistant at DARE, Bangalore on November 28, 2003. On October 8, 2010, he sought extension of the said benefit citing the previous tubectomy operation of his wife. However, the authorities did not consider the request. He then approached CAT, which relying on an earlier order passed by it in a similar case directed the authorities to extend the benefit to Ravichandran, following which it was challenged in the HC.
The court observed that the order passed by the central government in 1979 did not indicate that an employee is entitled to the special increment benefit in his future employments. The order is an incentive to promote small family among central government servants who are within the reproductive age group. Once out of service, he is not entitled to increment even if he enters the central government service in another capacity, the court said.
In this case, the respondent didn't undergo sterilization operation after fresh appointment. Once sterilization took place, he got the incentive and the objective was achieved. On re-employment, he cannot contend he wants to maintain small family because of prior sterilization and seek extension of benefits, the court said. "That is not the object of the said scheme which the government has made. These increments should be construed strictly," a division bench comprising Justice N Kumar and Justice B Manohar observed while allowing a petition filed by the ministry of defence challenging the April 16, 2012 order of CAT in the case of one R Ravichandran.
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