Tip can be withheld to recover fees: SC
An employee’s tip money can be withheld and forfeited to recover fees, such as staying longer in official accommodation, the Supreme Court ruled.
A bank headed by Judge Sanjay K Kaul held that there is no prohibition against the recovery of fees, including criminal rent, rent with a penalty for staying longer in official accommodation, than an employee’s tip.
“If an employee occupies a room beyond the specified period, the criminal rent would be the natural consequence and such criminal rent may be adjusted against the fees payable, including the tip,” said the court, which also included Judges Dinesh Maheshwari and Hrishikesh. Roy.
The order, issued last week, resolves a disputed law issue, as a two-judge Supreme Court tribunal had previously held otherwise. In 2017, a division bank ruled unfavorably against the confiscation of an employee’s tip for staying longer in official rooms after retirement. He had ordered the immediate release of his tip and was only required to collect the normal rent, not the penal rent, for the period of stay.
However, the three-judge tribunal, led by Judge Kaul, has now held that any reliance on the 2017 order is “misplaced” as it is not even a sentence, but just an order on the given facts of that case. He clarified that the 2017 order cannot be considered a precedent.
In doing so, the larger court also cited a 2005 judgment from the superior court upholding the recovery of an employee’s criminal rent for unauthorized occupancy of the accommodation provided by the employer. In this ruling, although the court recognized that the pension benefit, like the bonus, is not a “reward”, it held that the recovery of the contributions can be made from the bonus without the consent of the employee in question.
The latest case arose from an order from the Jharkhand high court, which rejected an attempt by the Steel Authority of India Ltd (SAIL) to recover the criminal rent amounting to Rs 1.95 lakh from an employee, who failed to pay his dues and He stayed longer in Bokaro’s official accommodation after his retirement in 2016.
The superior court relied on the 2017 superior court order and said SAIL must release the employee’s tip immediately. However, it allowed SAIL to file a normal rental claim.
The Supreme Court has set aside the part of the superior court order that SAIL was unable to recover fees from the tip amount. However, he did not interfere with the monetary aspect of the order, noting that it is a small amount and that SAIL’s residential scheme has also undergone changes in recent years.