DA Case Update: After a long wait of 112 days, the case related to dearness allowance of West Bengal government employees is coming up for hearing in the Supreme Court today on Friday. All the state government employees and pensioners of West Bengal are keeping a keen eye on this matter. Important issues relating to arrears of Dearness Allowance and future Dearness Allowance depend on this case.
The matter last came up on July 14, 2023, when the Supreme Court said that since the matter requires comprehensive consideration, the matter would be heard in November. Later it was updated on the Supreme Court website that this case is coming up today i.e. on 3rd November.
This case will come up in Court No. 8 of the Supreme Court today and item number is 60. That means this case has been kept for hearing last among other cases. The judges of this case will be Justice Hrishikesh Roy and Justice Sanjay Karol.
The West Bengal Dearness Allowance case was first made in SAT. Where it was said to be a dear allowance or a gift of kindness. This case went in favor of the state government in SAT. However, in view of the judgment in the case, the state government employees approached the Calcutta High Court. Calcutta High Court directed to pay dearness allowance along with all dues. However, the state government challenged this decision of the Calcutta High Court and went to the Supreme Court. Although the matter has been listed for hearing in the Supreme Court several times, there has been no resolution.
West Bengal Government employees are eligible for Dearness Allowance as per ROPA 2009 published by the West Bengal Finance Department. However, there was no mention that dearness allowance would be decided on the basis of AICPI index. But if you pay attention, the Central Government reviews the dearness allowance of its employees every six months according to this index. Most states in India follow almost similar rules. If there is any discrimination in the rules of the state government then it should be made clear. The Supreme Court can take the final decision on this matter.
However, government employees today are quite optimistic about the matter. Malay Mukhopadhyay, general secretary of the Confederation of State Government Employees, which filed the case, said, “The matter will come out eventually. He is mentioned in the Supreme Court causelist. I have talked to our lawyers about this. Our lawyers said that the case is likely to go to trial. Because, there will be a comprehensive hearing in that bench. In such a situation, we hope that our case will be heard. But our hope is not the last word. Since this is a Supreme Court matter, we have nothing to say in this regard. But it is also true that a matter like DA, on which lakhs of government employees of the state are keeping an eye, questions are being raised 10 times on this matter. why will? We respect the Supreme Court. But while many other cases of this state are being heard every day, why is the dearness allowance case being delayed again and again?
Malay Mukhopadhyay further said, ‘The labor community looked at this matter as a whole. Whatever order the Supreme Court gives, we will accept it. We believe in democracy. I respect the Supreme Court. The cost of litigation in the Supreme Court is high. Government employees count on us to give them money to fight this case. We do not have black money, so this much money will come overnight. Time and again we have to travel from Kolkata to Delhi for our matters. We hope that this matter will be resolved on the 3rd. We are 100 percent optimistic. We want a hearing. Let the Supreme Court hear the case.
Debashish Sheel, president of Government Employees Council, another organization that filed the case, said, ‘Looking at the serial number, I am afraid whether the case will be heard or not due to the delay in the case. Or will the date not even be given? We had seen last year that DA cases were heard at the end of the list. This has happened once. However, it is true that it was never resolved. But this time the lawyers on behalf of our organization will strongly request for a compromise. They are preparing for this purpose. We are optimistic.