Tripura HC asked the state government to pay the amount at the rate of the salary of a High Court judge minus the pension amount during the period the petitioner held the post of the board along with other benefits.
The order was issued under a bench by Justice Subhashish Talapatra in response to a petition filed by retired Justice Pal this year. The High Court heard his petition complaining against deprivation and discrimination and issued an order on April 25 saying that the due remuneration should be paid within the next three months.
Pal had said in his petition that he was appointed as the chairman of the NSA Advisory Board in 2008 and had continued in the post till November 30, 2018. He also served as the president of the State Consumer Dispute Redressal Commission (CDRC) from July 1, 2008, to July 15, 2017, and as the chairman of the Police Accountability Commission (PAC) from July 16, 2011, to January 31, 2016.
The government later said that he would be given Rs 5,000 remuneration per month for the duration of his chairmanship of the advisory board.
Aggrieved by the decision, he cited the precedent of retired Gauhati High Court judge M L Singhal who served a similar position and later received the pay of a High Court judge minus the pension plus other admissible allowances as per a formula adopted in his case.
Advocate D Bhattacharjee, representing the Tripura government, had told the court that the petitioner had other assigned responsibilities besides the NSA Advisory Board and the question of paying a separate remuneration does not arise and even the petitioner didn’t say anything about it before the reconstitution of the advisory board.
The Tripura High Court observed, “Considering his claim, the government decided to pay @Rs.5,000 /- per month for the period from 01.02.2016 to 30.11.2018 as the other members of the Board were drawing Rs. 4,000/- per month…during the period from 01.02.2016 to 30.11.2018 only one case was referred to NSA Advisory Board and the issue of discrimination vis-a-vis remuneration allowed to Justice Singhal (Retired High Court Judge) is not tenable.”
However, the petitioner’s counsel Purushottam Roy Barman said the NSA Advisory Board chairman is entitled to get their remuneration even when no work is assigned to them.
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