Gramin Dak Sewak is not an “employee” under the Payment of Gratuity Act – Supreme Court Judgement
The Supreme Court has held that a Gramin Dak Sewak is not an “employee” under the Payment of Gratuity Act.
The bench comprising Justice Uday Umesh Lalit and Justice Indu Malhotra in Sr. Superintendent of Post Offices vs. Gursewak Singh observed that Gramin Dak Sewaks are engaged as Extra Departmental Agents, a post governed by the 2011 Rules, which have a separate provision for payment of Gratuity to the Extra Departmental Agents.
The bench also noted that Section 2(e) of the Gratuity Act excludes persons who hold a post with the Central or State Government and are governed by any other Act or rules providing for payment of gratuity.
However, the bench held that the Post & Telegraphs Department would be an establishment under the Payment of Gratuity Act.
The court also noted that the persons working as Gramin Dak Sewaks are not regular departmental employees but “extra-departmental agents”, who work on a part-time basis for a few hours every day; and, have an independent source of livelihood. They are permitted to work upto the age of 65 years, it was observed.
Another issue in the case was whether a Gramin Dak Sewak is eligible for payment of Gratuity upon voluntary resignation under the 2011 Rules? Taking note of the Rule 6(13) which states that no Gratuity is payable if an Extra-Departmental Agent quits the agency on his own, the bench answered the issue in negative.