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Freezing of Dearness Allowance and Dearness Relief – Delhi High Court Judgement

Freezing of Dearness Allowance and Dearness Relief w.e.f. 01.01.2020 – Delhi High Court dismissed the plea filed against the Govt. Order

Honourable Delhi High Court in its Judgement, dismissing the plea against freezing DA and DR, observed that the Central Government has the Power to postpone the DA and DR hike.

A plea was filed in Honourable Delhi High Court against the Government Order freezing DA and DR. The Honourable High Court has dismissed this plea as the Court didn’t find any merit in this petition.

Increase in DA / DR are not taken away, its just postponed

Further the Honourable High Court stated that the said Finance Ministry Order has not taken away the increase in DA or DR it is just Postponed,

“With regard to increase of 4% Dearness Allowance or Dearness Relief with effect from 01.01.2020 is concerned, the impugned Office Memorandum does not seek to take it away. All that it does is to postpone its payment till after 01.07.2021. That power, in our view, resides with the Central Government, by virtue of Rule 3 of the All India Services (Dearness Allowance) Rule, 1972, since the Central Government is empowered to take the decision to make payment of Dearness Allowance/Dearness Relief, subject to such conditions as the Central Government may specify from time to time.”

No statutory rule to enhance the Dearness Allowance or Dearness Relief at regular intervals

Delhi High Court referred the All India Services (Dearness Allowance) Rules, 1972 and observed the following.

“These statutory rules have been framed by the Central Government after consultation with the Government of the States concerned in exercise of powers conferred by Sub Section (1) of Section 3 of All India Services Act,1952. Rule 3 of the said Rule is relevant, and which reads as follows:

“3. Regulation of dearness allowance: Every member of the Service and every officer, whose initial pay is fixed in accordance with sub-rule (5) or sub-rule (6A) of rule 4 of the Indian Administrative Service (Pay) Rules, 1954 or sub-rule (5) of rule 4 of the Indian Police Service (Pay) Rules, 1954 or sub-rule (6) of rule 4 of the Indian Forest Service (Pay) Rules, 1968, shall be entitled to draw dearness allowance at such rates, and subject to such conditions, as may be specified by the Central Government, from time to time, in respect of the officers of Central Civil Services, Class I.” (emphasis supplied) From the above Rule, it would be seen that Central Government servants shall be entitled to draw Dearness Allowance “at such rates, and subject to such conditions, as may be specified by the Central Government, from time to time, in respect of officers of the Central Civil Service, Class I”

The above rule shows that the entitlement to draw Dearness Allowance and Dearness Relief is determined by the Central Government. The same may be specified by the Central Government from time to time, subject to whatever conditions the Government may deem fit to impose.

There is no vested right in the Central Govt Employees and Pensioners to receive higher DA and DR on Regular Intervals

The Court finds that there is no vested right in the Central Govt Employees and Pensioners to receive higher DA and DR on Regular Intervals. The High court Stated,

” From the above Rule, it is clear to us that, firstly, there is no statutory rule which obliges the Central Government to continue to enhance the Dearness Allowance or Dearness Relief at regular intervals i.e. to revise the same upwards from time to time. Consequently, there is no vested right in the Central Government Employees, or Central Government Pensioners to receive higher Dearness Allowance or Dearness Relief on regular intervals. Pertinently, by the impugned Office Memorandum, the Central Government has frozen – and not withdrawn, the Dearness Allowance and Dearness Relief being paid to Central Government Employees and Central Government Pensioners at the time of issuance of the said Office Memorandum.”

Freezing of DA and DR w.e.f. 01.01.2020 – Delhi High Court dismissed the plea

There is no obligation in law to disburse the increase in DA/DR within a time bound manner

The Delhi High Court observed that there is no obligation in Law upon central Government to disburse the increase in DA and DR within time bound manner. See the following observation,

” So far as the right to receive the increase of Dearness Allowance/ Dearness Relief already declared by the Government with effect from 01.01.2020 is concerned, it falls well within the domain of the Central Government to decide as to when to disburse the said increase. There is no obligation in law upon the Central Government to disburse the increase in Dearness Allowance/ Dearness Relief within a time bound manner. Rule 3 of All India Services (Dearness Allowance) Rules referred to above, itself empowers the Central Government to lay down the conditions subject to which Dearness Allowance may be drawn by officers of Central Government.”

For the aforesaid reasons the Court finds no merit in this petition and the same is, accordingly, dismissed

Click here to view/download the pdf of Delhi High Court Judgement

Also check the following links related to this topic:

DA freeze will impact HRA – Central Government Staff side opposes

Freezing of Dearness Allowance and Dearness Relief – Hardships & Legal implications thereof

Freezing of Dearness Allowance/ Dearness Relief: DoT Clarification

Reviw the decision of freezing of Dearness Allowance and Dearness Relief

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