Wasting study leave to cost employees dear

Money matters

Wasting study leave to  cost employees dear

A government employee who avails paid study leave for obtaining a higher degree and fails to complete the course can be asked to refund the money as he commits disservice to the organisation, the Supreme Court has said.

Explaining provisions of the Central Civil Services (Leave) Rules, 1972, a bench of justices of K S Radhakrishnan and Pinaki Chandra Ghose said public money spent for the purpose of study leave cannot be squandered.

The apex court’s order came while dealing with a petition filed by Sant Longowal Institute of Engineering and Technology against a decision of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, refraining it from raising Rs 12.32 lakh from a lecturer, Suresh Chandra Verma, for failing to complete PhD from IIT-Kanpur within the designated three-year period.

The institute wanted the amount paid to him as salary and other allowances during the study leave back. The court said study leave, with salary and other benefits, is granted in the interest of the institution and persons concerned, so that once they rejoin the institute, students benefit from their knowledge and expertise.

“A candidate who avails of leave but takes no interest to complete the course and does not furnish the certificate to that effect is doing a disservice to the institute as well as the students,” the court observed.

“In other words, such a person only enjoys the period of study leave without doing any work at the institute and, at the same time, enjoys the salary and other benefits, which is evidentially not in public interest,” the bench said.

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