The ‘Far Outweigh’ Standard in Recovery from Employees II

Clearly ignoring The ‘Far Outweigh’ Standard in Recovery from Employees, the SC has ruled recently in High Court of Punjab & Haryana v. Jagdev Singh, [Civil Appeal No. 3500 of 2006] that even though recovery from retired employees, or employees who are due to retire within one year of the order of recovery, is impermissible, the “principle enunciated cannot apply to a situation… [where] the officer to whom the payment was made in the first instance was clearly placed on notice that any payment found to have been made in excess would be required to be refunded and the officer furnished an undertaking… he is bound by the undertaking.”

One wonders whether employees can undertake in this manner to over turn the import of Rafiq Masih, (2015) 4 SCC 334. A retired employee, or an employee who is due to retire within one year of the order of recovery, cannot know, at the time of furnishing the undertaking, whether such recovery would or would not result in a hardship of a nature, which would ‘far outweigh’, the equitable balance of the employer’s right to recover. The undertaking is thus irrelevant.

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