The Uttrakhand HC remarked on Wednesday that payment of subsistence allowance to a Govt. employee placed under suspension is a matter of “right”.
Bench of Justice Manoj K Tiwari observed,
“Every Government Employee, who is put under suspension, has a statutory right of subsistence allowance. Non- payment of subsistence allowance has been held to be violative of Article 21 of Constitution of India.”
The petition filed against the service of District Education Officer, Elementary Education, for non-payment of subsistence allowance to the Petitioner, ever since his suspension in January, 2020.
In view thereof it ordered thus,
“the District Education Officer, Elementary Education, Haridwar (respondent no. 4) is directed to release the subsistence allowance, including arrears, to the petitioner within three weeks or show cause by way of filing counter affidavit.”
The Madras High Court also held in the case of Registrar & Ors. v. M. Elango, that a total denial of subsistence allowance to a suspended employee would be violative of Article 21 of the Constitution.
To “subsist” means to manage to stay alive, especially with limited resources or money. The state of living as such is known as subsistence, which is indicative of the fact that one has enough resources to sustain life with basic minimum needs. This means of existence or continuance with meagre resources of livelihood for a salaried employee is known as a subsistence allowance, which is an advance payment to cover immediate living expenses while being kept away from service. It is, therefore, an income that is sufficient to provide bare necessities and is an adequacy of support that exists as a reality while undergoing a compulsory distress. The idea is to preserve sustenance at the minimum economic level to sustain a minimum standard of living.”
Read the order here: