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Chapter 10

November 20, 2011

CHAPTER X

ARREARS CLAIMS AND RECOVERIES OF  OVERPAYMENTS 

1001.  AArrear claims of Railway servants 

General. All petty arrears claims other than those which affect railway servant’s pension gratuity or special contribution to Provident Fund, all claims for whose delayed submission an adequate explanation is not forthcoming and all claims preferred after the expiry of the period prescribed for the preservation of records for their verification, should be rejected.

1002.  To enable the competent authority to decide whether investigation and payment of arrear claims may be sanctioned in individual cases, it is necessary to indicate in each case the total amount of arrear claim together with the salary of the railway servant concerned to assess whether the claim is to be treated as petty or not.   Reasons for the delay in Submission of the claims should be furnished to enable the sanctioning authority to decide whether these reasons are satisfactory.

1003.  There is no yardstick as to what should be regarded as a petty claim, but as a general rule, if a claim amounts to less than Rs. 10 and relates to a period earlier than one year from the date it is submitted to the proper authority, or comes to notice, it should be regarded as petty and not action should ordinarily be taken regarding the payment of the arrears. From the date the discrepancy has been brought to notice, or has come to light, the correct amounts should, however, be drawn where due.

1004.  Paragraph 1021 of the Indian Railway Administration and Finance authorities the General Manager or any other authority to whom the power may be delegated by the President to sanction an investigation of arrear claims of persons appointed by him in the following cases, i.e.

(i) when the claim is not over three years old from the date it becomes due, irrespective of the amount involved, and  

(Railway Board Letter No:- E(G)AL1-31 dated 19-1-1993)

(ii) when the claim is over three years old reckoned as above, but the amount of the claim pertaining to the period beyond three years does not exceed Rs. 10,000/-

(Railway Board Letter No:- E(G)2009 AL 1/16 dated 06.01.2010) –acs no.213 (RBE NO.03/2010)

1005.  In cases where the amount of the claim for the period beyond three years exceeds Rs. 10,000/-  investigation of the portion within the three years’ limit may be sanctioned by the General Manager and the question of sanction of the balance only, i.e. portion beyond three years should be referred to the Railway Board for orders.

(Railway Board Letter No:- E(G)2009 AL 1/16 dated 06.01.2010) –acs no.213 (RBE NO.03/2010)

1006.  Subject to the conditions stated in paragraph 1004 above and to any further conditions which he may consider necessary, the General Manager may delegate his powers to authorities subordinate to him in respect of claims which are not more than three years old.

1007.  The orders continued in this section do not apply to cases of�

(i) gratuity/special contribution   to   provident fund, and

(ii) claims for the payment of amounts  placed under the head “Deposit Unpaid Wages”.

1008.  The powers to sanction the investigation and payment of arrear claims vested in the General Manager or in the lower authorities to whom powers may have been delegated should be exercised in consult with the Finance Officer concerned.

1009.  Claims of railway servants, whether gazetted or not, to arrears of pay and allowances or to increments which have been allowed to remain in abeyance for a period exceeding one year, cannot be investigated by the Accounts Officer on his own authority.

1010.In rejecting arrear claim of petty amounts in the case of railway servants governed by the Payment of Wages Act, the provisions of section 15(2) of the Act reproduced below should be kept in view :�

“15(2). Where contrary to the provisions of this Act, any deduction has been made from the wages of an employed person, or any payment of wages has been lalayed, such person himself or any legal practitioner or any official of a Registered Trade Union authorized in writing to act of his behalf, or any Inspector under this Act, or any other person acting with the permission of the authority appointed under sub-section (1), may apply to such authority for direction under sub-section (3);

Provided that every such application shall be presented within six months from the date of which the deduction from the wages was made, or from the date on which the payment of wages was due to be made, as the case may be;

Provided further that any application may be admitted after the said period of six months when the applicant satisfies the authority that he had sufficient cause for not making an application within such period.

1011. Claims regarding re-fixation of pay with retrospective effect.Unless specially stated otherwise, all orders refixing the pay of a railway servant take effect from the date of issue.   No arrears of pay in  such cases are generally permissible.

1012. Claims regarding travelling allowance.Where a railway servant is promoted or reverted or is granted an increased rate of pay with retrospective effect, no revision of claims for travelling allowance already settled is permissible in respect of the period intervening between the date of promotion of grant of increased rate of pay and that on which it is notified, unless it is clear that there has been an actual change of duties.

Note : In the case of late authorisation/drawal of increments with retrospective effect, other  than those where increments were withheld or where the increments take an officer above the stage of efficiency bar, there is no objection to the supplementary claims relating to Traveling Allowance, if any being admitted, on the basis of the enhanced pay including the increments.

1013.  BRECOVERIES OF OVERPAYMENTS

All personal claims will normally be checked finally within one year of the date of payment, and if within this period an amount is discovered to have been paid erroneously through an oversight in the Accounts Officer and not due to wrong interpretation of a rule or order it will ordinarily be recovered. When the amount so deducted can, without hardship to the party concerned, be recovered from a current bill, the recovery will be made by the Accounts Officer from such bill. If, however, the amount discovered to have been erroneously paid cannot be met from the amount payable in the current bill or is so large as compared with the person’s pay that its recovery is, in the opinion of the Financial Adviser and Chief Accounts Officer, likely to cause hardship to the railway servant concerned, the amount will be held under

objection and the drawing officer requested to take steps to recover the amount from the next bill or to obtain the sanction of the Head of the Department, Deputy Head of the Department, Divisional Railway Manager, Deputy Chief Mechanical Engineer or Works Manager in independent charge of workshops, as the case may be, to the recovery being made in a suitable  number  of  installments

Note : Overpayment made to an employee on account of excess leave granted due to irregular postings in the leave accounts should be recovered from him/her in cash or excess leave allowed in the past, set off with the consent of the employee against future credits of leave earned by him/her. The amounts excess paid to the staff in such circumstances should not be written off in any case.

1014.  An erroneous payment may be either due to a wrong interpretation of financial rules or to oversight. The following procedure should be observed in regard to either :�

(a)   when a wrong interpretation of a   financial rule has been followed   in   an   Accounts Office, the new interpretation should be given effect to from the   date   which   the competent authority may decide when giving the correct interpretation.   If no   date   is specifically fixed, the correct interpretation should be given effect to from the date it is stated by the competent authority; and

(b)   when erroneous payments have been passed through oversight in the Accounts Office, payments made less than twelve months ago should be recovered and orders of competent authority obtained with regard to previous overpayments.

1015.  Every Railway Officer should attend promptly to any objection communicated to him by the Accounts Officer and all objections relating to personal claims revised by the Accounts Officer or by the Audit Department, whether accepted or not, should immediately be communicated to the parties concerned so that the question of write-off of the amounts on the ground that they are more than a year old, may not arise in case it is eventually decided that the objections are correct and the amounts disallowed are to be recovered.

1016.  Recovery of overpayments made to railway servants by drawing and disbursing officers may be waived only after the strictest possible scrutiny and only if there is fullest justification for such waiver, which should be placed on record.   Normally, no recoverable overpayment should be waited.   But waiver may be justified if overpayment has occurred over long periods and the amount involved is very large compared, and, where it would require many years to recover the amount, it may be held that by Gripping the resources of a comparatively lowpaid individual over a large number of years, his efficiency would considerably suffer and thereby the indirect loss to the Railway by the loss of his efficiency might be more than the loss to the Railway caused by writing off the recovery of the overpayment. The nature of the irregularity will also be an important consideration. The element of discretion, therefore, should be judiciously exercised and waiver should not be accorded merely on the ground that over payments were drawn in good faith and are over one year old.

1017.  Recovery should not ordinarily be waived in cases where�

(i) the recovery relates to a gazetted railway servant, or

ii) where the amount involved does not exceed two months pay of the railway servant concerned.

The Railway Board have full powers to sanction the write-off of amounts overdrawn by railway servants or otherwise due from them. The General Managers may exercise the powers of the Railway Board under this paragraph in respect of non-gazetted railway servants. In the case of gazetted railway servants, the General Manager may waive recovery of amounts overdrawn by them or otherwise due from them if the erroneous payment or the amount due is discovered by Accounts or Audit more than one year after the date on which it was made or on which it was due. The General Manager may redelegate his powers under this paragraph to any authority subordinate to him subject to such conditions as he may deem fit to prescribe.

Note : In cases where an amount due from a person has to be written off on the ground than he/she is no longer in railway service and no recovery is, therefore, possible the orders sanctioning write off should invariably contain a clause that any sums which are subsequently found due to the person concerned will be adjusted against the amounts written off.

1018.  The powers to waive recoveries of overpayment may be exercised whether the transactions are pre-checked or post-checked or whether the irregularity has come to notice in the course of internal check or has been brought to notice by Audit.

1019.  When any overpayments are made to railway servants, these arc generally recovered in instalment with a view to mitigating hardship to them. In the case of railway servants due to retire on account   of superannuation, the recoveries of overpayments should be spread in such a manner that the recoupment in full is made within the period   available.   In   cases where railway servant retire on account of permanent in capacity due to bodily or mental infirmity, the outstanding amount should be made good by them before retirement and the balance, if any, should be recovered from the settlement dues at the time of payment.

1020.  CPAYMENT OF SETTLEMENT DUES FROM STATION EARNINGS 

Sub-Section (2) of Section 5 of the Payment of Wages Act requires that where the employment of any person is terminated by or on behalf of the employer the wages earned by him shall be paid before the expiry of the second working day from the day on which his employment is terminated. This provision covers both permanent and temporary railway servants including substitutes.

1021.  In accordance with paragraph -405(ii) of the book Indian Railway Administration and Finance, the Financial Adviser and Chief Accounts Officer, with the prior approval of the Ministry of Railways (Railway Board) is empowered to employ a system in which cash receipt at stations may be utilised to a limited extent for the payment of expenditure of the railway (e.g. payment of claims for compensation for goods lost or damaged, disbursement   of   pay and   traveling allowances with a view to accelerate payment of such charges, payment of wages in certain specified cases under the Payment of Wages Act).

1022. The following procedure is laid down to expedite the payment of wages to discharged labour, purely for guidence. Details of procedure suited to the requirements of each railway may be worked out  in consultation with the Financial Adviser and Chief Accounts Officers.

1023.  Withdrawal from station earnings should be permitted only in the case of payments to substitutes and temporary railway servants who are discharged during the wage period and are required to be paid within two working days of their discharge under the Payment of Wages Act.

1024.  If such railway servants happen to work at the   Divisional/Workshop/Railway   Headquarters where the Accounts Office concerned is situated, or where it is possible to arrange payment in time, payment should be made in the usual manner, i.e. only after recheck by the Accounts Office concerned and through the Pay Master.

1025.  The settlement pay-sheets should be prepared in triplicate in the standard form and should invariably contain a reference to the sanction on the authority of which the staff in question was employed, the period of currency of the sanction and the rate of pay allowed in each case. In case no sanction is available, the bill-preparing authority must   quote reference to the substitute statement submitted by it to the Divisional Officer or the Divisional Headquarters authority for its formal approval and also attach a copy thereof with the settlement pay-sheet.

The bill should also indicate the date up to which and die reference to salary bill or muster-sheet   through which the wages were drawn during the month and the head of account to which the amount is to   be allocated. The   bill will then be endorsed as follows   : �

To

Station Master___________

Fay from station earnings.

Signature____________________

Designation__________________

Stamp of Office______________

Date_______________________

1026. The senior supervisor under whom the staff are working at the time of discharge will have the amount paid in his presence at the station after taking the signature or thumb impressions of the payees on the pay-sheets. No payment should be made at any point or points away from the station premises. After the payment has been made, the senior supervisor concerned will record the following certificate on the salary bill or muster sheet :�

“No.___________________ paid in my presence

No._____________________Did not turn up for payment.

Signature________________

Designation_______________

Date_____________________

The Station Master will also endorse a certificate as under :�

“A sum of Rs. _________________has been paid by me from station earnings on date. The senior supervisor presenting the salary bill/muster sheet is Shri _______________________Designation _______________and is known to me.”

Signature———————

Designation——————

Stamp of Office�————

Date—————

1027.  When the Station Master himself is to make payment to discharged temporary substitutes of casual labor appointed by him, he shall withdraw the money required from the Chief Booking Clerk/Goods Clerk and proceed in the manner indicated in paragraphs above.   In this case the payment should always be witnessed by the senior most   supervisor of   another Branch   of the   railway present   at   the   station. A certificate of payment should then be recorded at the food of each of the three copies of the pay-sheet.

1028.  The Station Master or the Chief Booking Clerk or Goods Clerk should, after the close of the payment and the recording of the certificate of payment, take possession of the original paid voucher or sheet and send the sheet or sheets as a cash voucher for the net amount actually paid along   with   the collected cash for the day, to the Cashier concerned.

The other copies of the pay sheet will be handed over to the official witnessing payments, who will keep the office copy with him and forward the third copy immediately to the Divisional Officer concerned.

1029.  In all cases where it is proposed to make payment from station earnings at a station, the senior supervisor concerned will sen da telegraphic advice in advance to his immediate gazetted officer as also to the Accounts Officer concerned and they will, as far as possible, arrange for the payment being witnessed by responsible assistance   working   under them. Wherever such an assistant is deputed, he should also sign on the pay-sheet giving his designation along with the senior supervisor or the Station Master as prescribed above.

1030. After the payment from station earnings has been arranged, the senior supervisor should immediately take down an extract of all unpaid items, if any, from the muster-sheet or salary bill. He will subsequently prepare a supplementary muster-sheet or salary bill in respect of the unpaid items and submit the same to the Divisional Headquarters through the usual channel for pre-check   by   the   Accounts Office and arranging payment.   The following certificate shall be recorded by the senior supervisor on the supplementary muster-sheet or salary bill—

“Certified that the staff in whose favor salary/wages have been charged herein could not be paid when their payment was in the first instance, arranged, Vide No.—————- dated ——- from station earning on…………………. ——————–at station.

Signature———————–

Designation———————

Date———————–

 

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