Mrunal Manmay Dash

In an important decision, the Supreme Court on Friday upheld the Orissa High Court's decision regarding the payment of Duty Call-Up Allowance (DCA) of Rs 533 per day to Home Guards in Odisha.

A bench of Justice MR Shah ruled that the DCA should be paid from June 1, 2018 and the arrears should be paid within a period of three months.

The HC had earlier ruled that the arrears would be paid from January 2020 instead of November 2016 as demanded by the Home Guards, ruling in favour of the State government which cited enormous financial burden on the State exchequer if they get the arrears from 2016.

“The Division Bench of the High Court is not justified in restricting the benefit of the DCA at Rs.533 per day from January, 2020. However, at the same time considering the fact that there were 17765 Home Guards working and even as observed by the Commander General / Director General in its recommendation on November 10, 2016, there will be a financial implication of Rs 51,78,775 on the government per day towards payment of DCA at Rs 293 per day (Rs.533 - Rs.240). The annual financial implication would come to Rs 189 crores if they are engaged 365 days a year and taking into consideration such a huge financial burden, we restrict the benefit of DCA at Rs.533 per day from the date of filing of the writ petition before the learned Single Judge which would be from June 1, 2018,” the apex court said in its order.

“The arrears shall be paid within a period of three months from today. It goes without saying that the Home Guards shall be entitled to the periodical rise which may be available to the Police personnel of the State and the DCA to be paid to the Home Guards be periodically increased taking into consideration the minimum of the pay to which the Police personnel of the State are entitled considering periodical increase from time to time. The present appeals stand disposed in terms of the above. There shall be no orders as to costs,” it added.

(Reported by Goutam Panda, OTV)