the financial adviser of the same ministry, the government said in a comprehensive guideline on the recovery of wrongful or excess payments made to a government servant. While devising the new norms, the DoPT in consultation with the department of expenditure and the department of legal affairs, has actually factored in judgements of various courts including August 2012 Supreme Court judgement in Chandi Prasad Uniyal and others Vs State of Uttarakhand and others, and those like Shyam Babu Verma Vs Union of India (1994), Syed Abdul Qadir and Others Vs state of Bihar and Others (2009), Sahib Ram Vs state of Haryana (1995) etc.
The same guideline has, however, made provisions for tougher action in some cases. “Whenever any excess payment has been made on account of fraud, misrepresentation, collusion, favouritism, negligence or carelessness etc., roles of those responsible for overpayment in such cases, and the employees who benefited from such actions should be identified, and departmental/criminal action should be considered in appropriate cases,” the OM said.
The same norms also added that immediate corrective action must be taken in all cases where the excess payments took place on account of wrong pay fixation, grant of scale without due approvals, promotions without following the procedure, or because of excess of entitlements etc.
But what should the government do when the authorities want to rectify an incorrect order? “…a show-cause notice may be issued to the concerned employee informing him of the decision to rectify the order which has resulted in the overpayment, and intention to recover such excess payments,” the OM said. In fact, the reasons for the decision should be clearly conveyed to enable the employee to represent against the same, it further said.