The ‘Far Outweigh’ Standard in Recovery from Employees I

Orders passed by the employer seeking recovery of monetary benefits wrongly extended to employees, can only be interfered with, in cases where such recovery would result in a hardship of a nature, which would far outweigh, the equitable balance of the employer’s right to recover.

In the following few situations, recoveries by the employers, would be impermissible in law: Recovery from employees belonging to Class-III and Class-IV service (or Group ‘C’ and Group ‘D’ service); Recovery from retired employees, or employees who are due to retire within one year of the order of recovery; Recovery from employees, when the excess payment has been made for a period in excess of five years, before the order of recovery is issued; Recovery in cases where an employee has wrongfully been required to discharge duties of a higher post, and has been paid accordingly, even though he should have rightfully been required to work against an inferior post.

Hon’ble Justice Jagdish Singh Khehar, State of Punjab v. Rafiq Masih, (2015) 4 SCC 334.