The Manipur High Court recently stated that a central government employee is eligible for extra HRA if they keep their family at their previous posting location or rent a house there after moving out of government housing due to transfer to the North East region.
During a series of appeals, it was noted that CRPF employees at various positions and stationed in the North East had made a request.
The petitioners, who had finished their assignment in New Delhi, were relocated to Manipur. Upon arrival at their new location, they asked for HRA (House Rent Allowance) similar to what they received at their previous posting. The request was denied because there was no government order to provide HRA to personnel posted in the NE region who keep their families at their previous posting without linking their headquarters to the new location. This denial is being challenged in court.
The court, consisting of Justice M.V. Muralidaran, specified that the only requirement is that the employee’s family members must live with them at the previous posting location before being transferred to the North East region.
As per Live law, the court said, “That is the reason why posting to these places is called difficult posting, as it is not normally feasible to keep the families along while working at such stations. In order to ensure that such employees join these difficult stations, the benefit of HRA is extended to their families as well, who are allowed to remain at the last station of posting.”
The court noted that it is permissible for a central government employee to receive two HRAs even if they choose to keep their family at the previous station in a personal or rented home after vacating government housing as a result of a transfer to the NE region.
The court cited various memos issued by the Ministry of Home and Ministry of Defence to support their decision. They explained that the reason for granting double HRA to employees posted in the NE region or Andaman and Nicobar Islands is because it is not feasible for them to bring their families to these challenging locations.
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