Dismissing a writ petition filed by Arumuganeri Salt Workers Cooperative Production and Sale Society in Tuticorin district, Justice K. Chandru said that the 30-day time frame would begin from the due date and not from the date of a positive order passed by the controlling authority under the Payment of Gratuity Act. The judge directed the petitioner society to pay interest at the rate of 10 per cent to one of its former employees, who had resigned his job in June 2003, without driving him further to any other forum.

He held that that the appellate authority under the Act had rightly ordered payment of interest from 2003. Initially, A. Rajan, who was employed in the society on a daily-wage basis for six years, had filed an application before the controlling authority.

It was allowed with a direction to the society to pay the gratuity amount of Rs.9,692 within 30 days failing which the amount should be paid along with interest. Subsequently, the employee filed an appeal claiming that the society had paid only the gratuity amount and not the interest for delayed payment.

Allowing his appeal, the Appellate authority ordered to pay interest at the rate of 10 per cent from the date on which the gratuity became due till the date on which it was paid. Aggrieved over such order, the society had filed the present writ petition contending that it had paid the amount within 30 days of the order passed by the controlling authority and hence it was not obliged to pay interest.