A government employee is not entitled to get House Rent Allowance(HRA) if he or she is residing with the spouse who has been alloted a government accommodation, the Delhi High Court said on Tuesday.

The Court’s decision came on a petition filed by a government employee challenging the Centre’s order directing her to refund HRA given to her for nine years during which she was living with her husband in a government accommodation alloted to him. Justice Sunil Gaur dismissed the petition of the employee Rajni Devi, a hostel warden in National Bal Bhawan, and directed her to refund Rs 1.19 lakh which she got as HRA between 1996-2005. “Since the petitioner(Rajni) is not able to justify to the payment of House Rent Allowance made to her, she has no reasonable justification to retain it. Therefore, no fault can be found in the government’s order directing recovery of the HRA paid to her,” Justice Gur said.

Rajni was residing with her husband, a government employee, at a government accommodation alloted to him at Rajya Sabha Niwas since 1996 but she continued to receive HRA till 2005. In July 2005, the Central Audit found that HRA paid to her was irregular and the government then asked her to refund the allowance paid to her for the nine years. Aggrieved by the recovery order of the government, Rajni had then approached the High Court.

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