Gratuity law in India ensures the protection of gratuity payable to an employee. Section 13 of the Payment of Gratuity Act provides this express protection. It provides that no gratuity payable under the Act shall be liable to attachment in execution of any decree or order of any civil, revenue or criminal court. Therefore, even where a court orders attachment of properties of a worker, yet Section 13 expressly prohibits attachment of gratuity amounts payable. The said protection extends even over gratuity amounts payable in establishments, factories, etc. exempted under Section 5 of the Act.
It may also be noted that Section 60(1) (g) of the Code of Civil Procedure also protects gratuities of payable to pensioners of any employer from attachment. This tallies with the protection given by Section 13 of the Payment of Gratuity Act, though the protection of the aforesaid provision of the CPC only extends to pensioners, while Section 13 of the Gratuity Act applies to any employee meeting the criteria of 5 years continuous service and then his service being terminated on account of superannuation, retirement, resignation, death or disability.
In Calcutta Dock Labour Board and Anr V/s Smt Sandhya Mitra and Ors., 1985 it was held that ‘Payment of gratuity being beneficial law in favour of workman is exempted from attachment by Court for satisfaction of decree.’