The Karnataka High Court has directed the State's Health Secretary to release the pending gratuity amount of a retired employee, which has been pending for 16 years, within 30 days. The court emphasized that gratuity is not a discretionary benefit but a statutorily mandated employee entitlement. The petitioner, a retired employee of Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College, Belgaum, had initially approached the Controlling Authority under the Payment of Gratuity Act, 1972, which allowed the application. However, the amount still needs to be disbursed. The court noted the culpable delay on the part of the state and stated that such delays display apathy towards retired employees who rely on these benefits in their advancing old age. Consequently, the court ordered the release of the gratuity amount and interest.