The Delhi High Court has asked the Railways to consider payment of pension to the widow of a temporary worker in the light of a Supreme Court judgment by which a casual Railway employee who had died in service was granted pension in 1995.
In the present case as well the casual worker had died while on duty. The Railways rejected the plea for pension by the widow, Jayawanti Devi, on the ground that her husband was not a regular employee.
The worker was recruited as a casual labourer and later given the status of a temporary one. The Railways had promised to regularise his service but the promise was not fulfilled due to non-availability of a regular post. Meanwhile, the worker died. In his place, his widow was recruited as a cleaner. However, after some time the widow served a legal notice on the Railways seeking pension. The Railways did not respond to the notice.
The widow then filed a petition in the Central Administrative Tribunal for a direction for grant of pension. The Tribunal directed the Railways to consider the widow's case. After considering it, the Railways rejected her plea. The widow then filed another petition in the Tribunal seeking to quash the Railways' order rejecting her plea for pension. The Tribunal asked the Railways to reconsider the matter as per its circular of 2002.
The Railways approached the High Court against this order of the Tribunal.
Quoting a Supreme Court judgment in which a Railway employee who had worked continuously for one year as a casual worker and died in service was granted pension, a Division Bench of the Court comprising Justice Pradeep Nandrajog and Justice Siddharth Mridul asked the Railways to consider the widow's plea in the light of that judgment.
The Supreme Court had passed the judgment quoting the Indian Railway Establishment Manual and the Manual of Railway Pension Rules.