Chennai

Madras High Court rules on considering previous service for pension

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270 petitions had been referred to HC

In a significant verdict, the Madras High Court on Tuesday held that government servants appointed in non- provincialised service or on consolidated pay or honorarium or daily wage before April 1, 2003 (when the contributory pension scheme was introduced) and absorbed in regular service after that date are not entitled to count half of their past service for the purpose of determining the qualifying service for grant of regular government pension.

A Full Bench comprising Justices R. Subbiah, P.T. Asha and C. Saravanan gave the ruling while answering a reference made to it by a Division Bench of the High Court due to conflicting verdicts of coordinate benches on the issue.

A batch of over 270 writ petitions were referred to the Bench constituted by the Chief Justice for answering the reference and it delivered an elaborate judgment tracing the entire history of the case.

After citing various Supreme Court verdicts, the Full Bench held that government servants appointed on or after April 1, 2003, were not entitled to regular pension in view of a proviso that was inserted on August 6, 2003, to Rule 2 of the Tamil Nadu Pension Rules of 1978. However, government employees appointed prior to April 1, 2003, on temporary or permanent basis in terms of Rule 10(a)(i) were entitled to get regular pension.

“In case, a government employee/servant had also rendered service in non-provincialised service or on consolidated pay or on honorarium or daily wage basis and if such services were regularised before April 1, 2003, half of service rendered shall be counted for the purpose of conferment of pensionary benefits,” the judges said and added that those whose services were regularised after April 1, 2003, would not be entitled to the benefit.

Authoring the judgment, Justice Subbiah pointed out that the case on hand had a chequered history with several persons having been employed on a daily wage basis in various government departments in the State since 1980. Those daily wagers had joined service on the staunch belief of getting regularised. While some were fortunate to get regularised before April 2003, others could not get their services regularised until they attained the age of superannuation.

For some others, even though they had got regularised in service, there were very few years left for superannuation and hence they lacked the minimum qualifying service required for the purpose of grant of government pension. Therefore, such people had approached the High Court to count at least half of the service rendered by them, prior to regularisation, for the purpose of calculating the service required for grant of government pension.

While one Division Bench ruled in favour of them, another took a diametrically opposite view. Hence, the cases were referred to the Full Bench for an authoritative pronouncement on the issue.

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Printable version | Dec 13, 2019 7:32:06 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/madras-high-court-rules-on-considering-previous-service-for-pension/article30153514.ece

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