Friday, July 10, 2015

Another landmark decision of the Supreme Court for pensioners

The Supreme Court has rendered another landmark decision on the subject of pension in a case titled State of Rajasthan Vs Mahendra Nath Sharma.

The Court, inter alia, has reiterated the following, tacitly and directly:

A. Pension is property and not a bounty based upon the sweet will or grace of the employer. DS Nakara therefore reiterated.
B. Arrears have to flow from date of inception of anomaly.

C. Employees who are not on rolls on the date of a subsequent revision of pensionary benefit(s) are also eligible for future revision of pension.

D. Govt should not perpetrate litigation.

The parting shot of the Apex Court:

“...It will be appropriate and apposite on the part of the employers to remember the same and ingeminate it time and again so that unnecessary litigation do not travel to the Court and the employers show a definite and correct attitude towards employees. We are compelled to say so as we find that the intention of the State Government from paragraph 5 of the circular/memorandum has been litigated at various stages to deny the benefits to the respondents. It is the duty of the State Government to avoid unwarranted litigations and not to encourage any litigation for the sake of litigation. The respondents were entitled to get the benefit of pension and the High Court has placed reliance on the decision of another High Court which has already been approved by this Court....”
(Source- Indian Military service Benefits blog)


  1. Since there is no liability or accountability on filing appeals after appeals the Babus keep themselves busy by approaching the higher courts and forums even in identical cases where previous judgements of courts can be fairly applied but the Babu's have nothing to loose to continue to play games. The courts may consider punishing the Babus / Ministers concerned where it finds that the appeals in higher courts were deliberately filed to delay the issue to satisfy their egos. This alone may reduced some unwanted litigations.

  2. Decision makers/ implementing authorities should not forget their pious duty "not to encourage litigation for the sake of litigation" and remember that Pension is a statutory right /property and not a bounty based upon the sweet will or grace of the employer. Arrears have to flow from date of inception of anomaly. At this juncture, it reminded me of the issue where Family Pension to the dependents of re-employed
    pensioner was granted under EPS'95 only from 27.07.2001 by a DoP&PW Gazette Notification dated 27.07.2001 r.w. Notfn. dated 10.07.2002 thereby caused to denied Family Pension for the period from 16.11.1995 to 26.07.2001. In fact, EPS'95 wef 16.11.1995 is Statutory Scheme enacted by Parliament which is an off shoot of EPF Act,1952. The denial pf Family Pension by an Executive Order is outrightly gross violations of various Hon'ble Courts that such Executive orders cannot take away the Statutory rights accrued under any Statutory Act. It was observed the File notings under RTI Act that the Artificial date i.e. 27.07.2001 was the date of signature of Competent Authority in MoP&PW, GOI and the said date has nothing to do with the right of Family Pension under EPS'95 wef 16.11.1995. Further, denying the Family Pension during the said period under EPS'95 is also gross violation of the Division Bench judgment dated 04.05.2000 of Hon'ble Bombay High Court in case of Rajbala w/o Mai Chand Vs. Union of India & Others (2000-II-CLR-967) r.w. DB judgment of Kerala High Court in case of Union of India Vs. Visalakshy 1998-II-CLR01166 in which at Para 6, it was considered the Order of Hon'ble President of India who conveyed his sanction to the implantation
    of the Kerala High Court dated 26.05.1998 regarding Grant of Family Pension to the widow of Army employee for the services rendered by him in the Indian Army notwithstanding any other benefits that may be received by her under the Provisions of the Act of 1952.

    It is further pertinent to mention that The Delhi High Court directed that after removal of the anomaly, the pension arrears were to flow from 01 Jan 2006 (i.e. effective date of 6th Central Pay Commission recommendations) and not from the future artificial date of 24 Sep 2012 ( of GOI’s decision to remove the anomalies in the pension structure after the said Pay Commission). The GOI challenged the decision of the High Court before the Supreme Court. However, the Supreme Court was pleased to dismiss the SLP filed by the Govt in July 2013. The Govt then filed a review petition followed by a curative petition alleging ‘gross miscarriage of justice’ but a 5 Judge Bench dismissed the curative petition too.

    The Supreme Court in March 2015 has dismissed all appeals (clubbing of SLPs& CAs) filed by the Union of India and upheld the decision of grant of arrears with effect from 01 January 2006 rather than 24 September 2012.

    Humble submission that Learned Advocates having concern for the welfare of the Military Personnel who safe guards our nation may take up this issue by PIL for redressal of said Public Grievance of Widows of Defence Personnel for arrears of pension from 16.11.1995 to 26.07.2001 which is their statutory right without any doubt.