Punjab Govt to pay pension to all 214 beneficiaries of 1991 Pension Scheme: SC

Supreme Court: The 3-Judge Bench of S.A. Bobde, CJ and L. Nageswara Rao and Vineet Saran, JJ., heard the instant application filed for seeking clarification of the order dated 30-01-2018 as the applicants were not granted pension in accordance with the said order, though their names were found in the list of 214 beneficiaries. On January 30, 2018, the Court had held that the the Appellants were entitled to be paid the pension and had directed the State to pay pension to 214 beneficiaries in accordance with the relevant Scheme with effect from 01.01.2018. 

Government of Punjab had introduced a pension scheme in lieu of Contributory Provident Fund in the year 1991 which was ultimately introduced in 1999. The cut-off date fixed for implementation of the pension scheme was 01-07-1999. The appellants had approached this Court in past with Civil Appeal No.1298 of 2018, wherein the decision of the High Court of Punjab and Haryana of not interfering with the decision of Government whereby Government had rejected the request made by the applicants for altering the cut off date on the ground that there would be huge financial burden on the State exchequer. The Court had directed the State to obtain instructions about the actual financial liability of the State regarding a pension scheme proposed by it.

State had submitted that there were 214 persons who were eligible for the pension/family pension and the annual liability of the State would be Rs.3.79 Crores. It was also submitted by the State that the persons who retired between 1995 and 1999 would be eligible for the benefit of the scheme. Consequently, a direction was given by this Court to pay pension in accordance with the scheme to 214 beneficiaries mentioned by the State w.e.f. 01-01-2018.

The grievances of the applicants were that applicant 1 was retired on 30-04-1994 and the applicant 2 retired on 20-09-1997. The State had denied granting a pension to both the applicants on the ground that they had been retired prior to 11-05-1995 in spite of their name being in the list of 214 beneficiaries.

The Bench said that there was no merit in the argument of the state that only those persons who retired from service between 11-05-1995 and 30-06-1999 should be eligible for the benefit of the pension scheme. The Bench held that, the persons who were included in the list of 214 names given by the Government could not be deprived of the benefit of the scheme on any ground whatsoever.

Noticing the above mention, the Bench disposed of the present application by clarifying the judgment dated 30-01-2018 in Civil Appeal No.1298 of 2018 that all the 214 persons who were included in the list prepared by the State Government were entitled to grant of benefit in accordance with the pension scheme.

[Darshan Singh v. State of Punjab, 2021 SCC OnLine SC 37, decided on 22-01-2021]


Kamini Sharma, Editorial Assistant has put this story together

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