Case BriefsHigh Courts

Patna High Court: The Three-Judge Bench of Ashwani Kumar Singh, Birendra Kumar and Anil Kumar Upadhyay, JJ. dismissed a letters patent appeal which came as a reference to this Court in view of conflicting opinions regarding the calculation of cut-off date for counting the service of a teacher for the purposes of pensionary benefits.

The Court observed that the term ‘service condition’ is very wide and includes all the conditions of service before entry till post-retiral benefits. The following notifications/ schemes pertaining to the issue of disbursal of pension were noted by Court:

  • The scheme of pension for teaching and non-teaching employees was introduced by the State Government by way of triple benefit scheme with effect from 01-04-1962. The benefit of pension was admissible to all non-government schools whether run by local bodies or private management. Therefore, with the grant of permission to establish an educational institution, a teacher or non-teaching employee was entitled to the benefit of pension as a matter of course under the 1962 triple benefit scheme.
  • Secondary Education Board issued a letter dated 01-03-1977 whereby it recognized service of teachers appointed from the date of grant of permission to schools to the date of its permanent recognition.
  • Another notification issued on 29-11-1978, extended pensionary benefits to teaching and non-teaching staff of Non-Government Secondary Schools.
  • On 30-08-1980, the Education Department issued a notification declaring that the State Government had decided to grant benefit of general provident fund, pension (family pension) and gratuity to the teachers and non-teaching employees of recognized schools with effect from 01-04-1978. This benefit was available to all teachers and non-teaching employees, who opted for such benefit by accepting the reduced age of 58 instead of 62 years and also to all teachers appointed after 01-04-1978.
  • A resolution issued on 15-01-1982 by the State Government condoned the break in service in purported exercise of power under Rule-203(A) of the Bihar Pension Rules.

In view of the above, it was held that that cut-off date for calculating pension shall be as follows: teachers appointed prior to grant of permission to school shall reckon their service from the date of grant of permission for establishment of the institution, and their service would be counted from that date for the benefit of pension.

The LPA was dismissed and all decisions contrary to the view taken in this Judgment were held to be overruled. As a parting observation, the Court noted that the issuance of a plethora of notifications regulating service condition from time to time had led to the conflicting decision of the Benches. Divergence of opinion was also due to ignorance of notifications occupying the field. Thus, the Bench deemed it appropriate for the State Government to frame exhaustive Service Condition Rules instead of issuing multiple notifications, so that conflict in adjudications may be obviated.[State of Bihar v. Asha Sharma, 2019 SCC OnLine Pat 563, Order dated 18-04-2019]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Jharkhand High Court: The Bench of Aniruddha Bose, C.J. and B.B. Mangalmurti, J. dismissed a petition claiming arrears of pension, post retrial benefits with statutory and penal interest.

In the present case the appellant was appointed as Chairman and later was appointed as Junior Account Clerk in Rural Works Department. After rendering a long length of service, he superannuated as Accounts Clerk. The respondents settled his pensionary benefits by paying his Government Provident Fund, Group Insurance amount, part of gratuity as per 5th Pay Revision Commission (old scale) and part of leave encashment as per 5th Pay Revision Commission (old scale). The appellant alleged that the respondent did not pay arrear and benefits of first, second and third financial upgradation under Assured Carrier Progression and the arrear of pay revision, gratuity and part of leave encashment as recommended by 6th Pay Revision Commission. And that he stands on equal footing with one of his colleague, Saryug Prasad, as when he approached the Court, the same was allowed and the respondent was directed to pay benefits of financial upgradation. The respondents controverted the claim as appellant did not pass a departmental examination which is mandatory and as such the case of this appellant is not similar to the case of Saryug Prasad. Moreover, after attaining the age of 50, the appellant did not approach his controlling officer for issuance of an order of waiver while he was in service.

The Court after considering the material facts and the papers attached therewith held that it was clear that the appellant did not pass the mandatory test which was a prerequisite. The Court relied on the case of U.P. Jal Nigam v. Jaswant Singh, (2006) 11 SCC 464 where the Court held that “…When a person who is not vigilant of his rights and acquiesces with this situation, can his writ petition be heard after a couple of years on the ground that same relief should be granted to him as was granted to persons similarly situated who was vigilant about his rights and challenged his retirement…”.

In such view of the matter, the Court held that no relief could be granted to the appellant.[Birendra Kumar Sinha v. State of Jharkhand, 2019 SCC OnLine Jhar 432, decided on 23-04-2019]