Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Allahabad High Court quashes order refusing pension to daily wage worker

The Allahabad High Court has quashed the order refusing to give pension by adding full service to the daily wage worker appointed in 1986 due to regularization after the implementation of the new pension scheme in 2005 and has directed to pay the pension to the petitioner.

A Single Bench of Justice Vivek Chaudhary passed this order while hearing a petition filed by Mangal Singh.

The petition is filed by the petitioner challenging the order dated 21.06.2022 whereby the claim of the petitioner with regard to computation of the period of service rendered by him as a daily wager since the year 1986 and payment of pension is rejected on the ground that his services were regularized after New Pension Scheme, 2005 was introduced therefore, he is not entitled for pensionary benefits under the Old Pension Scheme.

The petitioner was appointed on 22.10.1986 as Chowkidar as a daily wager and got regularized on 06.12.2005. The petitioner retired on 31.01.2022 after attaining the age of superannuation.

Similar controversy has already been adjudicated by the High Court by means of judgment and order dated 17.02.2023 passed in a bunch of writ petitions, wherein issue relating to interpretation and application of Section 2 of the Act of 2021 for counting qualifying service for the purpose of pension with regard to daily wager has been dealt with in detail by the Court.

Relevant portion of the said judgment reads:

“….14. It has been settled for a long time that daily wage employees are entitled to pensionary benefits counting their services from the date of their initial appointment and not from the date of their regularization. Suffice would be to refer to the judgment in cases of Hari Shankar Asopa vs State of U.P and another, 1989(1) UPLBEC 501; Yashwant Hari Katakkar vs Union of India and others, 1996 (7) SCC 113; and Prem Singh (supra). In fact earlier they were covered by Rule 2 of U.P Retirement Benefit Rules, 1961 and other Civil Services Regulations.

15. Now Standing Counsel submits that in view of Section 2 of the Act of 2021, since petitioners were not appointed on a temporary or permanent post initially, therefore, benefit of said services cannot be granted to them.

16. The said aspect of the matter is already discussed above at length. Section 2 of the Act of 2021 is already read down and it is held that the word ‘post’ used in Section 2 of the Act of 2021, be it temporary or permanent, has to be read down as ‘services rendered by a government employee, be it of temporary or permanent nature’.

17. In view thereof, the petitioners are also covered by the aforesaid interpretation of Section 2 of the Act of 2021 as given in the present judgment. Orders impugned in different writ petitions on the grounds stated above are covered by the earlier judgments as well as by findings given above in this judgment and, hence, petitioners are held to be entitled for counting of their services rendered as daily wagers for pensionary benefits. All impugned orders are set aside. ……

22. In the aforesaid facts and circumstances of the case, all the orders impugned in the writ petitions are passed either on the ground that they are covered by the Ordinance/Act of 2021 or they were not party in case of Prem Singh (supra) or without considering the judgment of Prem Singh (supra) and hence, the same are squarely covered by the finding given above. Therefore, the impugned orders cannot stand and are set aside. However, petitioners shall be entitled to past pensionary benefits for the last three years only.

23. All the writ petitions are allowed.”

Since grievance of the petitioner in the petition is similar to one which has already been adjudicated by the Court in the aforesaid case, the benefit of the aforesaid judgment and order dated 17.02.2023 shall also be made available to the petitioner in the same terms, the Court observed.

Accordingly, the Court allowed the petition and the order dated 21.06.2022 is hereby set aside. However, petitioners shall be entitled to past pensionary benefits for the last three years only.


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