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Pension Continuous Cause of Action, Says SC, Sets Aside HC Verdict Denying Arrears

PTI

Last Updated: June 01, 2022, 21:57 IST

New Delhi

The Supreme Court of India. (Reuters/File)

The Supreme Court of India. (Reuters/File)

The bench said the arrears be paid to the appellant within four weeks

Pension is a continuous cause of action, the Supreme Court has said while setting aside the Bombay High Court verdict to the extent of denying any arrears of pension despite holding that the petitioners before it were wrongly retired at the age of 58 instead of 60 years. The apex court noted though the high court had held that the Goa government's action in requiring the original petitioners to retire at the age of 58 or not permitting them to continue in service up to the age of 60 was illegal, it had erred in observing that the appellant would not be entitled to any arrears of pension.

A bench of Justices M R Shah and B V Nagarathna said there is no justification at all by the high court to deny the pension at the revised rates and payable only from January 1, 2020. The top court said the high court may be right or justified in denying any salary for the period of two extra years to the writ petitioners before it if they would have continued in service, on the ground of delay.

However, as far as the pension is concerned, it is a continuous cause of action. There is no justification at all for denying the arrears of pension as if they would have been retired/superannuated at the age of 60 years, the bench said in its judgment delivered on May 20. The apex court delivered the verdict on an appeal filed against the February 2020 judgement of the high court which had held that the writ petitioners before it in the matter ought to have superannuated at the age of 60 years instead of 58 years.

The high court had refused arrears of pension and observed that pension at the revised rates would become payable only from January 1, 2020. The petitioners before the high court had challenged the action of the state in superannuating them at the age of 58 years. The apex court noted as the respective writ petitioners approached the high court belatedly, the high court has held that none of them shall be entitled to any salary or back wages for the period of two extra years they would have got in service.

The appellant had moved the top court against the high court judgment to the extent of denying back wages for the period of two extra years and directing that they would not be entitled to any arrears of pension and the pension at the revised rates will become payable only from January 1, 2020. Having heard. and considering the fact that even by the impugned judgment and order, the high court has held that action of the state government in requiring the original petitioners to retire at the age of 58 years or not permitting them to continue in their service up to the age of 60 years is illegal and null and void, we are of the view that the high court has erred in observing that the appellant will not be entitled to any arrears of pension and the pension at the revised rates will become payable only from January 1, 2020, the bench said.

It said the judgment passed by the high court to the extent of denying any arrears of pension and holding that the appellant shall be entitled to a pension at the revised rates only from January 1, 2020, is quashed and set aside. It is held and ordered that the appellant original writ petitioner shall be entitled to a pension at the revised rates from the date he attains the age of 60 years, it said.

The bench said the arrears be paid to the appellant within four weeks.

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(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed)
first published:June 01, 2022, 21:57 IST
last updated:June 01, 2022, 21:57 IST
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