Himachal Pradesh High Court Allows Plea, States Petitioner Not To Suffer Due to Inefficiency Of State Administration

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In the case of Reena Verma vs State of Himachal Pradesh, the Petitioner prayed for directions for her inclusion in Central Civil Services (Pension) Rules of 1972. The Court allowed the plea. The Court opined that the Petitioner should not suffer due to administrative inefficiency.

Brief Facts of the Case

The district headquarters of Himachal Pradesh issued a notification on 15.5.2003.  The notification stated that appointments made after the said date should be governed under the Himachal Pradesh Civil Services Contributory Pension Rules, 2006. Moreover, they were only eligible for the Contributory Pension Scheme. Also, The appointments made before 15.5.2003  are covered under the (Pension) Rules, 1972. These appointments had different pension schemes.

The Petitioner received her appointment letter as a clerk on 08.05.2003. She then accepted the appointment offer. After her medical examination on 15.5.2003, she joined on 17.5.2003.  As per the petitioner, the Contributory Pension Scheme is being forced upon her. The Respondents declared her an appointee after 15.5.2003. She claimed to deserve pension under pension rules of 1972 as her appointment letter was dated 8.5.2003. The petitioner then approached the Court. The Petitioner prayed for directions to bring her under the Pension rules of 1972.

Petitioner’s Arguments

The Petitioner received her letter on 08.05.2003. She went to the Deputy Commissioner to confirm her appointment on 12.5.2003. This was then followed by her medical examination on 15.5.2003. She joined the office on 17.5.2003. Thus, the date of the appointment was prior to the notification issued. Thus, the Petitioner claimed that the Pension rules of 1972 would cover her as well.

Respondent’s Arguments

The Respondents stated that the Petitioner’s appointment succeeded the date of the notification. Thus, as per the notification, the Pension rules of 1972 are not applicable to the Petitioner.

The letter mentioned that seniority of the candidate would be considered after joining. Thus, the date of joining was considered as the date of the appointment. The letter was an offer of the job post, subject to her medical certification and joining. The respondent stated that the petitioner accepted the offer by joining on 17.5.2003. Thus, this was the date of her appointment for consideration of Pension.

Court’s Observation

The Court referred to the legal precedents set. This precedent held that an order of appointment is of three kinds : First, the date of joining is the date of the appointee joining the office. This date is irrespective of when the respondent appointment letter. Second, where the appointee has to join on the same day his appointment letter gets issued. Third, the appointment letter is unclear about the date of joining. Here, the date of the appointment taking effect is also unclear.

The Court considered the facts of this case, for determination of the type of appointment. To do the same, the Court looked into the contents of the letter and facts of the case. The court observed that the appointment was of the third kind. 

Further, the date of the appointment was 8.5.2003. The Court considered this, as it was the only date mentioned, along with the place of her posting. Mentioning the place of appointment is evidence that her appointment made was absolute. Thus, the offer of appointment was made on this date. The appointment letter read that her salary will be calculated from the date she joins the post.  Also, the Respondent issued a letter dated 15.5.2003 after her medical examination. She joined on 17.5.2003, only after the examination. 

Court’s Judgement 

In case of the order being an offer, the Court stated that the letter was an offer of appointment. The Court noted that the request of appointment was pending before the state government. Also, the Petitioner accepted the offer before 15.05.2003. The Court stated that this was a lack of efficiency on the side of the Respondent on these grounds.

First, that even after reaching the office on 12.5.2003, the candidate’s examination completed on 15.5.2003. This caused the delay in the petitioner joining her duties. Second, due to the delay by the administration, the respondent issued the appointment the letter  2 weeks late. Third, The petitioner lived far away from the office and hence received the letter late. If not for this, she would have got her letter on time. The Court stated that the petitioner should not suffer on the said grounds.

The Court stated that the government is at fault for making the delays. The petitioner should not suffer due to this inefficiency. The court stated that the petitioner should be a part of the pension rules of 1972.  The Court ordered the respondents to include her, under the same. Thus, the Court accepted the plea of the Petitioner.


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