Services Rendered in Work-Charged Establishment To Be Counted as Qualification for Pension: Allahabad High Court

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Excerpt

On 19th December 2020, a Single Judge Bench consisting of Hon’ble Mr Justice Pankaj Bhatia heard the case of Indra Narayan v. State of U.P. and 4 Others via video conferencing.

Facts of the Case

The Petitioner, in this case, was working as an ad-hoc Collection Peon till the date of superannuation which was on 31.12.2010. But even after the said date, the Petitioner was not granted the benefit of pension, and the arrears of salary had also not been disbursed.

On account of this, the following reliefs were prayed for in the writ petition which read as:

Issue a writ, order or direction in the nature of mandamus commanding the Respondents to pay the dues of the Petitioner eluding his pension under the “Old Pension Scheme”, counting his services rendered in the department in question prior to his retirement, for the purposes of qualifying service required under the Uttar Pradesh Retirement Benefit Rules, 1961 and release the arrears of pension also due with interest and continue paying the pension month to month as and when falls due. 

Issue a writ, order or direction in the nature of mandamus commanding the Respondents to release the arrears of Petitioner due towards the pay fixation and revision after the 6th and 7th Pay Commission, encashment of 300 days, for which the Petitioner was entitled after completion of his 10 years-service and gratuity with interest.

Contentions of the Petitioner

Sri J.P.N. Singh, learned counsel for the Petitioner, contended that the Petitioner worked as a Seasonal Collection Peon from 1983 to 2004 after which, he worked as an ad-hoc Collection Peon till the date of his retirement on the Interim order passed by the Court. Further, the failure to regularize was a default on the part of the Respondents, and that the Petitioner was entitled to Pension for the services rendered during the ad-hoc period. 

The Counsel further referred to the case of Prem Singh Vs. State of Uttar Pradesh and others (2019)10 SCC 516, which held that:

“According to Rule 3(8) of the U.P. Retirement Benefits Rules, 1961, services rendered throughout  the work-charged establishment shall be counted as qualifying service for the purpose of pension.

Contentions of the Respondent

Sri Jagdish Singh Bundela, learned Standing Counsel for the State, contended that the Petitioner continued as an ad-hoc employee solely on the interim order passed by this Court and was not employed as an ad-hoc employee by the competent authority. 

The Counsel further contended that on these grounds, the case of Prem Singh Vs. State of Uttar Pradesh (supra), would not be applicable to the case, since the petitioner would not qualify for pension as his services were not regularized. 

Court’s Analysis

The Court further referred to the case of Secretary, State of Karnataka & Ors. v. Uma Devi 2006 (4) SCC 1, which held that:

“In case services have been rendered for more than ten years without the cover of the Court’s order, as a one-time measure, the services be regularized of such employees.”

The Court referred to the case of Prem Singh Vs. State of Uttar Pradesh (supra), which held that:

“Employees who have rendered services for 30-40 or more years in work-establishments, their services ought to have been regularized under the Government instructions”

Court’s Decision

The Court held that the rights of the Petitioner had a mixture of fact and law, and had to be adjudicated by the competent authority. For this purpose, without going into the merits of the case, the Court directed the case to the District Magistrate, Prayagraj.

A writ in the nature of mandamus was issued commanding the Respondent-District Magistrate, Prayagraj to decide the claim of the Petitioner for grant of pensionary benefits in accordance to law, within a period of 4 months. 


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