Pension Is legal Right
Pension is not only payable at the sweet will and pleasure of the Government. The right to pension is a valuable right Vested in a Government servant and is property and cannot withhold by a mere executive order. The Courts have also held that the claim to pension is property under Art. 19(1)(f) and is not saved by sub-Art. (5) Of art.10.
Pension is not a Charity or bounty –
The concept of pension is well known and has been clarified by the Apex court time and again. It is not a Charity or bounty nor is it gratuitous payment solely dependent on the whim or sweet Will of the employer. It is earned for rendering long service and is often described as deferred portion of compensation for the past service. It is in fact in the nature of social security plan to provide for the life of a superannuated (retired) employee.
Pension is reward for past service of a Government employee. It is earned on satisfactory completion of qualifying service and subject to the further consideration that the person concerned is not otherwise disentitled thereto.
The right to Pension accrues from a valid appointment. Hence where the appointment is found to be void because it was obtained on the basis of false certificate (any), the appointee had no right to pensionary benefits although he had rendered service for a very long period of 25 years.
Withholding of Pension –
Pension is a claimable as a matter of right, Yet right is not absolute or unconditional. It is usually made conditional upon future good conduct or could be withdrawn or withheld if the petitioner is convicted of a serious crime or is found guilty of Grave misconduct. Pension may be withdrawn by reason of misconduct.
Pension distinguished from gratuity –
Pension and gratuity are separate and distinct concept. Pensions are paid out of regard for past services. The root of the gratuity is different. Pension is payable periodically, as long as the pensioner is alive whereas gratuity is ordinarily paid only once on retirement.